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Last Updated: Friday 30 November 2019
Not a 'Headline' as such, but a good article.
30 November 2019
It’s hard to believe, but here we are again. The dying days of parliament for 2019 and we’re back in Canberra fighting for medical care for refugees
This time last year we were here too, lobbying to get the last remaining kids off Nauru, for the medevac laws to be passed.
Then we found ourselves needing to constantly remind politicians that, with each political decision, lives are in the balance. That political negotiation bears a terrible human cost.
Now the task is arguing that the laws must be saved.
Every time we arrive in Canberra – backed up by polling, evidence, experts, human stories and experience from the coalface – we ask ourselves, how is it possible that, yet again, we are arguing for people to do the right thing? For people seeking asylum to be treated fairly and with dignity.
Dozens of refugee medical transfers held up by Nauru's controversial approval system
25 November 2019
Doctors mystified that Australia gives Nauru the final say in the care of critically ill individuals
Dozens of medical transfers of refugees and asylum seekers continue to be held up by the Nauruan government’s laborious and controversial domestic approval system as the Australian government schedules a vote to repeal the medevac laws.
Doctors are trying to process as many critical cases as possible while the medevac system remains in place amid widespread concerns that there are delays in the delivery of approval requests to the minister, but Guardian Australia is also aware of extensive holdups by Nauru.
Guardian Australia understands at least 20 medevac cases have not been given “uplift” approval by the Nauru government, which has a documented history of resisting attempts by Australia to take sick people off the island for treatment.
Most Australians back medevac as is or want it to be more humane – Essential poll
25 November 2019
Despite government arguing regime creates security risks, a quarter of sample says it’s not compassionate enough
A majority of Australian voters back the medevac regime in its current state or believe it should be more compassionate, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.
The new snapshot of positive voter sentiment, which lands as the critical medevac repeal vote looms in the Senate, has a quarter of the sample saying the medevac procedures do not go far enough in providing humane treatment for people in offshore detention.
Despite the Morrison government arguing for months that medevac creates national security risks, it appears a number of voters aren’t listening to the rhetoric. In February, only 16% of the sample were of the view the medevac system wasn’t compassionate enough, and that’s now up to 25%.
Craig Foster pleads for medevac to be preserved
19 November 2019
Former Socceroos captain’s appeal comes as new poll suggests majority of voters in Tasmania oppose Morrison government’s plans to scrap medevac
Former Socceroos captain and sports broadcaster Craig Foster has launched an impassioned plea to preserve the medevac regime, declaring people in Nauru and Manus Island are now “long past any threshold of torment a human should suffer”.
Foster’s strongly worded intervention comes as a new poll suggests a majority of voters in Tasmania are opposed to the Morrison government’s plan to scrap the medevac procedures.
Peter Dutton wants to repeal the medical transfer procedures for unwell asylum seekers passed by the parliament while the Coalition governed in minority in 2018. But the government will not be able to proceed with that plan unless the Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie agrees, and votes to scrap the regime.
18 November 2019
'People will die' - Boochani sounds grim Bomana warning
Former Manus Island refugee Behrouz Boochani has sounded a grim warning about the fate of asylum seekers still detained in Papua New Guinea.
About 50 men have been locked up in the Bomana Immigration Centre for three months, an Australian built $US15 million annex to the most notorious prison in Port Moresby.
While reflecting on his newfound freedom in New Zealand last week, Mr Boochani drew attention to their plight.
A long flight to freedom: how refugee Behrouz Boochani finally left his island jail behind
14 November 2019
The Kurdish Iranian refugee, kept in a limbo on Manus Island by Australia’s hardline immigration regime, made a final 34-hour journey to liberty
The flight to freedom is long.
Behrouz Boochani’s journey for a new homeland began in 2013 with a harried departure from Iran and a harrowing voyage on a leaky boat to Christmas Island. It stalled for six long years in Australia’s byzantine and capricious offshore detention system'.
Now, it has taken a monumental leap with his arrival in New Zealand.
But even the final voyage was labyrinthine. The final secretive mission to liberate Behrouz Boochani was an arcane 34-hour journey across three countries and six timezones in the Asia Pacific.
Medevac laws: doctors complain advice is not being given to Peter Dutton quickly enough
13 November 2019
Independent Health Advice Panel says there is a ‘lack of movement’ from Nauru when transfer to Australia recommended
Doctors overseeing the transfer of asylum seekers to Australia for medical treatment have raised concerns about delays in their advice being presented to Peter Dutton in the latest official snapshot of activity under the medevac regime.
That reference in the report, tabled in the Senate late on Wednesday, will reinforce concerns among refugee advocates that the medical transfer process has been slowed as the Morrison government has counted down the weeks until it can attempt to repeal the medevac regime, which was passed during the last parliament when the Coalition governed in minority.
As well as the complaint that advice isn’t getting to Dutton quickly enough, the Independent Health Advice Panel (IHAP) has also flagged concerns about the lack of in-person interpreters available for transferees – “especially those with mental health issues” – and about “lack of movement from Nauru when the panel has recommended transfer to Australia”.
'Designed to torture': asylum seeker chooses Iranian prison over PNG detention centre
11 November 2019
Man who spent nine weeks locked up inside Australian-funded centre in Port Moresby describes hunger, isolation and lack of legal suppor
Ariobarzan endured six years of detention inside and outside the barbed wire on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in the hope he would find a new life in Australia.
But after nine weeks at the Bomana immigration centre, a Canberra-funded detention centre in Port Moresby, the Iranian asylum seeker has signed up to go home.
Whatever fate awaits Ariobarzan (whom the Guardian has agreed to name using a pseudonym) in Iran, and it almost certainly means years in prison, he figures it can’t be worse than life inside Bomana.
'I can't believe I'm free': the Canadian citizens ending the torment for Australia’s offshore refugees
4 November 2019
A unique private sponsorship program has relocated dozens of people from Papua New Guinea to Canada, giving them a chance ‘to be human again’
“I can’t believe I am free, I can walk around and do whatever I want.”.
Amirhossein Sahragard hasn’t yet left the Toronto airport arrivals lounge when Guardian Australia speaks to him for the first time. He has found a Starbucks coffee and a phone plan, but is yet to see the outside of his new home country.
He is excited, exhausted and (repeatedly) expressing his disbelief at being there and not in Papua New Guinea, in detention, sick and distressed, punished for seeking asylum.
Five-year-old boy facing deportation from Australia because of mild disability
3 November 2019
Family appeals to immigration minister David Coleman to stop their deportation to Bangladesh
A five-year-old boy born in Australia is facing deportation to Bangladesh with his family after their visa applications were refused because his “mild disability” would be a burden on the medical system..
Dr Mahedi Hasan Bhuiyan arrived in Australia on a student visa in 2011. He and Rebaka Sultana married the next year in Bangladesh and she joined him in Australia in 2013. Later that year their son, Adyan, was born at a Geelong hospital.
A few months after his birth, Bhuiyan and Sultana noticed Adyan was struggling to lift up his head. Tests revealed he had a mild cerebral palsy, likely caused by a stroke shortly before or after his birth.