Category Archives: Human Rights

Aleppo and Fallujah. (Repost from 30 December 2016)

In light of the civilian disaster unfolding presently in Aleppo, it is timely to revisit the uncontradicted claims unwarranted action against civilians in Fallujah supervised by Australian military commander, Jim Molan. This piece was first published in 2008. If correct, … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Beware, armed response.

If Turnbull’s plan becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping anything to do with ‘fighting terrorism’ are remote – we can expect a terrorist attack to trigger an emergency response from the Special Operations Command, whose officers … Continue reading

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GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality … Continue reading

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ROBYN SAMPSON. Ending child immigration detention is just a matter of time.

Momentum is growing around the world to end child immigration detention. All major human rights experts now agree that immigration detention is a child rights violation. Meanwhile, more and more countries are passing laws that prohibit child immigration detention.

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BRIAN TOOHEY. Prevention better than cure when it comes to terror

We shouldn’t  trash our own values to  support harsh anti-terrorism policies that don’t guarantee more security. There is a wealth of evidence about what does and what does not help to protect us from terrorism, and we’re doing too much … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Black Hearts Behind Australia’s Offshore Detention Policy

So, the Australian Government has settled a class action brought by asylum seekers detained on Manus Island for $70,000,000. Apparently, the settlement was reached because the Government was fearful of the evidence and stories of official abuse that would have … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees and asylum seekers | 4 Comments

MICK PALMER. Australia’s Illicit Drugs Policy – There Really is a better Way

For over half a century Australian Governments have relied heavily on law enforcement to curb the drug trade, but, despite increasingly sophisticated and efficient policing strategies and operations Australia’s illicit drugs problems have continued getting bigger and the marketplace ever … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We need to better understand terrorism – how we got here and how best to respond.

The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have received a deluge of media coverage. However, terrorism is much worse in the Middle East and other countries. Terrorism is a vivid political act, but deaths from gun violence, car accidents drugs, … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. Monotheism, Terrorism and Injustice

I want to reflect on the unspeakably appalling terror events that have occurred recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Manchester, London, Melbourne and Tehran in the light of monotheistic religion and the ethical requirements that flow from it.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Will the forgotten people be heard at last?

The crusaders of the far right have already delivered their sentence: the Uluru statement is to be dead, buried and cremated before it can infect the fairness and decency of the ignorant masses.  

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JOHN DWYER. Punishing and jailing the mentally ill.

A 37-year-old Sudanese woman has been sentenced to 26 years in jail for murdering three of her children by deliberately driving her car into a lake. The story is a tragic one and has nothing to do with criminal behaviour. … Continue reading

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EMILY FISCHER et al. Playing God: The Immigration Minister’s Unrestrained Power .

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection holds numerous discretionary powers that allow him or her to make substantial and lifelong decisions about the lives of vulnerable people. These powers lack transparency, accountability and are not amenable to review by … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. What values are we talking about?

How much longer must we endure the so-called culture wars? How much longer do we have to put up with vacuous phrases like “Australian values” in our politics? Now, it seems, the Prime Minister has taken to using this disagreeable … Continue reading

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And Jesus said unto Paul of Ryan …

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times on March 16, 2017, writes about a ‘discussion’ between Jesus and Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Ryan claims that Catholicism has shaped his political views. Is Nicholas … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Let’s amend 18C to say what it means

The debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (18C) has gone on for far too long. I welcome the Turnbull government’s attempt to amend the provision, while being disappointed yet again at the petty politics played on both … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. India’s democracy is strained by illiberalism

India continues to be robustly, even chaotically, democratic. But its freedom is under growing threat. 

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PHIL ROBERTSON. A new wave of atrocities is being committed against Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state

The burned-out mosques in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine state in western Burma, loom as silent reminders of an atrocity, hiding behind overgrown bushes and cement walls amid the daily port city bustle.  

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees and asylum seekers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

GEORGE BROWNING. Benjamin Netanyahu – Hero or Villain?

Benjamin Netanyahu is about to make an historic visit to Australia.   Should he come and how should he be received? Having just guided legislation through the Knesset ‘legalising’ the illegal: settler outposts on private Palestinian land; he has seemingly set … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission

Last Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commenced its three-week examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. The statistics were … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE and JOHN MENADUE. We can stop the boats and also act decently, fairly and transparently

The only way forward in dealing with Manus Island and Nauru is for bipartisan commitment to keep the boats stopped while settling refugees in Australia.

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Catholic Church and the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“It would be easy to write the problems off as a few ‘bad apples’;  however, the problems that have brought the [Catholic] Church to the very edge of disaster and beyond, trashing its reputation as a moral leader, were never … Continue reading

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Welcoming the Stranger

In solidarity with refugees, young Catholics joined in a Mass in Lafayette Square outside the White House. See link below to article in ‘America, The Jesuit Review’.  

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ALEX WODAK. Do large seizures of illicit drugs really make a difference?

Large seizures of illicit drugs always attract considerable publicity, and are no doubt very positive for the law enforcement agencies and politicians involved. But do they benefit the community?  

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John Menadue. What does it mean to be an Australian? Are we still the land of the second chance?

The Macquarie legacy is still with us. It underpins our best instincts to give all residents in this country, whether Australian born, migrants or refugees an equal opportunity in life, a second chance. That ethos of redemption is a core part … Continue reading

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AHMAD RIZKY M. UMAR. ASEAN countries should find a solution to end the persecution of Rohingya.

ASEAN’s non-intervention is aggravating the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims suffering widespread abuse by the Burmese military in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities.  

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IAN WEBSTER. A tribute to Anne Deveson – understanding the homeless mentally ill

Anne Deveson’ s media presence spearheaded the media’s involvement in public health and mental health. She contributed at so many levels – social commentaries and documentaries -which challenged our sensibilities.

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ERIN GILLEN. Women’s March on Washington (and Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra)

On Saturday 21st January, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on Washington DC to march to highlight the simple message that women’s rights are human rights. The march is expected to … Continue reading

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BRUCE ARNOLD. The Hanson Card is unworkable rather than just very nasty

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has reportedly proposed that every Australian be required to carry a national identity card. The rationale? The card will supposedly significantly reduce fraud by non-citizens who are resident in Australia.  The proposal may be good … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Obama’s years of promise and frustration.

For eight years I have delighted in Barack Obama’s words – even richer and more inspiring to see and hear in his ringing tones , than to read in cold print. . Those days are, sadly, about to depart. The … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. Robert Manne v Ramesh Thakur v Gillian Triggs: What on Earth is Going On?

If one were ever in this situation, who would one wish to speak for them: George Brandis or Gillian Triggs? That’s the choice.  

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