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    August 08, 2019

    Amnesty International is proudly supporting a new project, Operation #NotForgotten, which will sponsor up to 200 refugees living on the isolated Nauru and Manus Islands. 

    The campaign is an initiative of Canada Caring Society and MOSAIC, which are working with partners in Australia to raise $3.3 million to bring 200 refugees to Canada. Hassan Al Kontar, an advocate and Syrian refugee who lived in the Kuala Lumpur airport for seven months and was detained in a Malaysian detention centre for two months, is also leading this project. Since moving to Vancouver, BC last year, Al Kontar has wished to help other refugees resettle in Canada.

    “For years, refugees and asylum seekers have been detained in desperate and inhumane conditions in Australia’s cruel offshore detention policy,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty International Canada. “This resettlement project will finally offer hope to those who have essentially been living in open air prisons, with little freedom to move and a lack of appropriate healthcare.”

    February 13, 2019

    In response to the Medivac Bill passing the senate and the Prime Minister’s announcement that Christmas Island will be reopening Amnesty International Australia Refugee Coordinator Graham Thom said:

    “The passing of the Medivac Bill is a welcome step towards humanity for the refugees on Manus and Nauru. It is reassuring that public opinion is finally being reflected in parliament through the many people that fought so hard to get the bill through.

    “In Hakeem’s case the Australian government recognised this and worked hard to ensure he was returned to Australia. But many other people with the same recognised refugee status as Hakeem remain detained in terrible conditions on Manus and Nauru.

    “Most of the people on Manus Island and Nauru are recognised refugees who have proven their lives would be in danger if they were returned to their countries of origin. You can’t demonise the refugees on Manus and Nauru on one hand while welcoming others and praising their contribution to Australia.

    November 01, 2018

    Responding to the Australian government’s announcement that it will remove all children from its offshore detention centre on Nauru within two months, Charmain Mohammed, Head of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International, said:

    “This announcement represents a long overdue acknowledgment by the Australian government that its brutal offshore detention policy has failed. It will take a long time to repair the damage that has been done to these children, some of whom were born in detention and have spent their formative years surrounded by guards, steel fences and catastrophic suffering.

    “We are encouraged that politicians are finally starting to listen to the Australian people, many of whom have expressed disgust at the situation on Nauru. However, many questions remain about the future of these children and their families. It is imperative that moving them off Nauru does not lead to further detention in Australia, and we are calling on the Australian government to commit to their full integration into society, including by providing the mental health care they so desperately need. 

    October 18, 2018

    With the critical situation on Nauru deteriorating even further, Amnesty International is calling on the Australian government to show leadership, and urgently bring all refugees and asylum-seekers to Australia.

    Dr Graham Thom, Amnesty International Australia’s Refugee Coordinator, said:

    “The Australian chief medical officer has reportedly been deported, which will only compound the dire health situation for people on Nauru, including the more than 80 children who have suffered for over five years.

    "Continuity of care is crucial for such a large number of refugees, including children with such complex health needs, but that’s clearly impossible in such a volatile situation.

    “These children desperately need our help. Prime Minister Scott Morrison cannot stall any longer with his calls for so-called ‘back-door’ legislation, especially as the New Zealand government reiterated its concern only yesterday that such legislation would create ‘second-class citizens’.

    October 11, 2018

    In response to the urgent call made by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today for all refugees and asylum seekers to be immediately evacuated from Nauru, Roshika Deo, Pacific Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “Today the world learned first-hand, from medical experts, exactly how wretched the situation is for Nauru’s refugees and vulnerable people. Australian and Nauruan governments were repeatedly warned of the escalating health crisis resulting from a cruel and broken offshore detention system – they can no longer pretend otherwise.

    “The Nauru government’s decision to end MSF’s health programme with only 24 hours’ notice was callous and disgraceful. As MSF doctors say, it is medically irresponsible. The Australian government must act now before more lives are lost due to these cruel policies. It is all the more urgent now that these populations have been robbed of a lifeline.”

    Background

    August 30, 2018

    AI UK Press release

    In response to the news that the Australian government is considering denying American activist Chelsea Manning a visa to enter the country for a series of public talks, Claire Mallinson, National Director of Amnesty International Australia said:

    “Amnesty International is very concerned that the Australian government is seeking to silence American activist Chelsea Manning by intending to deny her a visa into Australia.

    “By refusing her entry, the Australian government would send a chilling message that freedom of speech is not valued by our government. It is not too late for the Government to change their mind.

    "Chelsea Manning is travelling to Australia for a series of talks which will include discussion of the potential human rights violations she exposed as a whistle-blower and her human rights activism since she got out of prison, including as an outspoken LGBTQI rights advocate.

    July 30, 2018

    In response to today’s damning coronial inquest findings into the tragic death of Hamid Khazaei, an Iranian man who died in Australia in 2014 from an infection acquired in the Manus Island detention centre, Amnesty International’s Refugee Researcher Kate Schuetze, who was present at the Brisbane court today, said:

    “The Coroner today outlined a litany of errors that lead to Hamid Khazaei’s death in 2014 following his detention in an Australian-run detention centre in Papua New Guinea. The inquest’s finding that Hamid’s death was completely preventable cannot be ignored by the Australian government.”

    “The Australian government has failed to provide adequate health care and facilitate medical transfers for refugees and people seeking asylum in its care as needed.

    “The Coroner recommends that this system be substantially overhauled and that medical care must be comparable to that which is available in Australia. The Coroner also stated that medically trained professionals should make transfer decisions based on the best interests of the person in need of medical care.

    June 15, 2018

    Responding to the tragic news that a 26-year-old Iranian man reportedly died on Nauru this morning, Kate Schuetze, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This is extremely sad and heartbreaking news. Amnesty International is extending our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends.

    “This tragic death is the second death to occur in Australia’s offshore system in a matter of weeks, following the death of a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island on 22 May, and the 12th since this system was established.

    “How many more people need to die before the Government acts? Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately.

    “The fact that this man and his family have spent the last five years living in a tent in an Australian-run detention centre on Nauru is in itself disgraceful. He came to Australia seeking protection, a request that was denied, and was instead detained in appalling and inhumane conditions on the remote island.

    May 22, 2018

    Responding to the news that a Rohingya refugee has reportedly died on Manus Island, Kate Schuetze, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This is extremely sad and heartbreaking news. Amnesty International is extending our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends.”

    “This tragic and avoidable death is the seventh death of a refugee on Manus Island and the tenth in connection with offshore processing centres on both Manus and Nauru. Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately.

    “The Australian Government knowingly sends refugees and asylum seekers to places that are unsafe and unsustainable. Enough is enough, offshore processing must end now before further lives are lost.

    “There must be an independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigation into his death, and the other two untimely deaths which happened in August and October last year. The Australian government must bring all refugees and people seeking asylum to Australia immediately, or to a safe third country, and offer them the protection they need and deserve.”

    May 18, 2018

    The Australian government is attempting to walk away from the human rights crisis it has created for refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) by winding back critical healthcare services, despite the ongoing plight of the people trapped in its offshore detention centres, Amnesty International said today.

    Over the past six months the Australian government has terminated trauma and counselling services for refugees and asylum seekers in PNG, and moved refugees to new detention centres where they have reduced access to healthcare.

    “Nearly five years after Australia began implementing its harmful and illegal offshore detention policy, the situation for refugees and asylum seekers trapped in PNG is as desperate as ever. Rolling back healthcare at this time is making a grave situation even worse,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    February 01, 2018
    New facilities unsafe and do not meet refugees’ basic needs Refugees say they live with constant fear of violence Australia must policy of cruelty and neglect

    The Australian government has abandoned hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers, leaving them in a situation that more closely resembles punishment instead of protection in Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

    Punishment not protection: Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea documents how, since refugees were forcibly evicted from a transit centre on Manus Island in November 2017, they have been moved to newer but inadequate facilities where violence from the local community remains a constant threat.

    “Moving refugees and asylum seekers from one hellish situation to another is not a solution, it is just prolonging these desperate men’s suffering. The new centres on Manus Island are not just a safety risk but also leave those who live there without basic services,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

    December 07, 2017

    In reaction to the Australian Parliament passing into law the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Amnesty International Australia’s NSW LGBTQI Network Convenor Lizzi Price said:

    “Marriage Equality is a human right and human rights should never be subject to popular vote. While we celebrate this amazing moment, we will continue to stand in solidarity with LGBTQI Australians and their families who have faced such a confronting and challenging experience throughout the postal survey. The Government should commit to never using such a process again.

    "This is a historic and long-overdue moment for Australia. This outcome is due to the hard work, determination, and courage of so many people. LGBTQI Australians, community groups, activists and allies stood up, spoke out and built an unstoppable movement for equality. For that alone, there is such a lot to celebrate here."

     

    For further information, please contact  Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    November 23, 2017

    Responding to the news that the Papua New Guinea authorities have sent in immigration officials armed with sticks and knives into the Lombrum refugee detention centre at around 8.00am on Thursday 23 November on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, Amnesty International said:

    “The risks of serious injury if the authorities use force now is completely foreseeable. The government is knowingly placing the refugees at risk,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher who has just returned from Manus.

    “There is no justification for this action. International law and standards demand that refugees enjoy international protection. The country where they sought refuge – Australia - has violated their rights at every turn. PNG has aided and enabled Australia’s policy of cruelty and degradation of the refugees. Now the PNG authorities are putting their lives at risk.”

    November 07, 2017
    The current situation on Manus Island amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment Lives are at risk unless PNG authorities restore essential services As Australia continues to flout international law, all refugees and vulnerable persons should be resettled to third countries

    Critical services - including food, water and medical treatment - must be restored to the more than 600 refugees and vulnerable men inside the Lombrum detention centre on Manus Island before a major tragedy occurs, Amnesty International said today as researchers returned from Manus Island.

    Refugees and vulnerable men should not be forcibly relocated until such time as their dignity and safety can be guaranteed.

    “Today, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court rejected a last ditch attempt by refugees to have these essential services restored and their rights protected. The decision is an abhorrent attack on the right to life,” said Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher.

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