human rights
  • di_mur

Ukrainian police abuse Somalian refugee

 Below you can see 4 interview in Somalian and English language with Somalian asylum seekers, residing in Ukraine over their experience with Ukrainian police.
Interviews conducted by Vinnytsya Human Rights Group ( )
This is not the first count of police abuse and crimes towards Somalian asylum seekers in Vinnytsya.
First interview start with short (1 minute) introduction in Ukrainian language, but the rest of it  conducted in English.

Interview 1:
Interview 2:

Interview 3:

Interview 4:
Propagandhi - Potemkin City Limits

[nobordersmanchester] Our reply to the immigration minister.

Last month, 100 people demonstrated outside Pennine House, a purpose-built immigration prison at Manchester airport where migrants are locked up even though they haven’t committed a criminal offence.

In the ‘Big Issue in the North’, the immigration minister Phil Woolas has responded to the protest with a number of inaccuracies. In a new post on our blog we set the record straight:

It is “not true” that vulnerable people are detained at Pennine House. “Sometimes they are dangerous people.”

Many asylum seekers and migrants lacking the right legal documents face a constant threat of being snatched by police and immigration officials in dawn raids or in swoops on their workplaces. Many have escaped violent conflict and war in their countries of origin and lived through traumatic journeys to the UK. Despite this, many display an amazing strength of character and sense of dignity. We are yet to meet a single immigration detainee who has been as dangerous to other people as the immigration and security staff accused of beating and torturing migrants in the back of Border Agency vans and in detention centres.
Oakland cemetery face

Resources on psychosocial care in emergency situations

I went to a brilliant short course this weekend. It was organised by Oxford University's Refugees Studies Center and had the serious title of Psychosocial Responses to Conflict and Forced Migration, but was more broader than mental health in the often restricted sense, considering the issue more along the basis of 'how to help people cope with an emergency situation'. The topic of mental well-being of people working in emergencies was also touched upon.

I think this could be interesting to a few people here, both as educational tools and maybe even for your work, so I wanted to share resources.

* * IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings: here in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, as well as a poster summary of main points. For those who are using this is a work context, the guidelines also include a lot of links to further resources. [ Related to the above, I was also given two documents on “DRAFT Assessment and Action Tool on How to Develop Coordination of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings” and “IASC Guidelines checklist for field use” (short 8-page version of the guidelines). These are Word documents but I would be happy to email them to anyone interested. ]
* * Headington Institute, providing psychological and spiritual support to relief and development workers worldwide
* * Antares Foundation, dedicated to improve the quality of management and staff support and care in humanitarian and developmental organisations
* * Psychosocial Working Group on Forced Migration Online
* * Psychosocial Forum of Child Soldiers (info not only related to children, as well as in languages other than English)
* * Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support of the International Federations of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
* * Mental Health and Psychosocial Network, which also includes a Live Support section where one can ask questions and get specific support ~ great for people working in the field
* * Impact, a Dutch organization
* * Intervention International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict
* * Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma & Transformation
* * Agency Learning Network on the Care and Protection of Children in Crisis-Affected Countries.

Music for refugees' rights (add!!!)

Ndala Kasheba - Refugees.
Les Ogres de Barback & Pierre Perret - Lily.
M.A.P. - La chasse est ouverte.
Têtes Raides - Dans la gueule du loup.
"A Day Without Immigrants".
Jean Ferrat - Nuit et Brouillard.
Manu Chao - Clandestino.
Brothers Keepers - Adriano.
Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio - Vagabundo Soy.
Arlo Guthrie and Emmylou Harrris - Deportees.
Daniele Sepe - Padrone mio.
Radiohead - All I Need.
Paola Turci - Frontiera.
Александр Галич - Беженцы ХХ века (док.фильм с песнями автора).
Александр Галич - Здравствуй мама.
Ridan - Ulysse.
Celtas Cortos - El Emigrante.
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song.
Asian Dub Foundation - Fortress Europe.
Axiom - Ma lettre au président.
Damien Saez - Jeune et Con.
Looptroop - Fort Europa.
Tiken Jah Fakoly feat Soprano - Ouvrez les frontieres.
Ridan - Rentre chez toi!
Steve Earle - City of Immigrants.
Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio - Ena Andi.
"Les p'tits papiers".
Suheir Hammad - стихи.
"Les raccourcis de l'histoire : l'immigration en France".
Pal' Norte - Residente Calle 13.
"28 millimetres".
Assalti Frontali - Mi sa che stanotte...
Salvatore Adamo - Quand la liberté s'envole (Basta!).
"Les p'tits papiers" ("Sans Papiers", Serge Gainsbourg).
Antonello Venditti - Che Fantastica Storia E' La Vita.
Georges Brassens, Paco Ibanez - La mala reputación.

Human Rights Photography Competition (Australia)

To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is holding a photo competition based on the theme - ‘Dignity and justice for all of us’.

We're searching for images that reflect the theme of the competition and provide a unique approach to a human rights subject. For some, the photograph will record a moment that celebrates dignity and justice; for others, it will capture fundamental rights and freedoms being recognised; or it may be an observance of what human rights means to you.

Entry categories - under 18 female, under 18 male, 18 and above.

Great prizes and entry is free.

Entries close 31 October 2008.

Outrage calls on Labour to reform asylum system (UK)

The government is being urged to "initiate urgent reforms to the asylum system to end the injustice whereby many genuine gay refugees being sent back to viciously homophobic countries like Iran, Uganda, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Jamaica, Belarus and Saudi Arabia."

The call comes from gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!. Speaking at a fringe meeting supported by the GMB union at the TUC LGBT conference in London on 2 July, Mr Tatchell said:

"We need urgent government action to implement five key policy changes to ensure a fair hearing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum applicants:

"First, asylum staff and adjudicators should receive sexual orientation and transgender awareness training. They currently receive race and gender training but no training at all on sexual orientation and gender identity issues. As a result, they often make stereotyped assumptions: that a feminine woman can't be a lesbian or that a masculine man cannot be gay. They sometimes rule that someone who has been married must be faking their homosexuality. Home Office rulings that LGBT refugees should 'go home and be discreet' is insulting, humiliating and puts the returnees at risk of arrest, imprisonment, torture, mob violence and even possible murder.

"Second, the government should issue explicit instructions to all immigration and asylum staff, and to all asylum judges, that homophobic and transphobic persecution are legitimate grounds for granting asylum. The government has never done this, which signals to asylum staff and judges that claims by LGBT people are not as worthy as those based on persecution because of a person's ethnicity, gender, politics or faith.

"Third, the official Home Office country information reports - on which judges often rely when ruling on asylum applications - must be upgraded and expanded to reflect the true scale of anti-LGBT persecution. At the moment, the government's documentation of anti-gay and anti-transgender persecution in individual countries
is often partial, inaccurate and misleading. It consistently downplays the severity of victimisation suffered by LGBT people in violently homophobic countries like Pakistan, Uganda, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Cameroon, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.

"Fourth, legal aid funding for asylum claims needs to be substantially increased. Existing funding levels are woefully inadequate. This means that most asylum applicants - gay and straight - are unable to prepare an adequate submission at their asylum hearing. Their solicitors don't get paid enough to procure the necessary witness statements, medical reports and other vital corroborative evidence.

"Fifth, the Home Office needs to issue official instructions to asylum detention centre staff that they have a duty to stamp out anti-gay and anti-trans abuse, threats and violence. Many LGBT detainees report suffering homophobic victimisation, and say they fail to receive adequate protection and support from detention centre staff. These shortcomings need to be remedied by LGBT awareness training to ensure that detention centre staff take action against homophobic and transphobic perpetrators, and that they are committed to protect LGBT detainees who are being victimised.

"Labour's claim to be a LGBT-friendly government rings hollow when it continues to fail genuine LGBT refugees. We must insist on an asylum system that is fair, just and compassionate ? for LGBT refugees and for all refugees.

"Currently, the Home Office is guilty of:

-  No training on sexual orientation issues for asylum staff and adjudicators
-  No explicit official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation
-  No action to stamp out the abuse of LGBT refugees in UK asylum detention camps
-  No accurate, up-to-date information on the victimisation of LGBT people in violently homophobic countries
-  No access to adequate legal representation for LGBT asylum applicants

"These are systemic failings by a callous and indifferent government that is more interested in cutting asylum numbers than in ensuring a fair, just and compassionate asylum system," concluded Mr Tatchell.

"The UK's harsh, homophobic asylum policy has provoked two suicides by gay Iranians in the last five years.

"In September 2003, Israfil Shiri, a gay Iranian asylum seeker, died after pouring petrol over himself and setting himself on fire in the offices of Refugee Action in Manchester, after his asylum claim was refused.

"In April 2005, 26-year-old Hussein Nasseri shot himself in the head two weeks after his asylum claim was turned down by the Home Office," said Mr Tatchell.
  • Current Music
    Gogol Bordello - Underdog World Strike

Swedes changes rules for gay Iranian asylum seekers

In a decision hailed as "remarkable" the Swedish Migration Board has decided that people who lived openly as gay or lesbian in Iran should be granted asylum.

Previously more evidence of persecution would have been required.

While there will still be individual assessments of each case, the board's new "guiding decision" will take into account the risk that the person might be persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

Stig-Ake Petersson, a gay asylum activist working for The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), said he has had a number of meetings with the Swedish Migration Board regarding gay Iranians seeking asylum.

Henrik Winman, a lawyer with the Migration Board, told Dagens Nyheter:

"The situation of homosexuals and bisexuals, transgender people in Iran is difficult and RFSL has commented on our past practice."

The Swedish decision follows the case of a 25-year-old Iranian who fled to the Scandinavian country. He said he had lived openly with his boyfriend in Iran and had been arrested several times.

The migration board gave him leave to remain in Sweden as a refugee as they considered he would run the risk of persecution because of his sexual orientation.

The ruling seems to be at odds with the "country information" from the Swedish Foreign Affairs ministry.

Three weeks ago the country's embassy in Tehran said that there are "no executions in Iran as a result of their sexual orientation."

RFSL has also reportedly successfully submitted a case involving a gay Iranian man to UN's Committee against Torture, the first time such a case has been accepted.

In the UK, the Home Secretary has moved to clarify a statement she made in a letter to a Lib Dem peer stating that gay people who live "discreetly" in Iran face no danger.

Jacqui Smith said that individual cases would be considered but "current case law handed down by the asylum and immigration tribunal concludes that the evidence does not show a real risk of discovery of, or adverse action against gay and lesbian people who are discreet about their sexual orientation."


Hello No-one is Illegal.
I love the message of this group and I'd just like to inform you of Semiotic [I hope this isn't against the rules]. We're basically a forum, but we're pretty well devoted to politics, ethics, religion and, most importantly causes and awareness.
I'd just like to extend an invitation to you all to join up, and post petitions and ways that we can help people being denied entry into countries when they need it most.
As an Australian, I know about detention centres [we have mandatory detention for those who try and enter without the 'correct papers'] and I see it as a barbaric practise. People are just looking in their own self interest and what they NEED. As a country that is statistically more fortunate I believe we have the duty to give what we can.

I'd be great to see you.