Human Rights

PNG PM disbands anti-corruption body

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has disbanded the country’s main anti-corruption body after an arrest warrant was served on him earlier this week over corruption allegations.

Mr O’Neill says Taskforce Sweep has been politically compromised and its integrity has been politically influenced.

The chairman of the taskforce, Sam Koim, issued a statement ahead of the break up calling it the gravest mistake a responsible government could make.

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Bendigo approves Mosque

The Bendigo Council has approved plans for the city’s first Mosque, despite fierce opposition from some locals who claim the council has failed to protect them from terrorists.

More than 200 people packed into the public gallery at the central Victorian city’s council meeting on Tuesday night.

Opponents to the mosque said that it would bring violence to Bendigo and that the streets would be overtaken by Sharia law.

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UK ok to snoop on social media users

The UK government has revealed that intelligence service GCHQ can snoop on British citizens' use of Facebook and Google without an individual warrant because the firms are based overseas.

UK spy boss Charles Farr said that the services are classified as external communications.

The policy was revealed as part of a continuing legal battle with campaign group Privacy International.

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PNG refugee centre is constitutional

The High Court has today found Australia's declaration of Papua New Guinea as a regional processing country to be constitutional.

Lawyers for an Iranian man transfered to Manus Island asked the court to consider whether the law declaring Papua New Guinea as a "regional processing country" was valid under the constitution.

The Manus Island centre has been in the spotlight after deadly rioting in February left Iranian Reza Barati dead and more than 60 other asylum seekers injured.

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Kenyan President accuses Opposition of massacres

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has accused opposition politicians of orchestrating two massacres that claimed the lives of more than 65 people, despite Somali terrorist organisation, Al Shabaab, already claiming responsibility for both the attacks, saying they are revenge for Kenya's treatment of Muslims.

But Mr Kenyatta has dismissed that claim and pointed the finger at local political rivals he describes as "hate mongers", reasoning "The attack… was well planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against the Kenyan community. This, therefore, was not an Al Shabaab terrorist attack.”

Many people believe the comments were directed at Raila Odinga, Kenyatta's main political opponent, who has condemned the latest assaults.

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The Act for Peace Ration Challenge: eating refugee rations to raise money for refugee food supplies

The first ever Act for Peace Ration challenge is taking place this week.

A hundred people in Australia are currently taking the challenge of eating the exact rations of a Burmese refugee to raise money for Act for Peace, a charity which provides support for refugees on the Thai-Burmese border.

A refugee from Burma is amongst hundreds of thousands who have fled their homes from one of the world’s longest running civil wars and now merely survive in refugee camps on the border of neighbouring Thailand.

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Families of Christmas Island Ayslum Seekers begin legal action

Families of asylum seekers who were killed and injured when their boat sank of Christmas Island in 2010 are undertaking legal action against the Australian Government.

The boat known as SIEV 221 was driven into the Christmas Island Cliffs after high seas made it impossible for the drivers to control the boat, the accident killed 50 Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers.

Lawyer George Newhouse is today launching legal action on behalf of the eight families in the New South Wales Supreme Court, Newhouse will argue that the Commonwealth breached its duty of care and that Australia is responsible for the deaths and injuries that occurred.

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London summit addresses impact of rape as a war method

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict held in London has highlighted the impact of rape as a war method against men, women, youth and children.

The United Nations Guidelines entitled “Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” was released at the Summit and presented by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The document addresses the urgency on reparations for conflict-related sexual violence, which include compensation, rehabilitation, restitution, and guarantees of non-repetition.

70 per cent of the reported cases by sexual violence victims in conflicts affect women and youth, while the document also clarifies the obstacles that women face when trying to access compensation.

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Further crimes against women in India cause outrage

(Trigger warning: sexual assault) Opposition parties and government workers in Uttar Pradesh are calling for the government to step down as crimes against women continue to plague India’s largest state.

The pressure comes in the wake of a young woman found dead after being raped, with a sub-inspector arrested for the rape as well as several police constables accused of being party to the crime.

Being the fifth crime against women in the region in recent weeks, workers from the party of Prime Minister Naresh Modi clashed with police when they tried to march on the office of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in a protest against the violence, with opposition parties demanding Mr Yadav’s dismissal.

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Tienanmen Square commemorated

A candlelit vigil involving tens of thousands in Hong Kong has commemorated the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Tienanmen Square in 1989.

The event saw 180 thousand people gather at the square. Holding candles and dressed in black, the crowd called on Beijing to atone for the killings.

But with every attempt to censor the event in mainland China, the island of Hong Kong was left to mark the date themselves.

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