World News

Iraqi villagers banished over government minister’s ISIS-linked family feud

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NINETY-ONE Iraqi families have been illegally expelled from al-Aetha village north of Baghdad over an alleged ‘familial feud’ involving Defence Minister Juma Inad. Minister Inad has reportedly punished his brother, Abdulrazaq Inad, for marrying the widow of a member allegedly linked to the Islamic State, by confiscating government issued vehicles and forcibly removing families from al-Aetha. Iraqi armed forces transported villagers to one of the camps assembled to house internally displaced persons (IDP) in Nineveh Governate, close to the final battleground of ISIS’s failed push to form a regional caliphate. Human rights groups criticised the Kadhimi administration’s closure of IDP…

Adelaide stands shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan

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HUNDREDS of Adelaideans have demanded the federal government show compassion for Afghanistan. Members of Adelaide’s sizeable Afghan community – who fear for their families and country in the wake of the Taliban takeover – organised a candlelight vigil Saturday night in Victoria Square. Among the attendees were Premier Steven Marshall and Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas, who heard speakers urge the commonwealth to evacuate more people from fallen Kabul and to resettle more refugees in Australia. SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission member Hussain Razaiat warned the federal government not to disappoint Afghans and the Australians who stand with them. “As proud…

Australia’s Afghan community fear for women and Hazara’s now under Taliban control

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THE US-led war in Afghanistan came to a swift close this week as Taliban fighters seized power in Kabul. Following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan after twenty years of occupation, cities fell to the Taliban in rapid succession and the country was plunged into turmoil. The western occupation of Afghanistan cost over one trillion US dollars since 2002 and is America’s longest war. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Australia’s participation in the war in Afghanistan. “It’s always Australia’s cause to fight for freedom, and whatever the result, whatever the outcomes of that, Australians have always stood up for that,”…

Australia has a responsibility to Afghan refugees

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THE Australian government’s response to the escalating refugee crisis in Afghanistan has been grossly inadequate, argues the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Thousands of Afghans are currently at risk following the Taliban’s takeover of the capital and last remaining stronghold, Kabul. Women, journalists, human rights activists, and ethnic and religious minorities are among those fearing for their lives as the Taliban take control of the country. In a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded that the Australian government would not be able to help all those who had assisted Australian troops. “I know that support won’t reach all…

Ethiopian children will starve and die as violent carnage continues

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MASS child starvation is expected to rise tenfold in Ethiopia’s conflict-ridden Tigray region as warfare continues to shatter emergency supply lines. In 2019, Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed claimed to distance the country from tense and longstanding ethnic nationalism by condensing regional parties into a nationally representative Prosperity Party. Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the previous ruling party of Ethiopia, refused to join the ruling Prosperity Party until violent tensions erupted in November 2019 as insurgencies to control Mekelle, the capital of Tigray region, made rape and extrajudicial killings a daily occurrence. UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado now estimates that over 100,000 children…

Australia must stand with Belarusian protesters, older people, women and children: Amnesty International

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The ongoing detention, torture, and ill treatment of peaceful protestors in Belarus is a gross violation of human rights that cannot stand unopposed on the global stage. In a series of reports and briefings, Amnesty International has documented gross human rights violations against Belarusian protesters, older people, women and children. Since Belarus’ controversial presidential election in August 2020, tens of thousands of peaceful protestors have been detained, tortured, and some even killed. This surge in police violence, torture and other forms of ill treatment in custody has amassed victims of regime violence on an unprecedented scale across the country. The…

MSF International President appeals to the Australian government

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Australia must stop blocking landmark proposal that would improve access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is urging the Australian government to support a proposal which would waive certain intellectual property on COVID-19 medical tools and technologies until global herd immunity is reached. The proposal made to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by India and South Africa, is being supported by more than 100 countries. However, Australia remains one of ten countries in opposition. “Even after one year of this pandemic, and 2.5 million deaths, we still see certain governments denying that removing monopolies on COVID-19 medical…

1 in 6 children living in conflict zones at risk of sexual violence by armed groups

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A staggering 72 million children—17% of the 426 million children living in conflict areas, globally, or 1 in 6—are living near armed groups that perpetrate sexual violence against them, a new report from Save the Children reveals. Weapon of War: Sexual violence against children in conflict—which includes the very first analysis of the risk of sexual violence against children living in conflicts between 1990-2019—shows that nearly ten times more children are at risk now than three decades ago (8.5 million in 1990). The countries where children face the greatest risk of sexual violence in conflict are Colombia, Iraq, Somalia, South…

Myanmar: Police deployed machine guns against peaceful protesters, despite denials

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A young woman was shot in the head by Myanmar’s security forces during protests, Amnesty International has confirmed after investigating footage showing the attack. This evidence also contradicts Myanmar military claims that security forces were not carrying lethal weapons. A video shared on social media of the shooting, which happened in the capital of Nay Pyi Taw on 9 February, was verified by Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence experts. According to media reports, the woman has lost significant brain function and has only a slim chance of survival. The Myanmar military’s ‘True News Information Unit’ said in a statement that security forces only…

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