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Australia needs to speak up about the Philippines' murderous 'war on drugs'

A longstanding relationship between two countries means being able to stand up for what's right. Australia has to be prepared to deliver difficult messages, not becoming indulgent of, or indifferent to, murder on a mass scale, like what we're seeing in the Philippines. Ever since President Rodrigo Duterte swept to power at the end of June last year, more than 1000 people have been killed on average each month, most often in extrajudicial executions.

Date:
1 February 2017
  • News
  • Nauru
  • Refugees

Australia is heading in the wrong direction with refugee ban

There was a time when Australia led the way on refugee protection. Following World War II, Australia came second only to the United States on resettling European refugees. Its signature brought the Refugee Convention into force a few years later. And, in the 1970s, it resettled the third highest number of Indochinese refugees following the wars there. Sadly those days are a distant memory. After earning global notoriety for the cruelty it continues to inflict on refugees and people seeking asylum on Nauru and Manus Island, the Australian government has shown it is capable of worse.

Date:
1 November 2016
  • Research
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Australia: Island of Despair: Australia’s “processing” of refugees on Nauru

The current policy of the Australian Government is that no person who arrives in the country by boat seeking asylum can ever settle in Australia. Instead, anyone who arrives by boat is forcibly taken to offshore “Refugee Processing Centres”, one of which is on the remote Pacific island of Nauru. The government claims that the policy protects people who might otherwise undertake the hazardous boat crossing to Australia.

Date:
17 October 2016
Ref:
ASA 12/4934/2016
  • News
  • Australia
  • Refugees

Australia has turned Nauru into an open-air prison

The Australian government is subjecting refugees and asylum seekers to an elaborate and cruel system of abuse – brazenly flouting international law – just to keep them away from its shores, a new Amnesty International report says today. Based on months of research, including interviews with more than 100 people in Nauru and Australia, Amnesty International’s report Island of Despair: Australia's 'processing of refugees' exposes the government of Australia’s policy of “processing” refugees and asylum-seekers on Nauru for what it is: a deliberate and systematic regime of neglect and cruelty.

Date:
17 October 2016
  • News
  • Australia

Australia: Reforms to justice system essential to protect the rights of Indigenous youth

Major reforms must be undertaken by the authorities in the Australian state of Queensland to protect the rights of Indigenous children from a youth justice system that criminalizes them out of all proportion to the general population, a new Amnesty International report says today. The report Heads Held High: Keeping Queensland kids out of detention, strong in culture and community will be launched at Parliament House, Brisbane today.

Date:
31 August 2016
  • Research
  • Australia
  • Indigenous People

Australia: Submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Amnesty International submits this document to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in advance of the adoption of the List of Issues for Australia’s fifth periodic report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in October 2016. This submission contains up-to-date information, current at August 2016, and focuses on the economic, social and cultural rights in Australian law, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and the rights of asylum seekers.

Date:
26 August 2016
Ref:
ASA 12/4717/2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Nauru: Australia’s shame and a warning for Europe

“I have lumps in my breasts, in my throat, and in my uterus…” – Halimeh spoke softly, but as she quickly uttered these words, I noticed an immense sadness in her dark brown eyes. We were sitting on the rocks near the ocean, wary of wild dogs barking nearby, and melting in the scorching heat of this remote Pacific island. I could feel her fear, so common for any woman in her 30s who checks her breasts in the morning and knows something isn’t right.

Date:
24 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Australia: Official documents reveal serious incidents of abuse in Queensland juvenile detention centres

Australia must establish independent bodies to investigate child abuse in its detention facilities across the country, Amnesty International said today after it obtained more than 1,000 pages of government documents revealing abuses in two more centres. The documents -- obtained by Amnesty International through a Freedom of Information request – showed a number of serious incidents, including where staff at the centres in the state of Queensland put child detainees in solitary confinement, deployed a security dog where a child was threatening suicide, caused bone fractures as a result of restraint and control techniques, and conducted partial strip searches using humiliating methods.

Date:
18 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Australia/PNG: Closure of Manus Island detention only first step to ending offshore nightmare for refugees

Responding to today’s reports that the Australian Government-run refugee detention centre on Manus Island will close Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, said: “While welcoming the news that the centre will close Amnesty International urges the Australian Government to bring those currently held there to Australia. We must not forget that the Government set up a system of deliberate abuse of and cruelty towards almost two thousand people in two detention centres who are simply looking for a safe place to rebuild their lives.

Date:
17 August 2016
  • News
  • Australia
  • Refugees

Australia: Don't smear Nauru refugees

Responding to the Nauru Government and Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s claim that the refugees on Nauru had “fabricated” their claims, Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, said: “Instead of smearing vulnerable refugees, the Nauru and Australian governments should be investigating human rights violations and putting an end to them. The leaked reports conclusively show who was fabricating their claims - and it wasn’t the refugees.

Date:
16 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Australia: Reaction to The Guardian's damning 'Nauru files' on refugee abuse

Responding to The Guardian's "Nauru files" leak today, Amnesty International's Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat said: "This leak has laid bare a system of 'routine dysfunction and cruelty' that is at once dizzying in its scale and utterly damning for the Australian authorities who tried so hard to maintain a veil of secrecy. "When Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch went to Nauru against the odds and saw with our own eyes the appalling and systemic abuses taking place, the Australian government tried to roundly deny our findings.

Date:
9 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Detention

‘It’s better to die from one bullet than being slowly killed every day’ – refugees forsaken on Nauru

Landing on Nauru I felt like the plane was about to hit the ocean – the tiny island is smaller than most of the airports I travel through. The scenery is unwelcoming, with most of the inland areas devastated by decades of phosphate mining. Heat, dust and wild dogs follow you everywhere. Having worked in most of the world’s conflict zones over the last 15 years, I thought I had learned enough about suffering, injustice and despair.

Date:
4 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru

NOTE: Journalists and editors seeking broadcast-quality B-roll and images from the investigation on Nauru, please CLICK HERE. Around 1,200 men, women, and children who sought refuge in Australia and were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Australian government’s failure to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate policy to deter further asylum seekers from arriving in the country by boat.

Date:
2 August 2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Detention

Australia: Guantanamo-style abuse of child prisoners shows current detention system has failed

Chilling footage showing detained Indigenous children being tear gassed and a child being hooded and strapped to a restraint chair in Australia’s Northern Territory must serve as a wakeup call for the government on the need to urgently change its policies on juvenile detention, Amnesty International said today. The organization is calling on Australia’s authorities to immediately ratify the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) as a way of ensuring that detention facilities are thoroughly and independently monitored.

Date:
28 July 2016
  • News
  • Australia
  • Refugees

Australia: Refugee death highlights fatal flaws in offshore processing

The death of another refugee in an Australian-run detention centre on Nauru demonstrates the fatal flaws of a system that must be brought to an end, Amnesty International said today. “The desperate actions of this refugee underscore the perilous circumstances found in offshore processing centres run by the Australian government. As Amnesty International has been stressing for several years now, the current system is cruel, inhuman and needs to end,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Date:
29 April 2016