Author Archives: Elaine Pearson

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About Elaine Pearson

Elaine Pearson is the Australia Director at Human Rights Watch. Based in Sydney, she works to influence Australian foreign and domestic policies in order to give them a human rights dimension.

ELAINE PEARSON. What Next for Australian ISIS Suspects? Government Should Pursue Full Investigations, Fair Trials (Human Rights Watch)

The Australian government is taking an important step by helping eight Australian children of suspects of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) return home from northeast Syria. The children were held for months without charge under horrific conditions in … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australian Children are Trapped in Syria and the Government Must Bring Them Home (Human Rights Watch)

An ABC Four Corners investigation has exposed the callous indifference of Australian officials over the return of Australian children held without charge in foreign camps for families of Islamic State members.

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. China’s Efforts to Curb Australia’s Academic Freedom: What Universities Can Do.

There’s been a vigorous debate of late in Australia about the extent of Chinese government interference in domestic politics. Less has been said about what occurs on our university campuses. Pressure from the Chinese government comes in numerous ways, including … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ELAINE PEARSON. Open letter to Marise Payne: Will Australia let James Ricketson unjustly spend 6 years in Cambodian prison?

Dear Foreign Minister, Human Rights Watch writes to urge you to press the Cambodian Government to quash the conviction and immediately release imprisoned Australian journalist and filmmaker James Ricketson.

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Cambodia’s ‘dirty dozen’ have no place in Australia.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s crackdown on dissent is in full swing ahead of national elections later this month. But who are the generals around Hun Sen who act like a praetorian guard protecting him and the ruling party, helping … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s Government must guard against foreign interference, but not by curbing our rights.

Authoritarian governments around the world use broadly drafted national security laws to silence human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, and critics of the government. Australia should not join them by passing a revised espionage and foreign interference law that excludes safeguards … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s lame response to Anwar Ibrahim’s detention was a mistake

The region looks to Australia as a functioning democracy. We shouldn’t sideline human rights issues for trade and security ties.

Posted in Human Rights, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Human Rights Should Be a Focus of ASEAN-Australia Summit.

On March 17-18, 2018, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will host government leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. The summit will be preceded by a business summit and a counterterrorism … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON and JOHN BLAXLAND. Myanmar Rohingya crisis: Australia needs to stand up and help as the situation worsens

The world seems to be sitting on its hands as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar descends into what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

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JOHN BLAXLAND AND ELAINE PEARSON. Myanmar Rohingya crisis: Australia needs to stand up and help as the situation worsens.

The world seems to be sitting on its hands as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar descends into what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Posted in Refugees, Immigration, World Affairs | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Australia Should Suspend Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

The Australian government should immediately halt military sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia should also release details about military weapons and material it has sold to other … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 4 Comments

ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s harsh refugee policy is no global model.

This week in New York, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “Our policy on border protection is the best in the world,” and he’ll be touting the Australian model of offshore refugee detention and resettlement at two refugee summits this week. … Continue reading

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Elaine Pearson. Time for an Asia-Pacific Anti-Death Penalty campaign.

Many Australians are sickened that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australians sentenced to death by Indonesia’s courts for drug smuggling, have been transferred to an Indonesian island in preparation for their imminent execution. They are slated to be executed … Continue reading

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Elaine Pearson. Australia should reconsider refugee transfers to Cambodia

The Australian government should press Cambodian authorities to implement key reforms to improve treatment of refugees in Cambodia before transferring any refugees from Nauru.  In new Human Rights Watch interviews, asylum seekers and refugees living in Cambodia described hardships as … Continue reading

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Elaine Pearson. The civil war may have ended, but not the persecution.

What’s happening to boatloads of Tamil asylum seekers on the Indian Ocean? Allegations that Australian authorities have intercepted at least two Tamil boats and handed them over to the Sri Lankan navy after only brief telephone interviews are extremely troubling. Until now, the Australian … Continue reading

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Elaine Pearson. Cambodia: A poor choice for Australia’s refugee resettlement

“It’s not about whether they are poor, it’s about whether they can be safe,” Australia’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said in defence of Australia’s plan to resettle refugees currently housed on Nauru to Cambodia. It appears Cambodia and Australia are in … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration, World Affairs | 1 Comment