human rights news & views

Australian pacifists suffer ‘miscarriage of justice’

Australia has had a change of government since Donna Mulhearn (39), Jim Dowling (52), Bryan Law (52) and Adele Goldie (31) were convicted under the never-before used 1952 Defence (Special Undertaking) Act for breaking into the US military facility on Australian soil called Pine Gap in December 2005.  And it would appear the courts have […]

In awe of Haw

Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things to oppose the war in Iraq; courageous, costly things. And more than just expressing opposition, some are acting to prevent war crimes being committed. This month, four ‘Christians Against All Terrorism’ were pursued through the courts by the Australian Government for breaking into the secret US military facility Pine […]

Maternal deaths catastrophic & avoidable: UN

"The scale of maternal mortality is catastrophic. Every minute a woman dies in childbirth or from complications of pregnancy. . . well over 500,000 women a year. 95% are in Africa and Asia. . . This is global health inequality on a shocking scale. For every woman who dies, as many as 30 others suffer […]

Investment in cluster bombs outlawed in Belgium

Advancing the global campaign against explosive remnants of war, Belgium has taken the unprecedented step of banning investment in companies that manufacture cluster bombs. Belgium banned the weapon itself a year ago. Cluster munitions spread ‘bomblets’ — hundreds or thousands at a time — over wide areas from 1 to 20 square kilometres. Unlike landmines, […]

Trust us, we’re the Government

Australians are asked to trust their government. Despite evidence of government lies — in matters as grave as whether to wage war — Australians are expected to trust that the government knows what’s best for them and will act in their interests, all the while violating rights and withholding evidence. Three recent stories illustrate the […]

Honour Bound to defend freedom

Inspired by the extraordinary physical-theatre production called Honour Bound playing at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne until 1 October 2006, I here reproduce Guantánamo Bay detainee David Hicks’ affidavit describing his treatment while in US detention: DAVID M. HICKS, being duly sworn, deposes and says: 1. I am David M. Hicks, a Petitioner in the […]

Vanstone dodges the question: What happened to Nazaree and Baklri?

Have you received a reply from Australian Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone? I wrote to the Minister regarding the fate of Mohammed Moussa Nazaree and Yacoub Baklri, among others, and have received a reply from her Assistance Secretary (sic.), John Okely. His letter of 5 September makes no mention of Nazaree and Baklri, Afghan asylum seekers […]

Afghan girls kick goals while Australia fouls refugees

A friend of mine has sent me some good news about girls in Afghanistan: they are for the first time playing competitive football in Kabul, at the Ministry of Defence sports field, no less. Presenting a trophy to the Maiwand team, the UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ameerah Haq, noted that five years ago, […]

US allies fail David Hicks

Even Afghanistan insisted its citizens be released from Guantánamo.  Why is David Hicks, with dual British and Australian citizenship, still there after nearly five years?  Why is anyone still there after the decision of the US Supreme Court that the proposed military tribunals are unlawful?  Why is Australia still supporting the continued detention and attempts […]