TEXT I

Greetings!!!! ….. you are welcome to publish  (partially or fully)  distribute, install on your website, link, forward by e-mail, and/or translate this article freely.  It would be appreciated if you would notify us of any media or other publication of this and future articles.  Copies of any translations would also be welcome.   Thanks
The author has worked with asylum-seekers and victims of torture, and also assisted them with some legal information.  He has many years of experience in these matters, having worked and lived in various countries in Africa, S. E. Asia and Europe.
This article is used by many refugee organizations and psychologists in several countries as an introduction to some of the realities on the ground.  B. Hassall

E-mail  asylum_seekers_forum@gmx.net

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Human rights and other irrelevancies:

a psychological overview of problems experienced by asylum-seekers.

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The author of this article has been a stateless asylum-seeker for over 21 years.

It’s NOT a nightmare  -  it’s a reality …… living in a  *soap opera*  scripted jointly by Kafka, Machiavelli, Dante, de Sade and Torquemada,  being inflicted on asylum-seekers by governments and judiciary  ......  and those are the good days!

Most of the time  -  psychologically  -  it’s a daily trauma of survivorship in what can justifiably be called the atmosphere of an open-air concentration-camp.     It’s soul-destroying and dehumanizing.

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We arrive in a host country, usually after a vast amount of personal trauma, uprooting and total disruption of our lives.   Many of us have been  *only*  psychologically abused and /or tortured; others have been physically and psychologically abused and/or tortured.

In general, the present methods of reception and dealing with asylum-seekers by the host-countries are Machiavellian, inhumane, sadistic and medieval.  For asylum-seekers it’s a continuation of the terror we have recently escaped  -  whatever the degree of that terror  –  plus the new problems of adapting to a new life-system which induces yet more insecurity and vulnerability, although of a different nature, over an extended time period.  This causes increased levels of   *Dissociative Disorder*  and  *Post Traumatic Stress Disorder*.

Host countries and aid organizations – due to their treatment of and attitude to asylum-seekers  -  frequently cause far more traumas than those originally undergone by us within our own countries and during our escape.

We asylum-seekers need  –  very urgently,  sometimes desperately  -  (even if temporarily)  a feeling of acceptance and safety. We also need to find a creative outlet for our energies,  (ie)  work, in order to re-find our self-worth,  to help us integrate into the society of the country of adoption, as well as to contribute to our own /our family’s and  our adoptive country’s psychological and economic well-being.  (Integration into a new society or country is always a difficult matter, even for voluntary migrants and foreign workers).   By denying asylum-seekers our inalienable right to try to find work, by forcing on us a situation of   *non-status*  and  other humiliating denials of our basic human-rights, only adds to the damage already inherent in our situations.  It appears that individuals have to comply with laws, but governments do not.

If any economic and/or other help is given, it’s given reluctantly and in a manner which induces the feeling of rejection and  *charity*,   and often also the insinuation that we are  *guilty*  because we are seeking asylum.

It is a much saner policy  –  politically, economically and in human-rights terms  –  to accept asylum-seekers by giving us, IMMEDIATELY, permission to search for work, plus any other assistance   (such as providing psychological and physical healthcare, help in finding adequate accommodation, language classes, job-training, children’s education, etc),   to allow us to recover our health, our self-worth,  and  our meaning in life, and  to stop this deliberate policy of marginalization,  demonization,  dehumanization and criminalization of our status.  It is unacceptable to be treated with such deliberate callousness, or to be made into scapegoats for political, racial, religious, xenophobic or other forms of abusive discrimination.

From a purely logical perspective  –  apart from the human-rights issues  –  it is in the best interests of the host countries to allow us asylum-seekers to work, pay our taxes, integrate into society (temporarily or permanently),  and also so that we can continue  –  if possible  –  in our trade or profession, so that we don’t lose touch with new learning experiences, /technology /other progressions in our work-spheres, without which it later creates a situation where it is always much more difficult to re-adapt /retrain  and  find work.  This is a win-win situation for all parties.  Most refugees are capable of supporting themselves and their families, and many of us could  –  at a later stage  -  employ locals too.   However, we are rejected, harassed and not allowed to get on with restructuring our disrupted lives.

Under the current system,   (and assuming that the host country does pay anything, which many countries don’t)   the host-country wastes tax-payers money by paying long-term social security benefits to people who neither want nor need   *charity*.  We certainly do need short-term help until we become self-supporting again, and we certainly have the motivation and incentive to work extremely hard.  This would also reduce the stress we are under during the administrative process of   *normalizing*   our situation in the host country.

We as asylum-seekers have had the initiative and courage to escape from our specific tragedies, and have endured a lot.  Why should we be denigrated and suffer  collective-punishment  under the deliberate and malicious classifications and epithets assigned to us. We have the right to be treated as law-abiding individuals on our own personal merits. We are not a burden on any state; in fact, quite the reverse.   We are an asset, currently and for the future, and should be welcomed.
A large proportion of asylum-seekers will later choose to return to their homelands when it’s safe to do so.  They want to be with their families /friends /neighbors /in their own culture and language group.   Others are  –  by temperament  –  more internationalists, and adapt better to their adopted country on a long-term or permanent basis.
All human beings,  by nature,  require healthy and creative outlets for self-expression, otherwise the psychological effects are dangerous.   Loss of the will-to-live, of autonomy, of direction, of self-esteem, thus inducing apathy, more psychological problems   (apart from the ones we have due to being asylum-seekers)   physical ill-health, drug /alcohol /other addictions, criminal or other antisocial behavior, violence within the family group and/or externally, depression, suicide.  The list goes on ….  and  on …..  and  on………..

*Administrative Silence*

In many countries there is a phenomenon known as  *administrative silence* .... (ie) the administration simply ignores visits, letters, phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and all other known forms of communication by members of the public /lawyers /anyone else.   This practice is used primarily against the citizens of the countries concerned, not only against foreigners and asylum-seekers. Basically, there is no concept of the fact that civil servants   (whatever their occupation or seniority)   are employed by and are in the service of the public.  The public is NOT there to serve the administration.   What these individuals and/or governments are showing is outrageous arrogance and contempt for their citizens and others.   Everyone is entitled to receive,  and if necessary to demand,   respect and courtesy from government  (and other)  institutions and agencies, and from their employees at an individual level.

Max Weber, the German sociologist of the 19th century describing the characteristics of burocracy, stated that   *a clear separation of personal and institutional interests gives a new meaning to the power of silence and exclusion*.   Since then, this attitude has been refined and honed and abused by governments /institutions /etc.  It’s used as a weapon against citizens and foreigners alike.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the 19th-century French writer, stated    *Government is an unnecessary burden at best,  and  more likely a tyrannical noose around its subjects' necks.   To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.*

For the terminology   *administrative silence*    read    *psychoterror tactics*

(ie) putting peoples lives on  *hold*,   to whatever degree and for whatever length of time, whether due to inefficiency /negligence /a deliberate policy of stalling /inattention to the matter /sheer bloody-mindedness, or for any other  *reason*.

I consider that this tactic falls under the heading of    *a major abuse of fundamental human rights*.

For example, in several countries the law offers a so-called  *remedy*  in cases of   *administrative silence*.  Apparently, if a request submitted to the administration is not resolved within three months, then the applicant may consider that their request has been rejected and such party may then bring the matter before the administrative court. If one attempted this method, no doubt the representative of the government would then merely try to justify the non-resolution of one’s claim, while  -  by doing nothing  -  the applicant still hopes that their request or cause will be accepted and resolved,   eventually,  maybe,   by the administration.   This is no  *remedy*  at all  -  it’s a sick joke.

I consider that the concept and the application of   *administrative silence*  is diametrically opposed to the concept of   *presumption of innocence*  and  *the right to a fair and swift resolution of issues*.    My premise is that specific legislation needs to be brought in to outlaw  *administrative silence*,   and that it's the administration's duty and obligation to resolve the issues,  to reply to the public  -  with precise details  -  and that if they don't do so then the applicant or subject of the issue WINS the case by default  after a period of 2 to 6 months, different categories of administrative processes having different timetables within that framework;   NOT that the administration has the right to subject their employers   (the public)   to  *power-games*.  This is the brutal and sadistic    *Catch 22*   principle of abuse of power and   *assumption of guilt*   tactic, where the administration plays with the dice always loaded in their own favor because of intra- as well as inter-office politics,  fears of making a decision, plus the arrogance of power /etc.  Each of these play their part in delaying  -  or denying  –  resolutions and/or justice.
It's the administration  -  if they insist on fighting a  *default*  situation of their own making  -  which should then bring their lost case or cause  to the administrative court and explain why they didn't comply with the legal timetable or pertinent laws.

I consider that it is a fundamental human right for everyone  –  not only asylum-seekers  –  to be informed by the administration what is happening regarding our specific situation.   We are entitled to know,  step by step,  what correspondence or other communication has been entered into by the administration in respect of our  *case*  or  *cause*  or application. We are also entitled to receive copies from the administrations of all communications in respect of our lives  and to be kept updated on a regular basis, in detail.

Governments  –  obviously  –  have the right of discrimination and selection as to whom they receive in their countries, and non-citizens   (foreign workers, visitors, asylum-seekers, etc.)   have the right to know how their applications are faring,  and to a speedy resolution.   We also have the right to appeal to the relevant courts of justice in the case of non-acceptance of our legitimate applications.

It’s overdue that all governments, justice departments, the UN, NGO’s and aid organizations were educated to accept the fact that   *the right to life*   takes precedence over all and any laws,  and the refusal or negation of this right can arguably be classified as a crime against humanity.

In fact, any form of negation of   *the right to life*   is  -  implicitly and  explicitly  -  a death sentence.

In far too many countries, too many lawyers, judges, and others in the legal professions are likely to be pressurized by their government to ignore human rights laws in the name of political expediency.  The other part of this crime is that too many of these people  -  as individuals, and also as part of a group and a system supposedly  *dedicated*   to upholding, enforcing and strengthening the rule of law  -  comply with politicians wishes, rather than being independent and ensuring that human rights laws prevail, despite the politicians and despite politics.  For those who fall into the above-mentioned category, this is abject cowardice; an abdication of personal  and  collective responsibility within that profession; contempt for the inherent meaning of the law and of the principles of justice; contempt for the spirit of the law and of justice; and the grossest contempt for and of life itself.

Are asylum-seekers invited to speak at conferences or lectures organized by governments, lawyers, the judiciary, UN, NGO’s  and other refugee-aid organizations?
How many asylum-seekers  (or ex-asylum-seekers)  are employed directly or indirectly   (or as consultants, for example)  by any of the governments, lawyers, judiciary, UN, NGO’s and other refugee-aid organizations?
It appears that governments, lawyers, the judiciary, UN, NGO’s and other refugee-aid organizations base their actions  -  or non-actions  -   on maintaining and accepting the status quo and the inhumane laws presently in force, instead of challenging the basic premises, concepts, amorality and barbaric realities of the ways in which asylum-seekers are viewed and treated?       Surely a more constructive way to deal with this situation is to IMPROVE attitudes /conditions /laws?

The obligations, duties and responsibilities of the UN, NGO’s and other organizations dealing with asylum-seekers are to and in behalf of the asylum-seekers, and NOT to the political and/or other agendas of governments and/or other institutions.

I consider that the basic problem stems from the misconception of the plight of asylum-seekers by many individuals within governmental departments, the judiciary and refugee-aid organizations. as well as by the unfavorable image about us which has been deliberately created by political and media spin-doctors. The rhetoric is always that asylum-seekers are the problem.   Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of ANY war, ANYWHERE,  at ANY TIME  which has been created by asylum-seekers.   Apart from natural disasters,  ALL  wars,  and thus asylum-seekers, are created by governments, and it’s asylum-seekers as victims who are blamed  -  and then further victimized  by governments  -  for being in that situation!
The terms  ‚asylum-seekers’,  ‚refugees’  and  ‚illegal immigrants’  have now become epithets, and I think that the UN,  aid agencies and all others dealing with asylum-seekers should change their terms of reference in order to counter the disgusting political and media propaganda-machines which attempt to demonize and criminalize us for their own twisted political and anti-social agendas.
It’s far too easy to dismissively and contemptuously refer to us as  .....  ‚Oh, those bloody refugees’.

If we were referred to as   ‚human beings begging for a safe haven due to their fear of being murdered’   or similar phrasing,  it would make a great deal of difference to the understanding  -  and of the concept  -  of our situation  by governments, judiciary, aid agencies and by the general public.

Most governments and organizations dealing with asylum-seekers  -  (including the UNHCR)  -  operate under their own specific and separate political agendas, which have very little to do with observing human rights and the many Conventions and laws relating to these rights.
What are the goals /objectives of current government policies and laws which have been promulgated against asylum-seekers?
Why punitive methods instead of rehabilitation?
Why do governments and judiciary choose conflict, coercion, imposition and terrorism instead of co-operation, dialog, inter-dependency, common-cause for compromise  (equal benefit)  and by sharing responsibility?

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 “As state capitalism developed into the modern era, economic, political and ideological systems have increasingly been taken over by vast institutions of private tyranny that are about as close to the totalitarian ideal as any that humans have so far constructed. "Within the corporation," political economist Robert Brady wrote half a century ago,  "all policies emanate from the control above. In the union of this power to determine policy with the execution thereof, all authority necessarily proceeds from the top to the bottom and all responsibility from the bottom to the top. This is, of course, the inverse of  'democratic' control; it follows the structural conditions of dictatorial power."        -  Noam Chomsky

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What happened to the concept and practice of everyone  -  including asylum-seekers  -  having the right to a fair trial, and that they are innocent until proven guilty by an unbiased, apolitical court of justice? The current practices are a perversion and corruption of democracy, law, justice and humanitarian solidarity.

Since national and international human rights are supposed to protect individuals and groups against governmental abuses, governments cannot determine for themselves if and when they apply.   It’s like asking the wolves to protect the goats!      One cannot speak about the protection of human rights with credibility when one is confronted with the lack of consistency and courage displayed by the international community and its so-called leaders.

When governments and judiciary  -   especially those of the USA,  European and all other so-called civilized, free and democratic countries   -   set an example of justice in practice within their own societies, then maybe they will be deemed to have some legitimacy and credibility when they talk about  ‘JUSTICE’.

Until each government indicts and brings to trial   -  in legitimate international courts of justice  -  those of their own leaders  and  their henchmen  who were /are allegedly involved in crimes against humanity, war crimes, state-terrorism, etc.,  their moral high-ground stance is buried well below  ‚ground-zero’.

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Governments, the judiciary, institutions and other authoritarian bodies do not act cynically. They act with inhumane, calculated, cold-blooded, ruthless, amoral, deliberate opportunism and malicious, contemptuous forethought.

This is one of the principle reasons why people  -  who are usually not devout masochists wishing to be cannon-fodder for the glory of their leaders’ personal and national ambitions and political agendas  -  become refugees and asylum-seekers.
 
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Vast numbers of the present members of many governments and humanitarian agencies  -  plus other citizens of their countries   (including the Italian-born king of Spain and various other members of royal families throughout Europe)  -  were given assistance and asylum by other countries at various times in very recent history.  These selfsame individuals  –  many of whom are now in power in their own countries or within aid organizations  -   treat current-day refugees in their countries despicably and brutally.    Why?

When governments – especially those in the wealthier countries of the world - claim that their processes take so long   (be they court-cases or other administrative matters)   because  *the system is overloaded*,   and /or   *we are understaffed* ,  and /or any other  *reasons*  –  let’s be very clear that this is not a   *lack of political will*  or any vague excuse  –   it’s a very specific  and  deliberate action by that government to withhold funding and  other resources from those projects.   This is not avoiding  –  but evading and obfuscating   -  the real questions and issues.  The reality is that it’s control and manipulation by the state in favor of the incumbents in power, certainly not in favor of or in behalf of the citizens who elected them and pay their salaries, and to whom they are accountable.

This means that refugees exist for years and years with no legal work permit, with no financial assistance whatsoever, no medical or dental treatment   ....only harassment, obstruction and belligerancy from the governmental and non-governmental organizations where the administrations don’t allow us to comply with  ‚laws’  by deliberately stipulating conditions which are almost impossible to meet, plus the stress and danger of possible arrest every day  (or night)  because we are without legal papers. Despite the deliberate power-game of withholding documents and other so-called  ‚legal instruments’  or  ‚permissions’,  we still survive in spite of the administrations ....although greatly inconvenienced, prejudiced  and  tyrannized.
Basically, we don’t need ID cards as we know who we are. If the administration insists that we have one then it’s up to them to give it to us. THEY are the ones not complying with the laws. We don’t need anyone’s  ‚permission’  to have our human rights, nor is anyone empowered to grant or withhold these rights; they are innate.

Overall, there is political, legal and judicial connivance in making and enforcing barbaric, brutal, illegal, immoral, amoral and unjust  ‚laws’, all of which is a fraud on citizens and residents. It is due to an almost complete lack of integrity of the institutions of justice and of government which employ and sanctify the actions of far too many individuals who do not act in behalf of  -  but act against  -  the freedoms and rights of their employers  (ie) the citizens and taxpayers. This is treason in its lowest form, is diametrically opposed to the principles of good governance, and is an abuse of trust.

What happened to the duties, obligations and responsibilities of governments and judiciary?
Where are their loyalties?
To humanity and to human beings?
To the citizens who elect and employ them?
To justice or to the law?
To freedom, liberty and the innate rights of mankind?
Or is it, as it appears in far too many cases,  that individuals within governments and judiciary are  -  or act as  -  perverted, intrusive and totalitarian enemies of the citizens and residents of their countries in order to protect their own personal images, masks, insecurities, fears, power bases  and  prestige?
Or are these politically and judicially instigated and approved methods of oppressing populations?

The judiciary and legal professions are accomplices of governments which perpetuate injustice and violate the fundamentals and principles of human rights, and which uphold the use of state-sanctioned terrorism, physical or psychological, overt or covert.

What institution/s protect citizens  and  residents from this terrorism?

This is an outrageous abuse of power, the übermenschen-untermenschen  (masterrace-subhumans)  syndrome inflicted by individuals within these institutions who have  (in their majority)  lost their humanity, or have willingly abdicated from it.
It’s an outrage inflicted on the whole of humanity, including their own personal humanity, and it appears that the terms  ‚honest government’  and  ‚legal justice’ are oxymorons
“When grief turns to anger, when your rage is as useless as your tears, when those in power become blind, deaf and dumb in your presence, when the rest of the world has forgotten you, what are you to do? Must you put away your anger, choke back your bitterness, and cultivate patience, in the hope that justice will eventually prevail? The ill and pain-wracked survivors wait for years.          And what if the very government that is supposed to protect you cynically manipulates the law against you? What use then is the law, with all its guarantees? Must you still obey it, while your opponents twist it to whatever they please?           If the law is useless, whispers despair, then does it any longer matter if you go outside it?  What else is left?”
"You can forgive the man who robs you, but you can't forgive the man you rob. In his haggard features you read your indictment and this makes his face so repulsive that you must keep it under your heels where you cannot see it."
The complete castration of history goes hand in hand with the utter negation of refugee existence, not to speak of refugee suffering. What has accompanied the robbery of these ex-citizens is the denial that it ever took place, or better yet, the denial that the refugee even exists. And when this fails, it is admitted that robbery has indeed taken place, with the refugee as the culprit. Here we no longer have robbery but rape: the total dehumanization and degradation of entire groups of peoples, their histories, experiences, and stories of suffering slandered and maligned. This is more than confiscation of property, land, or home; it is the confiscation of the dignity and humanity of the chief victims of modern colonialism and of wars.  Let us see then, in its entirety, the false framework in which the refugees have been framed up, and burst it open at the seams.
This is despotism. "They treat us refugees with hostility and cruelty, deprive us of our rights, offend us without cause, and even boast of these deeds".  Civilization has arrived.
These imperious beings, crazed by their absolute power and by the fear of losing it, no longer remember clearly that they once belonged to the race of mankind; they take themselves for a horsewhip or a gun; they have come to believe that the domestication of the 'inferior classes' will come about by the conditioning of their reflexes. But in this they leave out of account the human memory and the ineffaceable marks left upon it; and then, above all there is something which perhaps they have never owned: we only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us. The remarks more importantly reflect a deep-seated superiority and racist attitude that permeates society, and play an important psychological role in the dehumanization process. It would be inhuman to detain, torture, shoot and beat fellow human beings, for the sight of a fellow man in chains is appalling to the Western ethos. But once humans are described in bestial terms - 'animalized' - then the problem disappears; if it is discovered that the hands in chains are in fact paws, that the cries of the tortured are only howls, then it is safe to cease idle talk of human rights and attend to other matters. Politics and power tend to dehumanize even the most civilized individuals.who, in order to ease their consciences, get into the habit of seeing the other individual as an animal, accustom themselves to treating the other like an animal, and tend objectively to transform themselves into animals. The utter brutality to which the refugees are exposed, compounded by the most fantastic exercises in denial and feigned ignorance by the governments, judiciary and others, can only be explained in light of this deep and explosive dialectic. It is in fact impossible for individuals or groups to appoint themselves judge, jury and executioner of an entire group without committing grave crimes. The key feature of anti-refugee sentiment is its all-sidedness: every aspect of refugee life is made disorderly, impossible, and chaotic by an injection of one or another element of burocracy. No daily established routine of attending school, going to work, or enjoying leisure time exists; in fact it in a sense it can be said that the burocratic attitude imposes not disorder but a tyrannical order, whereby the refugee is constantly trapped, tense, waiting, and essentially imprisoned in a foreign land. The restriction of movement is the most striking feature of refugee life. Endless legal blockades and curfews enforce the paralysis. Refugees require 'freedom-of-movement permits' to travel. In order to move, one requires permission: simply another way of reinforcing refugee submission. All that remains to be done now is issue 'freedom-to-live' permits, and no doubt they will be in short supply.
Governments, judiciary and other institutions are in the constant process of committing one crime to absolve themselves of another.
But don’t forget about those who support and carry out mass deportation, another manifestation of institutional savagery. The refugees’ struggle for justice and freedom is in fact an indictment of society itself. Those living under a dictatorship at least have the distinct advantage of not being indirectly involved in the unjust violence of their government. And what kind of violence are the present ‘democratic and civilized’ governments of the world exacting upon refugees today? Our shudders are all for the 'horrors' of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the ax compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heartbreak?....that unspeakably bitter and awful terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves
Liberation may have to be achieved not by brandishing this or that document, but through genuine peaceful struggle and solidarity among those who are being deprived of justice.

Long live the inquisition and the übermenschen!

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Detention centres, forced expulsion, and forced repatriation  are  totally unacceptable.

Why are asylum-seekers forced to live in special centres?
Why should asylum-seekers live under such marginalized and humiliating conditions?
This is  -  in essence  -  the administration and the judiciary taking away freedom from  traumatized people,  who have already lost so many freedoms, so that the administration and the judiciary may ..... or may not,  possibly,   eventually,   grant us some freedom.
Is this more Orwellian doublespeak of    ‚freedom from freedom’?

Deporting refugees and asylum-seekers back to countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Balkan countries, Columbia, Angola, Afghanistan and Iraq …….as just a few examples - … where the ever-peaceful and friendly NATO, Americans, Brits and others were   (and are still, in some cases)   using chemical warfare and/or depleted uranium ammunition, plus leaving landmines and other unexploded ordnance on the ground  -  is equivalent to sending people to death-camps.
 Not only is this barbaric act of deportation prejudicial to the current generations being sent back, but it will affect several more generations yet to be born.        The innocent populations of South East Asian countries are prime examples of this.

Gas-chambers are no longer fashionable,  nor are they commercially viable.

Why don’t host-countries just reintroduce the guillotine?

(or alternatively bring back the delightful Inquisitional  ‘sport’  of barbecuing live human beings on an open bonfire while the kids sing nursery rhymes?)

This has multiple benefits:-    It would save taxpayers having to foot the bill for transportation  and  other expulsion costs.   It could be the base for a new entertainment industry which is beneficial to the local economy.       It’s wholesome family entertainment, with reduced entrance fees for children,  and which at the same time educates the entire population as to how we asylum-seekers should be viewed  and  treated. It would also be a rare  and  wonderful display of honesty to show the world openly what the local political  and  social agenda really is,  so that the citizens  and  the outside world can never again claim   *we didn’t know what was happening*.

The end result for us asylum-seeker is the same  -  torture  and /or death.

Guillotining us would save us from these agonies, uncertainties, terrors  and  stress,  so this system for eliminating us could thus be marketed by each host-country’s government, media  and  civil population as a   *humane act*,    so keeping their individual  and  collective consciences clear.

This would give us the ultimate freedom ……..  ‘freedom from Life’!

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What happened to the concept  and  practice of   ‚justice’,  where everyone  -  including every asylum-seeker  -  is innocent until proven guilty by a competent, independent and unbiased court of law?

The reality of the current situation is obvious, but I don't subscribe to it!   Isn't it time in  *civilized*   and  *enlightened*   Europe, USA, Australia and elsewhere, to change these laws and this inhumane and barbaric reality?

I feel obliged to record the problems encountered in the hope that these matters may be rectified for the benefit of current and future asylum-seekers.  We are looking for constructive solutions to our problems, and we need some assistance, not homilies.   We don’t expect   *perfection*   in administrative systems, in laws or in individuals,  but we certainly require and demand a betterment of quality in all matters discussed herein, from all the parties concerned.

All civil servants, at all levels, need to be educated to the fact that their citizens generally  -  and  in this particular instance specifically,  asylum-seekers  -  are not fighting AGAINST anything or anyone;  we’re struggling   -  peacefully  -  FOR our innate human rights to be recognized by so-called democratic and civilized governments and judiciary.

That concept needs to be understood at a very profound level so that the civilian, burocratic and political mind-set can change.

I think it is quite clear that this is not a document of criticism, per se; it is an attempt to bring the state of affairs to the attention of those who have the power -  and  especially to those who have,   primarily,   the integrity, humanity and goodwill  -  to improve the situation.  .

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From Eur-op news – issue 2/2000          Having Health in Mind

Mental diseases are often linked to unemployment, social exclusion, homelessness or drug  and  alcohol abuse. Effective methods to prevent mental problems need to become a more pressing issue within EU policies.  The Council has asked the Member States to collect relevant data, to implement action promoting mental health  and  to stimulate research.  The Commission should incorporate activities on mental health in the future action program for public health  and  implement an EU health monitoring system.   OJC 86,2000

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In Europe  and  America they came for the Communists                              and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Roma,
 and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Roma.
Then they came for the Jews,
 and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.                                       Then they came for the Negros,
 and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Negro.
Then they came for the Asians
and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't an Asian.
Then they came for the Arabs  and  the Muslims,
 and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't an Arab or a Muslim.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
 and  I didn't speak up because I wasn't in a union.
Then they came for the Catholics,
 and  I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant
Then they came for the asylum-seekers,
 and  I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an asylum-seeker.
Then they came for me,
 and  by that time
no one was left to speak up

(with thanks to Pastor Martin Niemoller for the original version)

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HUMAN RIGHTS?

Most European and other countries are signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as to various other international treaties on Human Rights, but asylum-seekers   (and other groups of people)   are  –  in practice  –  deliberately deprived of these rights. Those of us applying for protection as refugees, stateless-persons, or for other types of asylum, are allowed to be in the host country, but are forbidden to work to maintain ourselves whilst the burocratic machinations drag on. Not only are we not allowed to work; in many of these countries we ourselves have to pay all costs of telephone calls, photographs, stamps,  and all other expenses of paperwork, including translations into the official language of the country concerned,  and to cope with never-ending burocracy.

We need to work, but host states classify this as   *illegal*.   How are refugees supposed to exist when neither work-permits nor financial assistance are given from any quarter?  Heavenly manna appears to be off the menu at present!    It would appear that we have only the right to die of starvation under the benevolent auspices of all the governmental and human rights organizations, which were allegedly set up to assist asylum-seekers and others.  Or perhaps special written permission to die is required!?   (Waiting for which permission under the  *administrative silence*  game would involve an agonizingly slow and brutal death.  Or perhaps  -  in the name of political expediency  -  this written permission to die of starvation would be expedited?!)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This Declaration is just that, a declaration. It was envisaged that national and international laws would be subject to this Declaration, and that the signing of the Declaration by governments would therefore be nationally and internationally legally binding.

However, because this is merely a Declaration, and because there is no goodwill by governments and  *justice*??  systems to enforce this either nationally or internationally,  it’s absolutely worthless, apart from being a decoration with colored ribbons and bow and pretty glittering stars, just to be hung on the walls of signatory states to impress the gullible with fine lying words.   It’s merely a camouflage  - of pretending to adhere to human rights  -  and thus a travesty of truth, of justice,  of the Declaration, and of everything else that the UN and its component states are supposed to stand for.

The signatories to the UDHR are the self-same governments which have the temerity, audacity and arrogance to squawk about the lack of human rights in other countries!!!

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Below is a partial transcript of e-mails between the author and UNHCR.

‚So far there is not one person I've met in UN or NGO's in Africa, Asia  or Europe who has heard of this passport  (issued by the WORLD SERVICE AUTHORITY)  ... strange .... as they've been issuing passports for 45 years under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights    I hope you have a black sense of humor!  Some months ago when I spoke to a UNHCR Head of Mission re this document, and after some days of research on their part, the verbal response was

"UNHCR does not look favorably on this passport as it is not a national document issued by a government".

My response for their consideration was  “Does this statement imply that UN in general  -  and UNHCR specifically  -  does not recognize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?"

The only reply I received to my question was from UNCHR Geneva stating: “The World Service Authority with which I am acquainted has no standing to issue passports under the UN Charter of Human Rights or in relation to any international law or precedent given the reality that States alone have this authority with certain exceptions made by the States themselves.  While this may not be believed to be the ideal situation, issuance of documents without legal standing to persons who truly need to have their legal status addressed and resolved has often resulted in serious predicaments for the persons concerned.  I'm afraid we are often left trying to resolve the result. “      -  end quote

For further information on the UDHR  and  freedom issues see     www.worldservice.org

The World Service Authority also issues passports and other documentation to asylum-seekers!

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It is governments, therefore, which bear the responsibility for forcing asylum-seekers  -   and  others    -  to act in a so-called   *illegal*   manner in order to sustain life.  We have the right to eat, to shelter, and  to the basic necessities of life  -  whatever the legal systems have to say about the matter.  Are written legal words more important than human life?    Isn’t the basis of democracy   *the rule of the people by the people for the people*?    Elections are for the  *appointment of guardians*   –  citizens don’t vote individuals and political parties into power to be abused by them;  governments should be acting as guardian-administrators  –  not institutionalized and legalized terrorists.

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International Bills of Rights

“Let me add that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government would refuse, or rest on inference.”    —Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 20 December 1787

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The New Unhappy Lords
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger  and  honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers;  they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour  and  laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening;  and  they know no songs.
GK Chesterton - "The Secret People"

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Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966, in the most repressive days of apartheid, at the University of Cape Town …„It may seem futile to challenge the world's misery  and  ignorance, injustice and violence, but it is from numberless diverse acts of courage  and  belief that human history is shaped.   Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression."

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 “Too many vulnerable communities in too many regions of the world now hesitate to look to the United Nations to assist them in their hour of need.   No amount of resolutions or statements can change this reality.  Only action can”             Kofi Annan at the Millennium Summit in NY   2000

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"Working at the edge of the development of human society is to work at the brink of the unknown. Much of what is done will one day prove to have been of little avail. That is no excuse for the failure to act on accordance with our best understanding, in recognition of its limits, but with faith in the ultimate result of the creative evolution in which it is our privilege to cooperate."   Dag Hammarskjold Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1953-1961

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UNHCR

The UNHCR in Geneva has a department specifically   *dedicated* ??   to the affairs of stateless-persons.   However, no UN offices, refugee organizations, human-rights groups and other agencies which I’ve contacted in Europe and elsewhere had any knowledge of this department.   I informed these organizations about this   *secret*   section of UNHCR, and suggested that they pass this information on to other organizations.  I also suggested to UNHCR that their publicity department should inform the world of the department’s existence and function.  When I asked UNHCR for information about when said department was formed  -  plus various other questions  -  they refused to clarify.   I also wrote twice to Mr. Ruud Lubbers by certified mail, as well as to both Mr. Kofi Annan and Ms. Mary Robinson, regarding this matter, but their offices haven’t deigned to reply.     Meanwhile, the worldwide UNHCR offices and other organizations, because they have apparently not been informed by UNHCR head office

(A)  that the department exists         and
(B)   of the specific rights  and  the protection programs legally available to stateless-persons

cannot carry-out their functions or give assistance or protection in certain situations to stateless-persons, who are therefore deprived of possibly life-saving help.   About a year ago I was informed verbally by officials at one office of UNHCR  (outside Europe)  that their legal mandate did not cover the protection of stateless-persons, only refugees.  This is not only a lack of information,  it appears to be deliberate;  a withholding of information, disinformation and misinformation,  by UNHCR Geneva.

There are also far too many personnel who abuse their positions within the UN.   For example, when I initially wrote to UNHCR Geneva asking for protection, it took them over 2 years to reply. The UNHCR branch office in the country where I was then staying refused assistance,  and deliberately misled me on many issues.   This is the type of contempt with which too many UNHCR employees treat asylum-seekers.  Very many other asylum-seekers  –  many of whom I have assisted with psychotherapy  -  have recounted similar abuse by UNHCR personnel.   At another time  –  in another country  –   UNHCR personnel assisted me generously on a person-to-person level,  and complained that they could not legally do more.   This help was given willingly, despite the fact that  -  insofar as they were  (mis)informed by regional headquarters  and/or by Geneva  -  UNHCR could not, within their mandate as an organization, assist or protect stateless-persons

The UNHCR, having just celebrated its 50th anniversary, has still not managed to celebrate a workable international agreement on the treatment of refugees and stateless-persons in terms of these peoples’ internment in refugee camps for long periods of time – several generations of refugees - without the UN and/or all the world’s governments individually or collectively resolving the situation. One asks; is it the political strategy of many powerful UN member-states that generations of Palestinians and other nationalities should grow up under horrific conditions of being malnourished   (in terms of food, education, creativity, work, self-worth, etc.),  discontented, oppressed, directionless, frustrated and explosive?   Why have individual countries in the world not financed better conditions and/or offered permanent asylum?
 The same question applies to other groups of refugees in Asia and other areas of the world, although their incarceration has  *only* lasted for about 25 years.

Why  –  except as a short-term transit point  –  are refugees kept in camps or other confined quarters,  or,  as in many countries   (also in Europe),   jailed?   Why are governments, NGO’s and other aid agencies actively creating, accepting, participating in and supporting this form of ghetto-building,  *detention-camp*   style apartheid, and deprivation of human rights?

This abuse of asylum-seekers by host countries could possibly be prosecuted under the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

How is it tenable that refugees  –  whether in refugee camps or not  –  are forbidden to work?   This is an outrageous human indignity, and causes further problems as mentioned previously.  This appears to be a deliberate political strategy adopted almost universally by individual countries.  Why?   Here are individuals who are already traumatized   (it’s only the degree that differs)   by whatever happened in their countries of origin;  many of them have lost family and friends, most of them have lost all their material possessions; all of them have lost   (temporarily or permanently)   their equilibrium, their orientation, their perspective, their future prospects, their community cohesion, their self-worth, their …………    We are then subjected to further cruelty by the host country, both burocratically and on a more personal level, depending on their host country’s attitude and the political and media manipulation  towards foreigners, and especially their attitude towards asylum-seekers.  Here are people, some of whom have never ventured beyond their villages in their home countries, some who have never been beyond the frontiers of their home countries, most of whom have no knowledge of other languages or cultures, being subjected to more uncertainty and trauma.   Why has the UNHCR and the world community not resolved this repressive attitude?    In countries where refugees are in camps, why are they not allowed to work even within this restricted zone?

Why do the UN and its member states  -  under whatever legal terminology  -  not recognize as refugees or provide adequate protection and assistance to those people who flee  *non-state persecutions*,   nor to those who are classified as   *displaced persons*?

The UNHCR   (and the UN in general)   –  in my experience and opinion  -  is incompetent and toothless in too many areas of its operations, primarily because the individual governments which control and manipulate the UN deliberately use this body as a scapegoat for denying and escaping their own government’s responsibilities.   This is not to negate the wonderful work that is actually accomplished by the UN, despite and in spite of political interference and abuse by contributing governments, as well as the UN’s own internal politics. It’s the personnel  –  vast numbers of whom work with goodwill and integrity  –  who actually get things done, despite the constrictions and constraints.

Why does the UNHCR   (as well as each of the UN divisions separately)   spend billions of dollars annually on self-publicity via movies, full-color magazines and so on?  The monies contributed by tax-payers of each country to finance the UN are not donated to be wasted on UN ego-enhancing propaganda campaigns;  they’re supposed to be spent for humanitarian purposes.  Why is the UN permitted to spend approximately 80% of its total budget on administration, self-publicity and jet-setting?    How much of the remaining 20% of this vast budget actually gets through to the  *ground level*,  to the people who desperately need the help?   These people need food, medication, education, hope, etc.,  not color magazines and movies to show them how great the UN is  -  and  most of these people will anyway never see copies of the magazines or movies!.   How many people world-wide suffer and/or die needlessly because the UN’s priorities are false, and their allocated funds and other resources are abused?                  (I recommend the book    “Lords of Poverty”   by Graham Hancock
regarding the above  and  other issues, a copy of which I was given by a UN official.)

The UN is only a pawn to be abused by the power-lords who blackmail and bribe the leaders of this organization as well as the cowardly ‘leaders’ of member-states of the UN into accepting their illegal whims and wars, to ensure UN compliance, and to give  ‘legitimacy’  to illegitimate actions.  Is this a free and fair international forum, or a hoax and a sick joke played on the tax-payers and others who support the concept of an independent watchdog /ombudsman for the world’s long-suffering people?
The UN  -  as currently constituted  -  is a disgrace. It aught to be aborted and restructured from the basement upwards.  It needs to be reconstituted under legitimate international law as a first priority, in order for it to become a legitimate forum. This recent Nobel Peace Prize that UN has been awarded is politically motivated. It’s an insult to humanity and a disgrace to the world.

The realistic need worldwide is for   ‘pro-life’  and humanistic educational systems from kindergarten onwards   ( and  most especially and specifically  -  starting as of NOW  -  within the world’s governments, judiciary, religious and other institutions, the UN,  and other humanitarian organizations)   rather than the prevalent and deliberate dogmatic  ‘mis-education’  within all societies.

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"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation (OR THE GROUP)*    that is attacked,  (OR MARGINALIZED OR UNWANTED)*    and  every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them;  and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war    (OR THE DELAYING OR REFUSAL OF HUMANITARIAN AID,  ASYLUM OR ANY OTHER ASSISTANCE TO ANYONE, ANYWHERE,  and WHENEVER THAT HELP IS NEEDED)*    is just,  and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."     Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, 1916, Ch. 9
· (ITEMS IN CAPITALS  and  BRACKETED are additions by the author of THIS overview)

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In Boswell's "Johnson" the story is told of a woman who was seen frying live eels in hot grease in a large pan, on a street in 18th century London. When the eels struggled up the side of the pan, trying to get out, the woman would strike them with a stick, scolding them angrily:   "Down, wantons! Down!"   The eels, it seemed, just didn't understand their place in the higher scheme of things.
There's a lot of that in the way asylum-seekers   (as well as local citizens)  are treated.

Welcome  - now die       24 July 2001     – AFP
NIGERIA’S national Tae Kwan Do coach Yusuf Yahaya took ill on a South African Airways flight and died after he was refused hospitalisation in Johannesburg because he lacked an entry visa for South Africa. After several hours of uncertainty, he was carried back aboard the aircraft where he had a heart attack and died.  An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Yahaya had failed to declare his health status before boarding the plane and that, as a result, "the normal immigration laws have to apply."    (and he wasn’t even an asylum-seeker!)

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"Everything I did, I did for my country." -- Pol Pot

This excuse was  -  and still is  -  also used by virtually every politician, everywhere throughout the world.   Unfortunately, most citizens believe them, and participate willingly in the atrocities promulgated by their leaders

Fighting the  ‘Red Menace’   (or any other categories demonized by states, religious and other institutions at any other time)   was/ is patriotic.  Supporting and financing mass murderers and criminals such as Papa Doc, Baby Doc, the Shah of Iran, Marcos, the South African apartheid regime, the IRA, Mobutu, Idi Amin, Franco of Spain, Salazar of Portugal, the Greek military regime, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Suharto, the Taliban, many Latin American and other dictators/ regimes, etc., in order to  ‘prevent Communism taking over those countries’  (or for any other previous or current  ‘reasons’)  was/ is also patriotic  (and extremely good for business).  All of the aforementioned  -  plus a few other major murderers in our history  -  are  ‘merely juvenile delinquents’  compared to the mayhem and devastation caused by the majority of governments and institutions of today’s wealthier and/or more powerful states and/or religious and other institutions.

What the so-called democratic and civilized governments alone spend on their military and other murderous activities daily, is probably over 100.000 times the amount they spend on food, medical and other humanitarian aid for the benefit of their own populations as well as to help others worldwide.

The amounts of aid given for assisting refugees, displaced-persons and asylum-seekers is miniscule compared with the profits made by the donor countries from their international arms sales, which is part of the cause of the problem in the first place.

Being seen to be donating is good for political propaganda, and for the whitewashing of the realities for the gullible public at home and abroad.

Stop inciting wars, stop bankrupting already poverty-stricken countries, use positive help  -  financial and other  -  to build a new infrastructure for each local society and economy,  and people will build their own lives at home. This also stops most people from migrating or becoming asylum-seekers.

I think the question of why there are so many of us seeking asylum, as well as the question of which countries bear most responsibility for this state of affairs, has been answered. Also, that having caused the problems, these same states complain that there are so many people seeking refuge, and treat us asylum-seekers abominably.

“They won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane. All they will call you will be  “DEPORTEES”.”  By Woody Guthrie

Any current or ex-dictator, politician, torturer, mass-murderer, war-crimes suspect, trafficker in women, children, weapons, drugs, etc., need not worry about asylum-seeking problems.  Simply present yourself in any country of the so-called   ‘civilized’    world  -  or any other  -  show your cash or one of your laundered bank accounts, and no one will ask what you do for a living.  You are welcomed with open arms.

Looking at the reality of migrants and refugees, there are those  -  like  Victor Hugo, Sigmund Freud, Salman Rushdie, Albert Einstein, and many, many others who were humane and creative beings   -  unfortunately there are also a micro-minority of individuals who were refugees or migrants who turn out to be mass murderers and suchlike, and who give refugees and immigrants a bad name ....such as Hitler, Kissinger, Albright, etc.
Don’t classify the rest of us with such despotic maniacs.

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On a personal level …..when someone crawls onto the steps of your home, bleeding and in need of assistance and nourishment, do you kick and otherwise abuse and interrogate this damaged person,  then make them wait and suffer further whilst you  -  the householder  -  ponder as to whether you’ll bother giving any help at all, or simply leave the person there to die?

That is the treatment meted out to asylum-seekers by most governments.

We are human beings,  not disembodied statistics.

The ongoing drama of refugees trying to reach safety in Australia is no different to the way most governments operate.   It’s posturing and manipulation for personal political gain and   *prestige*??,   using innocent children, women and men as hostages,  and is a tactic used by most governments in varying degrees.   The Australian regime, additionally, forces asylum-seekers to live in concentration camps,  referred to publicly as ‚detention centres’  in order to whitewash this outrageous treatment of vulnerable, already traumatized human beings.

These are basically the same   *reasons*  -  admitted long after the events in question   (of course),  the issues having been fully or partially known by most governments  -  for deliberately supporting  and/or ignoring the realities of concentration camps, slaughters and genocides in Belgian Congo, South West Africa, Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Palestine, Indonesia, Rwanda, and many, many other countries.    It’s political expediency.  The national and international legal and judicial apparati also  (mostly)  remain silent on human rights abuses.

The World's Most Unnecessary??  Protest  -CANBERRA, Australia –
A 48-year-old Pakistani man was granted permanent residence in Australia several years ago and has been trying to secure visas for his family ever since. Not realizing that his case had been approved, the man lit himself on fire in protest at the entrance to the parliament building in Canberra. A witness said, "He was rolling around on the ground...but he stopped moving by the time anybody went out there with a fire extinguisher." The man was reportedly upset that his family had yet to receive visas, but according to local papers, the protest was unnecessary because the visas had already been okayed. The man remains in critical condition in a burns unit at Sydney's Concord Hospital.

This is an example of what happens when governments use   *administrative silence*   tactics

Are politicians, government administrators and members of the judiciary humane beings?

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But of course  -  in the political, judicial, financial and religious arenas of intrigue  and  decimation  -  individuals, groups and nations are irrelevant;   we’re merely   *COLLATERAL DAMAGE*.
 

SNAFU is the real tragedy.
 

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The easiest way to deal with undesired information is to ignore it, to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Rulers often kill the messengers who bring bad news, then offer condolences to the surviving family, group or nation, or they find it easier to ignore the messages and the plight of the relevant claimants, or otherwise humiliate, ridicule or punish them, make them scapegoats for the ruler’s own nefarious purposes, showing an almost total lack of humaneness  and  courage. Truth is unacceptable to these fearful little creatures and one should maybe feel sorry for them, but certainly not accept their behavior.

As long as institutional  ‚correct procedure’  is followed, burocracy approves and commends, no matter how heinous the results of their decisions, because their work and the social hierarchies rest on threats, coercion, and direct use of brutal force.

It’s  possible that this article will be excluded from discussion in many circles, for it questions the validity of convenient  *facts*  that are most serviceable to the interests of established power;  (ie)   that we asylum-seekers are worthless criminals, etc., and that we have a negative influence on the community  and  state.
However well-confirmed the facts to the contrary may be, those facts are frequently regarded as inadmissible, and should  (according to those in power)  remain outside the spectrums of thought  and  debate.

This article  -  if invalid  -  may possibly be dismissed.    If it is valid, it probably will be dismissed …..   by certain parties.

As in the 18th-century doctrine on seditious libel,   truth is no defence;  rather, truth heightens the enormity of the  *crime*  of  questioning   and/or  exposing  -  specific or general  -  realities of any ruthlessness, amorality  and/or  other abuses of authority  (individual, collective  and/or  institutional)  as practiced at any moment in time.

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We welcome any feedback, and/or your articles or personal experiences, for our monthly news-letter.    Your e-mail address and name will NOT be shown in the newsletter unless you expressly request it.

Welcome and keep sharing  -  this is a self-help group!
E-mail asylum_seekers_forum@gmx.net

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http://www.ncadc.org.uk/letters/news25/ausmental.html
Detention destroys asylum seekers' mental health  Rachel Nowak, 'New Scientist' Melbourne, 19 December 01

A powerful new alliance of Australian doctors is to call for an immediate and independent clinical assessment of the physical and mental health needs of asylum seekers in the country's detention centres. The action comes after the publication of a controversial article describing severe mental deterioration among some detainees in December's Medical Journal of Australia. Every medical College in Australia, along with other interested groups have banded together to form the Alliance for the Health of Refugees and their Families. Besides seeking independent health assessments of detainees, the Alliance will also lobby for the improved conditions for asylum seekers. This is particularly crucial for children, says Louise Newman, chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' faculty of child psychiatry. Many other countries do not detain asylum seekers but allow them to live in the community, after ensuring that they are not a health or security risk.  Shock to paranoia  In the MJA article, Kevin O'Sullivan, a former visiting psychologist at the Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney, and Aamar Sultan, an Iraqi doctor who has been detained in Villawood since May 1999, describe inmates passing through four main stages of psychological impairment.   Initially, asylum seekers are in a state of shock, but remain hopeful that their confinement will be short-lived. Once they realise that they face a serious threat of deportation, many become severely depressed. In others, the symptoms of pre-existing post-traumatic stress reactions worsen, and some detainees become violent. By the end of Wednesday, two days of rioting at the Woomera detention centre in South Australia had been quelled with water cannon and tear gas.        After repeated rejections of asylum applications, usually after six to 18 months, the depression often becomes more debilitating, and may be accompanied by impaired memory, thoughts of suicide, paranoid delusions, and psychotic behaviour. In the final stage, detainees may isolate themselves from others, become unable to perform simple tasks, and suffer hallucinations.        "We're not talking about people being glum," says O'Sullivan, "We're talking about people hearing voices, about paranoid delusions." In the study, 13 of 33 detainees who had been held for over nine months had paranoid delusions, and 19 had psychological symptoms requiring medication, primarily antidepressants.       Separation anxiety  The study also found that children who are held at Villawood suffer a wide range of psychological disturbances, including bed wetting, impaired cognitive function, and separation anxiety. O'Sullivan says that the detainees' previous traumatic experiences - which may include torture - combined with a total loss of control of their lives, and the prison-like environment of the centres, may combine to destroy their mental health.
Finding a way to prevent and treat the mental deterioration is imperative, he says. "Paranoia is highly debilitating, it wrecks your environment because you no longer trust anything." But Philip Ruddock, the Australian immigration minister, has written to the MJA, complaining that Sultan and O'Sullivan's article is inaccurate. In the letter, Ruddock writes that he is "not addressing medical issues", but claims that there are inaccuracies in the article's description of the treatment of detainees. For example, the article claims that "there are multiple daily musters and nightly head counts, which may take place at 0200 and 0530". Ruddock writes that 0200 head counts have only taken place following escapes "and are not routine".  While insisting that the article's description of life in the centres is largely accurate, O'Sullivan accuses Ruddock of failing to address the main issue raised by the article, which is the mental deterioration of detainees.  The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is conducting an inquiry into Australia's treatment of child asylum seekers, but will not report for 12 months. The Alliance doctors say this is too slow, as action is needed now. Source:  http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns9999170

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http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=87140
The damage: Custody takes toll on detainees      Sophie Goodchild     5 August 2001
Dr Michael Peel, senior medical examiner at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, says jailing asylum seekers is 'inhuman and degrading'. It puts refugees at risk of permanent psychological damage, with reactions such as panic attacks, severe depression and suicidal tendencies, he says.   "Being in prison will make the refugees' psychological state worse. Just the fact that they are being detained with no idea why or when they will be released can cause major depression and post-traumatic stress.  "What also concerns me is the lack of other people, the isolation in prisons. Asylum seekers are treated worse than remand prisoners. "For victims tortured in their own country, the mere sound of heavy boots and jangling keys can bring back negative experiences. People released from torture are healed by being involved in a community and trusted. Prison undermines this; they become more isolated and withdrawn. The prison health service is badly under-resourced anyway.
"I carried out a medical report for one asylum seeker in prison. He was distressed because convicted criminals were being allowed to go home and he was still there in prison with no idea how long he was going to be there or why he was there."

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ORGANIZATIONS     a reader’s viewpoint.

Back in my youth I read an article which described organizations and burocracies which have reached a certain minimum size and complexity as behaving like simple life-forms.  Say, on the level of an amoeba or paramecium.
Over the years of my life I've been watching, and my conclusion is that this holds true.  A particular large organizational system is not ruled by its ostensible purpose.  This includes both governments and businesses -- and, with governments, various burocracies within the governments.  These are very simple life-forms, by their behavior.
Their first rule of order is to survive.  This includes protecting themselves from attack and finding food and reproducing.  This is why such organizational fields proliferate.  They spawn similar offspring.     And we, the non-burocratic energy-fields are their food source.  If you do not think of them as being for our benefit then their behavior makes more sense.
Remember, the individual atomic spark has  "free will"  but will tend to flow with an overwhelming pattern/organized grouping.  Thus the individuals within any super-burocracy may believe the ostensible purpose stated for the business/governmental branch, etc. and may try to bring about honest, just and humane results.  They are usually known as  "trouble-makers".  Most of the energy sparks  (individual human beings)
within the energy-flow/entity of such super-organizational structure will take the easiest way to get through their days and keep from falling under the critical eye of their superiors.  They  "flow-with"  the super-patterned energy of the organizational structure and do not  "rock the boat".       It may be useful to point out to them what is practical/decent/meaningful in the purported purpose of such large organizational structures.  I suspect that if enough of us out here show even temporary organizational structures then the energy-organizational patterns themselves will respond to us as fellow beings for so long as we are in our organized formats.  As long as we are not perceived as attempting to  "kill"  or  "injure"  the burocracy in question we have the chance of being treated as  "real" /fellow beings and may be listened to, if clumsily.
Personally, it works for me to perceive all governments as being larger versions of The Mob.  You pay "protectia" (taxes) in the hopes they'll leave you alone and save their worst for their rivals.  You get some side benefits but you realize they feel they're doing you a big favor -- not that you'd already paid for them with your taxes.  It's like big government/ business is a large and rumbly mountain that we all live on the slopes of, or in the river valleys below.  You just hope the mountain won't fall on you.  When it does you better hope there's someplace to hide from the worst of it.  Technically, we have a "shield" in the form of legal and social service systems but these also are burocracies.  You
might get lucky or they might turn out to be just one more part of the landslide.
It is terrible that refugees are caught in the maws of these soul-less systems.  Once the mountain falls on you justice is rare if you can't find a spot out of the avalance.  I don't know of a cure.  I don't have much hope that these super-organisms of human-amalgamations will ever form anything which is wholly benevolent.  But I do know they are all supremely dangerous.                They scare the hell out of me.

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Yet AGAIN  -   desperate and dying refugees get screwed  -   another example of UNs’ self-aggrandizement at the refugees’  expense, and   -  less importantly  -  at our,   the taxpayers’,   expense also.

Published on Thursday, October 4, 2001 in The Herald (Scotland)  by David Pratt from the Afghan border
'It's Nothing but a Publicity Stunt'  Books Outweigh Food in Convoy to Famine Area

LIKE all the highly decorated trucks which wind through Pakistan's north-west frontier, the convoy looks like a fleet of Spanish galleons on wheels.
These particular trucks carry additional adornment, the fluttering blue-and-white United Nations flags and the proud message, "Unicef aid for Afghan Children."     The convoy, the first of four from Unicef, is bound for the famine-stricken province of Badakhshan, inside Northern Alliance territory.      It is a race against time. Already the temperatures have started to drop and the first snows have fallen on the only accessible passes. In Badakhshan, as in so many parts of Afghanistan, life is hard beyond belief. Some 1.6 million people will have run out of food here by December. They have just gone through two years of drought.      Despite this, not everyone welcomes the humanitarian efforts of the UN. "It's nothing but a publicity stunt," admitted one well-placed UN official candidly, asking not to be identified for fear of being sacked.   In the remote mountain village of Garam Chashma, surrounded by the towering peaks bordering Afghanistan, locals and some Afghan refugees looked on as laborers sweated in the afternoon sun, unloading the Unicef aid, ready to be carried by 400 donkeys over the Shah Saleem pass into Afghanistan.   What were in most of the boxes? I asked one of the drivers. "Ketab," he replied, using the Dari word for books.   Some 204,000 books, educational aids, and stationery made up the bulk of the consignment. Of about 220 tons, only six consisted of food, a high protein porridge called Unimix.      "Believe me when I say we are grateful for the books and the possibility of some education for our children, but it is difficult to go to school when you are weak or dead from hunger," said Haji Mohammed, an Afghan refugee man from the Panjshir valley, who was standing nearby. He explained, and apologized at the same time: "Books are important, but these things, the food, warm clothes and medicines, are what will see us through this winter."     Hermione Youngs, the Unicef convoy leader, admits time is short, but claims there is no credible alternative to the donkeys. "Do you know how much it would cost to fly in a consignment, and anyway the Taliban might shoot the plane down," she insists.       This is not quite right. Another UN agency, the World Food Program (WFP), has already ferried over 1000 tons of wheat flour into Badakhshan by a much more direct route overland from neighboring Tajikstan.
The lack of communication is typical of the UN, say insiders.   At one point this week, the convoy was delayed because it tried to use the unofficial border pass of Shah Saleem, 16,000ft up the mountains. Ms Youngs ran into trouble with local Pakistani officials, who said the crossing was out of bounds to foreigners.
That any United Nations humanitarian agency would embark upon what was already a complex logistical operation, without first having secured such crucial permission from the Pakistani authorities, astonished other aid workers.
"It's typical of how the UN operate. They launch into these grand schemes without noticing the devil in the detail," complained one worker from an independent group. "The point is the pressure was on to be seen to be doing something, so they got this under way without checking it through first."
Aid continues to arrive in Pakistan from all over the world. Michael Huggins a WFP spokesman said: "Over 250 tons have already been flown in, and another plane arrived last night carrying 46 more tons of high energy biscuits. Five of these a day can keep an adult alive."         Only time will tell how effective the UN operation will be in saving lives. "What we need is a coordinated and concerted effort and and no more donkey photo opportunities," observed a UN field worker.

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http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=852
"Blowing the U.N. a goodbye kiss"           by Paul Harris - YT Columnist (Canada)      Printed on Monday, November 11, 2002
The United Nations has finally died. We all knew it has been sickly since its birth, but talk of its imminent demise has always been exaggerated. For close to six decades, it has struggled with sporadic effort and mixed results against the injustices of the world, against the inequities, and the military brutality that have been the hallmarks of its stewardship. In the end, it finally gave up the battle and took its own life.    Last week, a vote was held at the insistence of the United States regarding sanctions against and military intervention in Iraq. Despite overwhelming evidence that the rest of the U.N. members know the American position is simply a ploy to obtain Iraqi oil, the members unanimously caved in out of fear of the United States. The U.N., by that vote, has now officially declared itself to be of no value.
    As in all deaths, there will be grieving relatives and family members but on this one occasion there will be one survivor wildly cheering at this funeral: the United States. It is perhaps ironic that in all the bluster and rhetoric leading up to this vote, American President Bush and his catamite, Tony Blair of Great Britain, repeatedly harangued the U.N. about supporting the U.S. position or effectively showing itself to be irrelevant. In fact, of course, precisely the opposite would have been true; but the U.N. took the bait and bent over for the Americans. The result: they achieved the irrelevance that Bush warned they would achieve if they actually stood by their principles and rejected U.S. demands for compliance and complicity.              From the outset, the U.N. has been unable to establish itself as anything worth having. Certainly when the initial founding discussions occurred, as outlined in the Preamble to the United Nations Charter, a vision of an organization was espoused that pledged member nations to: practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors; to unite [their] strength to maintain international peace and security; to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest; and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples. But where is the evidence that it has ever come close to achieving any of those lofty ideals? Where is the evidence that any of the member states ever really wanted it to reach these goals?         While not quite stillborn, the U.N. had a troubled youth and did not manage to pass gracefully into its middle years. The name first arose when Franklin Roosevelt used it to describe the countries fighting against the Axis in 1941 (which, by the way, did not at that time include the United States). In 1942, some 26 nations signed a 'Declaration by the United Nations' pledging that they would jointly continue in their war effort and none of those countries would agree to make peace separately. After a few more years of war and of planning for the aftermath of the war, those same countries finally reached agreement over the founding charter of the United Nations. It officially came into existence October 24, 1945. It has been on life support ever since.          The U.N. is a very complicated organization and it has not evolved as originally envisaged. It was first comprised largely of the Allies of World War II and it was conceived to be an organization of 'peace-loving' nations who were combining to prevent future aggression and for other humanitarian purposes. It was intended to have a regular military force, which would be utilized for keeping the peace within rogue nations or intervening in military aggression between nations. Naturally, it was assumed that the members of the United Nations would not be the bad guys, so this was thought to be an exclusive club that would keep the rest of the world in tow. Other than a few instances where the U.N. did have military involvement under its own banner (for example, Congo, Nicosia, Korea), the member nations have largely gone about doing as they see fit, both to one another and to any nations remaining outside the fold.       Now, virtually all countries with but a few exceptions are members of the United Nations. At least they are members of the U.N.'s General Assembly. This is an utterly powerless body, which is designed to make these countries feel that they are contributing something and that they actually have some input into the things that affect them and their allies. In reality, it is simply an exercise in puffery and a reason for them to have to pay membership dues. The General Assembly frequently expresses its feelings about world situations by voting on resolutions which are meant to convey the organization's displeasure with some state's activities, but most such resolutions are ignored. Most notable is a multitude of resolutions citing or condemning Israel, which have never so much as raised an eyebrow in Tel Aviv, let alone caused Israel to alter its activities or policies.            To be fair, it is noteworthy that the General Assembly is also the source of a number of committees designed to deal with humanitarian issues. These are generally considered to be about the only successful use of all this international good will of which the U.N. can legitimately boast.             The only real power within the U.N. rests in the Security Council. This is a body made of five permanent members (United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia) and an additional ten countries whose members are elected by the General Assembly on a rotational basis. In all practical ways, it is the five permanent members whose wishes carry the day. In other words, by charter, the U.N. was never intended to be a body for the world; it was meant to be a body for the five big guys to institutionalize their suzerainty over the rest of the world. That goal, it achieved quite nicely.          Unfortunately, the birth of the U.N. coincided with the birth of the Cold War and because of the strains placed on the members of the Security Council, there has rarely been any effective cooperation between those members. For forty-six years, the United States led a bloc of countries in opposition to a smaller bloc siding with the former Soviet Union; with the end of the Cold War, those alliances effectively ended. The United States and Russia started finally to cooperate but only in an effort to keep power and authority within the Security Council. However, this almost always led to stultified inaction.       Over the years, many countries have failed to honor their financial commitments to the U.N. Most notable at this time is the United States who negotiated a smaller commitment for itself but has refused to pay anyway, at the behest of the American people (or, rather, its Congress, which is universally understood to be something quite different from the American people). This greatly weakened this already sickly child and has made it impossible for the U.N. to do much that is useful.        Accordingly, the U.N. has had a tough road over the years. Its own structure has created constipation and there has been little will amongst the members for a good stiff enema. From the outset, the U.N. has had very little actual legal or moral authority. The powerful nations simply do whatever they wish without regard for condemnation by the U.N., while the weaker nations know that they must behave or face severe consequences.           But still, idealists would have hoped that the members of the United Nations could work together to forge a better world. The idealists would have hoped for something akin to universal justice, universal law, a gradual breaking down of the political borders between countries, and the establishment of a single world order in which the benefit of all would be the goal. The idealists might have hoped for the elimination of hunger (well within our control), the elimination of most diseases (well within our control), the elimination of centuries of warfare (entirely within our control). But idealists are naïve; they must know that all evidence shows clearly that mankind has not actually evolved far enough to work as a group toward the betterment of all. We still operate purely from narrow self-interest and greed; we still allow our testosterone-laced leaders to sacrifice everyone else's lives and welfare as they see fit; people all over the world still refuse to put down their weapons, roll up their sleeves, and try to make this a better place for everyone.          So perhaps this is a death that is long overdue. Perhaps it is time to recognize that we really are one of the Creator's hugest blunders and to stop trying to pretend that we are civilized. You know the old expression: you can take the Neanderthal out of the cave, but you can't take the cave out of the Neanderthal.          There is no longer any will in the world to stand up against the power of the guys who are trying to make the world their oyster. So why bother with an organization whose goal was allegedly to make the world a better place, but which failed at almost every turn? What we are presently seeing is much like watching hundreds of sheep running in fear from a single vicious dog that wants to herd them in some direction. There are far more of them than there are of him, yet they do it. They are mesmerized with fear because they know the dog could turn on any one of them, at any time, and sink its fangs into their throats.
So goodbye, U.N. Now that you're gone, we can all get back to the business of trying to bugger each other.
[Paul Harris is self-employed as a consultant providing Canadian businesses with the tools and expertise to successfully reintegrate their sick or injured employees into the workplace. He has traveled extensively in what we arrogant North Americans refer to as "the Third World," and he believes that life is very much like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Paul lives in Canada.]       Paul Harris encourages your comments: pharris@YellowTimes.org
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E-mail ncadc@ncadc.org.uk           Web site:  http://www.ncadc.org.uk/
The Prayer Of The  Political Bigot
 
   "In the beginning  God created states and borders. and the borders were without form.

     and God said let there be visas. and there were visas. and God saw that the visas, were good and he divided visa nationals from non visa nationals. and this was the first day.

     and God said let there be waters between the borders and let there be immigration officers in the midst of the borders and let the waters and the officers divide peoples from peoples. and he told the immigration officers to go forth and multiply. and this was the second day.

     and God said let there be passports and let these passports provide a way over the waters for some peoples and not other peoples. and  the peoples denied a way he called economic migrants and bogus and illegals. Those granted a way he called Europeans, Americans, Canadians and Australians. and this was the third day.

     and God said let the states bring forth housing officers and welfare officers and social workers - so that economic migrants and the bogus and illegals be denied housing, social welfare and work. and this was on the fourth day.

     and God said let there be brought forth prisons, induction centres, accommodation centres and detention centres.  and let the prisons and the  centres be spread over the face of the earth. and the earth he called a Fortress. and this was the fifth day.

     and God said let us make immigration officers in our own image. and so he gave the officers power over every living thing that moveth upon the earth and tried to moveth between the borders. and this was the sixth day.

     and on the seventh day God ended his work and rested. But the immigration officers continued their work of imprisoning, excluding and deporting. and the housing officers and welfare officers and social workers continued their work of denying housing, social welfare and work.
    and God said this was good".

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The Classic Recipe for Independence

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then make ceremonies, sew flags,
Sign a long charter with many words.
Feel how the back becomes erect,
Even though the hunchbacks remain crooked.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then open offices, eat watermelons, make love,
Shed sweat, feel in your mouth a light sense of disappointment.
Suddenly discover next to you another small nation, wretched and oppressed.
Let its buzz bother you like that of a fly.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then crush the nation next to you, oppress it to dust.
It wants what you wanted - don’t give it anything.
It points a pistol - reply with a canon, it threatens - you murder.
Let the living shout, let the dead rot away, let the undertaker win.

The classic recipe for independence:
Take people and send them to die.
Then shake hands, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier, open an embassy.
Hold speeches on friendship, eternity, fraternity, commercial and cultural ties.
Sit comfortably in an armchair, open an evening paper, read with wonder:
Somewhere on earth, somebody is sending people to die.

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THE TIP OF THE ICE ARROW           ©   N.B.  May, 2002
The Man at the desk sits and signs papers
On the flesh of trees
On the skin of leaves
 Declaring war and more
 To be paid by the sweat and the blood
Of the poor
The Man at the desk sits and signs memos
 For executions in prisons and battles
At the midnight hour
The Man at the desk is sitting
Signing documents for arms dealing
That will be used on somebody’s
Children
 Maybe yours, maybe mine, not his
On occasion documents get delayed
At such times the Man at the desk
Flies into a rage
Seizes a flower from a vase
And tears it to shreds
The Man at the desk has delusions
Of grandeur
Often acts as if he’s above the law
And more
The Man at the desk has rawhide fingers
That never get tired and pens
That never run out of blood for ink
He is on automatic pilot
His servants never have to think
They obey orders
And kiss his arse for their paycheck
And never notice
They get shit on their lips
The Man at the desk sits and signs
Papers ……….

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http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=748
''Invasion of the bureaucrats''          Printed on Friday, October 04, 2002     By Lance Broughton           YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (New Zealand)
Bureaucracy is New Zealand's (Godzone) contribution to national impoverishment and the rationale of the Godzone civil servant has to be deciphered to be understood.     'Stress' is civil servant jargon for 'work' and every work minute is regulated by official edicts, cunningly designed by intelligent morons, for unquestioning use by lesser morons. Like the military, bureaucracy is a career for those lacking originality. Sit still, click heels, face plastic potted plant and shout in unison, 'we are the chosen few, yes sir!'             A typical bureaucrat's day consists of placing a regulation tick in a regulation little box, stamping 'action pending' on the form and placing it in the 'to be dealt with next year' tray. Then, he drinks three cups of coffee to stay awake until lunchtime. Wearing standard FBI sun glasses, he sits on a park bench munching peanut butter and jam sandwiches and observing the real world 'that couldn't exist without me' with all knowing eyes. After lunch, he prepares for the long wait until afternoon tea with the regulation wine biscuits, two per person, and watches the hands on the clock creep slowly towards going home time. Civil servants never look out the window in the morning because then they would have nothing to do in the afternoon.      At four-thirty, they finish playing Minesweeper, sign seven copies of the 'paper saving' daily report form, sigh thankfully and sit back with their hands behind their heads to gather the strength to drive to their standard three bedroom homes financed by the Public Service Investment Society. There, they will pat the heads of their regulation 1.82 kids and complain to their wives that the boss is riding them too hard and they'll be glad when they get promoted to grade six. They'll watch the six o'clock news and fall asleep by ten with the inner glow of only twelve thousand, one hundred and twenty-three days remaining of serving the pesky public until a much deserved retirement.     Unfortunately, a disturbing trend has emerged with some bureaucrats refusing to use their real names when dealing with the public. Perhaps it's a case that they know their occupation is totally moronic and that the world will probably survive without them. Perhaps they don't know their names.    There is 1934 legislation that states no bureaucrat may correspond with any member of the public without permission of the Appropriate Minister. Unfortunately, the Appropriate Minister appropriately blew himself to bits in the Western Desert in 1940 so there is no incentive to change. Bureaucrats have more important 'saving the nation' things to do like the office sweepstake, watering the plastic potted plants and sewing the buttons on their regulation cardigans.        For the longsuffering public, phoning a bureaucrat and expecting satisfaction is a waste of time. It's the nature of bureaucrats to ignore people because there's nothing in the manual that says they should assist. In fact, helping is officially discouraged and they will quote endless regulations giving thousands of reasons why "you should have written a letter requesting the appropriate form to be mailed within six months assuming you know your own address and can understand the punctuation free bureaucratic gobble-de-gook as submitted on the correct form enclosed within for your perusal by your anonymous faithful public servant."         But modern technology has really put the heat on bureaucrats. If you ring one, you're connected to an answering service. The highly trained operators take great pride in answering within the prescribed seven minutes. Well, actually, the recorded voice with the incomprehensible accent does. With persistence, it's possible to get a real human in about fifteen minutes if you push the buttons in the correct sequence, but after explaining what you want, you have a 75 percent chance of being disconnected. Then, after about five minutes of listening to Perry Como, you get the following:         "I'm not at my work station at the moment but if you leave a message after the beep, I'll get back to you before Christmas. The Department values your input and is anxious to assist, so please speak clearly, distinctly and appropriately. Have a nice day. Beep beep."      Forget completely about e-mailing a bureaucrat. The IT people have disabled their inboxes because someone had the cheek to demand an instantaneous answer. This was against the ethic that requires every query to be in triplicate and vetted by Internal Affairs in case it was problematical and likely to impede the ice freezing in Antarctica, thus causing trauma to the Global Warming Committee on penguin behavior at Scott Base. The Minister might have to be notified and the Air Force's only serviceable Sopwith Camel directed to fly him to Wellington in case he requires briefing on the mating habits of penguins. So, e-mails from the public are not officially permissible.         But if a bureaucrat senses an advantage and can find a law that appears even remotely favorable, he can steal from your bank account, break into your home, install electronic devices and place you under surveillance for a maximum of fifty years without a sensible reason. To say the dice are loaded is the understatement of the millennium. George Orwell's 1984 is reality in Godzone, although personally I think Eric Blair was a better author.  Don't even think about complaining to the Prime Minister. All you will get is a standard letter stating that politicians only make the law; they don't administer it. Therefore it's not their fault and you will have to contact the appropriate department.       Naturally the department states that they only administer and are not responsible for making the law, and will cunningly suggest that you see your local Member of Parliament. It can take several months to get an appointment and your MP will snort indignantly, thump his fist bombastically and exclaim that you have been short changed and that he, 'your heroic representative,' will go out of his way to do something about the injustice this very day, if not sooner.        Depending on your lifespan, a year can pass fairly quickly and you will receive an official letter advising that the bureaucrats have investigated your complaint and agree that the law stinks but under subsection B, Paragraph 2, of the Godzone Land Grabbing Act drafted during the Maori Wars in the 1860's, the State has the democratic right to kick down your door and invade your privacy in the name of national security. We are very sorry, but God, Queen and bureaucratic peace of mind take precedence over your complaint/problem/opinion. No further correspondence will be entered into.      Your Obedient Servant,                         Undecipherable Squiggle             [Lance Broughton lives in New Zealand.& encourages your comments: lbrought@globe.net.nz
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The Heaviest Element - Governmentium

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the
heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been
tentatively named "Governmentium". Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12
assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.
A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as " Critical Morass".
You will know it when you see it.     It can be found in large concentrations all over the world


TEXT II

18/12/02
To the Luxembourg Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme

Dear Sirs
Firstly, thank you for a most interesting conference last weekend, and congratulations on the positive changes you and your Commission are making. Thank you also for your agreement to distribute my article at the conference.
The names, addresses and e-mail addresses of all those attending the conference were collected by your Commission.  Could we all please have copies of these lists so that we may contact each other.
It takes me a while to digest discussions in French and German, but here are a few comments and questions which you are free to pass on to the ministries, courts, or anyone else, and/or to publish same.
Some answers would also be appreciated, and I apologize for introducing some reality into these discussions!
The rhetoric about, and non-compliance with, human rights issues worldwide …….including  ‘civilized’  Europe …….is a sick joke.
At ground level, the implementation and acceptance of human rights issues and laws by regimes, the UN and most refugee-aid organizations is marginally above zero.

Most regimes are blatantly ignoring current state and international laws ……and are presently    (usually secretly)      derogating from as many of these laws as possible.
For example,  everyone talks and writes about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights …..but almost no regimes or judiciary ….nor the UN      (including UNHCR) …..subscribe to, implement, or believe in this Declaration.

1. Were any asylum-seekers or refugees invited to this conference?    If not, why not?   If not, why are asylum-seekers and refugees apparently being marginalized not only by the Luxembourg regime, but also by the human-rights and refugee-aid organizations which are supposedly set up to help us?  Are the opinions of asylum-seekers and refugees irrelevant to the regime and to the aid organizations?

2. Are any asylum-seekers or refugees employed by any of the ministries, NGO’s, or other refugee-aid groups?    If not, why not?

3. If the media reports and other sources are correct in stating that many of the deportations from Luxembourg are illegal …….. have any legal injunctions been brought against the regime by any refugee-aid organizations, lawyers, and/or others,  to stop these apparently illegal actions?  If injunctions were sought, what were the results of any matters brought before the courts?      If injunctions were NOT brought, why not?

4. Why is the regime’s treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees in Luxembourg so inhumane and barbaric?

5. In so-called democratic and   ‘civilized’   countries …….civil servants are employed by taxpayers to be civil ……..and to serve the public.  Why is it tolerated that certain individual civil servants involved in asylum and other issues frequently act as sadistic and despotic   “mini-hitlers”?       (or to be historically correct in the 21st century, one should change this phrasing to read……….”acting as mini-bushes”.)

6. Considering the fact that Luxembourg is the only EU country with no Ombudsman …….the first question is why?
Secondly, are there any independent organizations here which act on behalf of citizens and other people whose rights are abused by individual civil servants and/or by the regime itself?

7. An example of Luxembourg’s  4th-world approach and attitude to the humane treatment of refugees is at the Don Bosco centre.   It’s certainly not as bad as Australian concentration camps ….or those slightly less disgusting in the UK and other countries …….but Luxembourgers should be ashamed of their regime  -  and of themselves as citizens  -  for allowing their regime to treat human beings in this disgusting manner.

8. Deportation of refugees and asylum-seekers  -  under most circumstances  -  is unacceptable.
Deporting refugees and asylum-seekers back to countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Balkan countries, Colombia, Angola, Afghanistan and Iraq …….as just a few examples - … where the ever-peaceful and friendly NATO, Americans, Brits and others were   (and are still, in some cases)   using chemical warfare and/or depleted uranium ammunition, plus leaving landmines and other unexploded ordnance on the ground  -  is equivalent to sending people to death-camps. Not only is this barbaric act of deportation prejudicial to the current generations being sent back, but it will affect several more generations yet to be born. The innocent populations of South East Asian countries are prime examples of this.

I think most other matters have been covered adequately in my article  «Human Rights & other Irrelevancies», a copy of which I gave to you.

Viva la Inquisiciön!

Sincerely

B H

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27/1/03
To the Luxembourg Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme

Dear Sirs

Having further researched and discussed some of the subjects mentioned by various speakers and other participants of your conference, I would like to add the following comments and questions as a sequel to my first letter dated 18/12/02.

It was mentioned that Luxembourg  -  along with other EU countries  -  is putting pressure on countries to which aid-grants are being given, in order to  ‘persuade’   the recipient countries to adhere to human-rights laws.
Setting an example of good-governance and democracy within Luxembourg by complying with international human rights laws signed and ratified by the Luxembourg regime might be more persuasive than coercion. Without this example of compliance, the Luxembourg regime is  -  in my opinion  -  involved in pointless, counterproductive, hypocritical and cynical political rhetoric.
This appears to position  Luxembourg’s credibility  -  in terms of its own non-compliance with many human rights and refugee laws  -   at about zero.

Regarding points made by several speakers and guests stating that the Luxembourg regime deliberately does not pass adequate and specific laws to deal with asylum-seekers, refugees and other human rights issues:
To me, as an individual without legal knowledge, these comments and statements do not make logical sense.
As Luxembourg has signed and ratified many international Declarations, Treaties, Conventions, Laws, and other bits of paper  (collectively called Laws hereafter),  then  -  logically  -  don’t these Laws become the national Laws of Luxembourg?
Applying this logic, it would therefore appear to me that Luxembourg DOES in fact have adequate and precise Laws covering these themes.
If my logic is faulty, any feedback, comment, corrections and/or enlightenment on the subject would be appreciated.

If my logic is correct, this could possibly raise many embarrassing questions and thoughts.  For example:
a. Why do the Luxembourg regime, judiciary, refugee-organizations and others appear to claim that these laws don’t exist?
b. Have the supposed  ‘lack of Laws’  in Luxembourg been brought to the attention of and denounced to the Luxembourg courts and/or international courts?  If this has been done, what were the results?   If not, why not?
c. It could lead people to think that there may possibly be massive collusion, deliberate distortion and manipulation of facts, coercion, cover-up, malfeasance and fraud regarding these matters.
d. It could also be thought that the deliberate act of NOT passing necessary Laws could construe some or all of the elements referred to in  c.  above.
e. Considering the potentially massive power of national and international refugee and human rights organizations  -  severally and jointly  -  which can be brought to bear on regimes world-wide in order to improve matters, why does this power appear to be used inadequately? The integrity and independence of almost all of these organizations  -  and part of their raison d’etre  -  could also possibly be called into question, despite the fact that very many of these organizations do some vital and excellent work.

Solutions CAN be found when there is goodwill, honor, honesty, dialog, a humanitarian approach, and compromise for the benefit of all parties concerned.

I would be interested to have some feedback from all recipients of my letters on the many matters raised.

Anyone who would like a copy of a  ‘Psychological Questionnaire for Asylum-seekers and Refugees’  which I have drafted is welcome to contact me, and I will forward a copy which you may freely use, and/or translate, and/or forward to others.

I would also be interested to have some feedback on the following questionnaire which was issued to the public at the Migrants Festival in 2002. There is no name or address of any issuing organization/s printed on the original questionnaires,  (issued in French and German)  but I was informed verbally by 2 people at the booth that it was issued by the Létzebuerger Flüchtlingsrot. Herewith is a copy which I translated into English and added my opinions.

Sincerely

B H

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Questionnaire ( Questions NOT asked by you   -  and my suggestions /comments  -  are marked with    # )

#        What is the purpose of this questionnaire?

#       Are asylum-seekers invited to speak at conferences /lectures organized by the Flüchtligsrot or any of the member groups?

#       How many asylum-seekers or refugees are employed directly or indirectly   ( as consultants, for example)  by any of the organizations belonging to this group?

#   Why is this questionnaire apparently directed ONLY at the general public, and why are questions NOT being directed  -  very specifically  -  to all asylum-seekers and refugees?

#      Why does this questionnaire appear to be framed in a manner which indicates  (possibly erroneously)  that the questions are directed towards receiving answers based on maintaining and accepting the status quo and the inhumane laws presently in force, instead of challenging the basic premises, concepts, amorality and barbaric realities of the ways in which asylum-seekers and refugees are viewed and treated?       Surely a more constructive way to deal with this situation is to IMPROVE attitudes /conditions /laws?

#    The obligations, duties and responsibilities of NGO’s and other organizations dealing with asylum-seekers are to and in behalf of the asylum-seekers, and NOT to the political and/or other agendas of governments and/or other institutions.

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Give us your opinion!

1. Where should newly arrived refugees  (asylum-seekers)  be lodged after their arrival in Luxembourg?
a. In a reception centre
b. In an hotel
c. In a private boarding-house

#  Free to find their own accommodation

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2. In a reception centre  (accommodating 300 persons)  which type of personnel, and how many personnel of each category,  should be employed there to look after the refugees?
a. 1  2  3 Organizers for group activities
b. 1  2  3 Administrators
c. 1  2  3 Social workers
d. 1  2  3 Concierge
e. 1  2  3 Supervisor /Manager
f. 1  3  3 Medical personnel

#  Language teachers

#  Other suggestions

#    Why do asylum-seekers have to live in ANY communal centre?  Maybe the question should be  ‘whether these services should be provided in a centre which is available for asylum-seekers to visit voluntarily if /when they need /want to, but NOT to live.

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3. For how long should 30 people be forced to live in 1 dormitory?
a. 1 night
b. 1 month
c. 6 months
d. 2 years

#   Unless it’s an emergency,  not at all

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4. What services should be provided in a reception centre?
a. Kitchen  YES  NO
b. Sports area
c. Library
d. Study room

#  Childrens playroom

#  TV room

#   Private rooms for interviews, therapy, and other confidential matters

#    Same comment again …. Why do asylum-seekers have to live in ANY communal centre?  Maybe the question should be  ‘whether these services should be provided in a centre which is available for asylum-seekers to visit voluntarily if /when they need /want to, but NOT to live.

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5. After what period should asylum-seekers be given work-permits?  (At present asylum-seekers are forbidden to work)
AFTER a. 1 month
b. 6 months
c. I year
d. Never  # This is a barbaric suggestion.

#  IMMEDIATELY

#  Is funding provided for those asylum-seekers who wish to set up their own businesses and who may at a later stage employ other persons?

#  If not, why not?

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6. Meals for the families in a reception centre should be
a. self-catering
b. provided by a catering-service
c. provided in outside facilities  (canteens or restaurants)  within a 25km radius of the centre.

#    Same comment again …. Why do asylum-seekers have to live in ANY communal centre?  Maybe the question should be  ‘whether these services should be provided in a centre which is available for asylum-seekers to visit voluntarily if /when they need /want to, but NOT to live.

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7. How much pocket-money should adults receive monthly to purchase personal items like toiletry, fruit, newspapers, etc.  (food, accommodation and travel costs not included)?
a. 50 Euro
b. 75
c. 100 or more

#   For those adults who are unable to work, or to find work, or to set up their own businesses

#  What about pocket money for children?

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8. What counselling services should be provided in the reception centre?
a. medical assistance   YES  NO
b. counselling and psychotherapy
c. family therapy
d. legal assistance
e. by representatives of different NGO’s
f. translators
g. by representatives of the Government Ministries

#  Other suggestions?

#   What about education for children?

#    Same comment again …. Why do asylum-seekers have to live in ANY communal centre?  Maybe the question should be  ‘whether these services should be provided in a centre which is available for asylum-seekers to visit voluntarily if /when they need /want to, but NOT to live.

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9. Should those refugees who work for the communal benefit of all in the reception centre be paid?
a. YES
b. NO
c. Or should commercial companies be employed?

#    Same comment again …. Why do asylum-seekers have to live in ANY communal centre?  Maybe the question should be  ‘whether these services should be provided in a centre which is available for asylum-seekers to visit voluntarily if /when they need /want to, but NOT to live.

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10. For how long should asylum-seekers  be kept under provisional and uncertain conditions until their fate is decided?
a. 1 month
b. 6 months
c. 1 year
d indefinite period   # This is a disgusting question,  and is horrific in its implications ….  In this vein, why not add the next 2 questions also?

#   e.   unlimited time, including AFTER death  (which premature death was caused by years of insecurity, depression, etc.)

#  suggested question 11.
How often should asylum-seekers be tortured?
a. 24 hours per day
b. Only once every day plus once every night
c. Only once a day
d. Only once a week
e. Only once a month

#   CORRECT ANSWER TO question 10
1 week - or less if possible
Some vital questions NOT being asked are referred to in my article    „Human Rights and other Irrelevancies“      which is available by request.
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3/2/03 To the Luxembourg Commission Consultative des Droits de l’Homme

Dear Sirs

I would like to add the following comments and questions as a sequel to my previous 2 letters

Also within the framework of human rights and similar subjects discussed at your conference, I would mention a subject which I brought up at a small group-meeting with several speakers and guests at another recent conference. This is regarding the flagrant violation of human rights by so-called democratic, humane and civilized countries  (such as the EU and NATO members)   being perpetrated against citizens, residents and visitors of the EU, and against citizens, residents and visitors of many other countries
Several EU countries  (as well as non-EU countries)  are financing or planning excellent agricultural projects in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola, Moçambique, Colombia and the Balkan States. Included in these projects is the financing of canning-factories for foodstuffs, large quantities of which are for export in order to earn foreign currency.
Considering the fact that all these countries are extremely polluted and devastated by highly toxic Agent-Orange, depleted-uranium and/or other chemicals, why are EU countries importing these extremely poisonous foods into Europe?
Firstly, the labelling of these food products violates EU consumer laws. Nowhere on these packages does it state  “Preserved in Agent Orange”   (or depleted-uranium or other poisons as the case may be).
These importations should in fact be completely banned, as this is a direct threat to the health of EU citizens, residents and visitors.

If EU countries want to help the victims of previous and/or current wars to re-establish their economies and provide health-care for their devastated populations, then I would like to suggest the following:
1. In the cases of the abovementioned S.E. Asian countries, Colombia  (and some other neighboring countries)  finance should be provided by the EU for far more canning factories exclusively dedicated to export, and these foodstuffs should be ONLY exported to the USA, whose politicians, military and taxpayers so generously contribute/d these poisons  -  gratis  -  to these particular countries.  Kissinger Associates, Dyncorp, Halliburton, the original chemical and weapons manufacturers and suppliers, and similar humanitarian and peace-loving corporations would no doubt be delighted to act as exclusive import agents.
2. In the cases of some of the other countries mentioned, all the NATO and  ‘coalition’ members involved in poisoning those lands  -  with the direct and indirect complicity of the politicians, military and taxpayers of the donating countries  -  should also be recipients of this imported poisoned food.
3. Israel for its use of depleted uranium and other illegal weapons in  Palestine and other countries.
4. As should South Africa for its part  (along with USA and others)  in poisoning African countries with chemical and/or biological warfare.

The dilemma of course is that the comments made above are contradictory in nature;  (ie)  these foodstuffs should be banned everywhere in the world  -  including in the countries where they are grown, but as this would be an impossible exercise, wouldn’t it be fair and just that the donors of the original poisons should also share in the  ‘health-giving’  products of their benevolent gifts?

Some parallels may be found in the first press article  ‘Opposition Exposes Lucrative Radioactive Wheat Export Scam’ attached to this letter.

The second press article,  ‘Afghanistan: The Nuclear Nightmare Starts’,   refers not only to my overview in this letter, but also to the comments I made in my first letter to you dated 18/12/02 regarding what I consider to be a crime against humanity perpetrated by states such as Luxembourg,  which return asylum-seekers, refugees and others to countries where depleted uranium, chemical and/or biological weapons have been used, apart from my general objections to forced-deportation.

I wonder what any court applying the ‘Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles’ and other international laws might have to say about these matters, and about the responsible  -  or irresponsible  -  states, individual politicians and others who make the decisions and carry out these acts.

Sincerely

B H

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Opposition Exposes Lucrative Radioactive Wheat Export Scam        Romanian officials claim ignorance of cheap Chernobyl-contaminated produce labeled safe and sold to the Middle East      Published on Sunday, December 1, 2002 by The Sunday Herald (Scotland)      by Gabriel Ronay

Radioactive wheat grown in Ukrainian fields poisoned by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are being repackaged as 'Romanian-grown grain' and exported by Bucharest merchants to Arab countries in a lucrative multimillion pound scam. Radioactive fall-out from the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in the now defunct Soviet Union on April 26, 1986, contaminated wide swathes of Europe and caused serious damage to crops and livestock as far west as the Scottish Highlands and Islands. For years afterwards, hill farmers could not sell their lambs and milk from cows that had fed on tainted grass.     It is still casting a deadly shadow over the Ukraine, the former breadbasket of the region. The radioactive contamination of the soil, one of the long-lasting effects of the explosion of the fourth reactor, is crippling independent Ukraine .    Because of evident contamination of Ukrainian wheat, and also of wheat and cereals grown in the neighboring Republic of Moldova, Arab countries of the near and Middle East have now banned the import of grain from the two countries for fear of radioactive contamination of their people. Enter the new venture capitalists of Romania eager to make a quick buck.       Valeriu Gheorghe, a Romanian opposition Liberal Party deputy, last week unmasked the profiteers in parliament, pointing a finger not only at Romania's Mammon worshippers, who allegedly buy up the condemned wheat of the Ukraine and Moldova, but also at certain government officials.     He also revealed the modus operendi of the scam. He told parliament: 'Romania is a prime importer of Ukrainian and Moldovan grain and the two countries also use Romania for the transit of their wheat shipments to their traditional Arab markets. In the course of the transit, Ukrainian and Moldovan wheat gets relabeled 'Romanian wheat' and is then exported to foreign markets.  In other words, radioactive wheat bought at bargain prices is being sold at full market price by Romanian entrepreneurs to unsuspecting foreign consumers as Bucharest officials avert their eyes.     Although the public-spirited deputy did not touch on the moral dimensions of the trade in condemned wheat, he posed the question: 'Is there now, because of it, any possibility that consumers are eating radioactive bread?' And he justified his question by quoting from a formal statement issued by the Association of Romanian Cereal Wholesalers confirming that: 'In the financial years 2001 and 2002, Romania imported considerable quantities of radioactive wheat from the Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.' Whether out of concern for the health of consumers, Arab or Romanian, or for fear of the collapse of the credibility of Romanian-grown wheat on the world markets, the deputy demanded to know from the agriculture minister what action, if any, he has taken to stop the illegal commerce in Ukrainian and Moldovan cereals and whether, in view of the Arab ban, any checks on radioactivity have been put in place at Romania's frontier entry points?   In his reply, agriculture minister llie Sarbu tried to cover up the issue by denying that any Ukrainian wheat purchases have been authorized by his ministry. But he admitted that up to October 27 of this year, Romania had imported 19,079 tonnes of wheat from Moldova and reeled off a raft of other import statistics to support his whiter-than-white position. Minister Sarbu's reply would have been a triumph in obfuscation even in the days of Romania's Stalinist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.    Unfortunately for him, Ion Scurteli, the chairman of the Association of Romanian Cereal Wholesalers' reinforced deputy Veleriu Gheorghe's revelations and gave the lie to the agriculture minister's statement. In an interview with the Bucharest daily Ziua, he demolished Sarbu's plea of official ignorance of this nefarious trade: 'In the past two years, certain Arab countries have recorded that wheat imports from the Black Sea basin were radioactive. In this period, the Romanian agriculture ministry received a series of requests from Arab countries for wheat exports, with one of the key conditions being the exclusion of radioactive grain.     The association has received letters from Arab countries specifying the quality of cereals, especially of wheat. Wheat from the Ukraine and Moldova is expressly banned from the Arab markets because of fear of radioactive contamination. These exclusions were also spelled out in official letters to the Romanian ministry of agriculture, the ministry of foreign affairs and the local Romanian embassies.'    Scurteli added that in spite of these formal requests, no Geiger-counter checks have been used on wheat imports from the Ukraine and Moldova at Romania's frontiers. 'We cannot stop the import of wheat from the Ukraine,' he admitted. 'But at least we could protect ourselves with proper checks against the import of radioactive cereals. This way, we could protect the health of our people and defend the good reputation of our wheat abroad.' In view of the shocking revelations of Gheorghe and the candid statement of the chief of the Romanian Cereal Wholesalers' Association official Bucharest's plea of ignorance of the commerce in radioactive wheat is untenable.    But Romanian officials are not alone in putting profit before the health of consumers. The bankrupt regime of President Kuchma of the Ukraine must have sold its contaminated wheat in underhand deals knowing full well it was not fit for human consumption.

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http://www.coastalpost.com/03/01/03.htm
Afghanistan: The Nuclear Nightmare Starts

THE CONTINUED USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM BY U.S. AND BRITISH ARMIES IS WORSE THAN A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. IT IS A MOST BARBARIC ABOMINATION THAT WILL REMAIN AS A DEADLY AND CRUEL LEGACY FOR COUNTLESS GENERATIONS TO COME AND COULD, IN TIME, CONTAMINATE THE ENTIRE PLANET. THE REVULSION STEMMING FROM THE SIGHT OF COUNTLESS HORRIFICALLY DEFORMED BABIES IN IRAQ, BOSNIA, KOSOVO AND SOON IN AFGHANISTAN, AS WELL AS THE GROWING HORDS OF CHILDREN DYING FROM DU-INDUCED CANCER WILL HAUNT US ALL FOR A LONG TIME TO COME AS ONE OF THE WORST POSSIBLE NIGHTMARES RESULTING FROM "MODERN" WARFARE.      STOPPING THIS CRIMINAL INSANITY IS AN ABSOLUTE *MUST* AND BRINGING TO JUSTICE THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ORDERING THIS HORROR, A COMMON RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL HUMANITY.           By Davey Garland   CoastalPost.com

When questions were asked in the British parliament a year ago about whether depleted uranium (DU) weapons had been used in the military strikes on Afghanistan, "It is not being used at present" was defense minister Geoff Hoon's reply. A few days earlier, Hoon had been similarly vague on the issue, assuring us that: "No British forces currently engaged in operations around Afghanistan are armed with depleted uranium ammunition. However, we do not rule out the use of depleted uranium ammunition in Afghanistan, should its penetrative capability be judged necessary in the future." The defense minister played his cards close to his chest, no doubt having been informed that DU or other uranium weapons were being used by the United States (and no doubt British) forces to penetrate the caverns of Tora Bora and other targets (including civilian ones), especially in the vicinity of Kabul.
The refusal of the Ministry of Defense to fully admit that dangerous uranium weapons may have been used in Afghanistan and the conflicts in the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosova), when evidence shows the contrary, illustrates
just how sensitive the government is to the possibility that its use, or its collusion in the use, of weapons of mass destruction may be discovered. This is not just because thousands of innocent civilians will suffer due to
radiological (and heavy metal) poisoning, but also because the government is prepared to send British troops and aid workers, possibly for a long occupation of the war zones, ill-equipped and vulnerable to contamination.
When the Afghan crisis began, many of us believed that a great amount of DU/dirty uranium would be used to achieve the US-British campaign objectives, both to penetrate the opposition's hideouts in rocky terrain and to test new weapons systems (dirty uranium or dirty DU contains radioactive contaminants, such as plutonium isotopes, derived from spent fuel from power reactors). The amount used in Afghanistan might haveexceeded the several hundred ton's of DU/dirty uranium used in the 1990-91 Gulf War and the Balkans conflicts.
Startling report      A startling new report based on research in Afghanistan indicates that our worst fears have been realized. The study, produced by the Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC), points to the likelihood of large numbers of the population being exposed to uranium dust and debris. Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine and radiology and a former science adviser to the US military, who set-up the independent UMRC, has been testing US, British, and Canadian troops and civilians for DU and uranium poisoning over the past few years. His findings confirm significant amounts in the subjects' urine as much as nine years after exposure.   Two scientific study teams were sent to Afghanistan in the aftermath of the conflict in 2001-02. The first arrived in June 2002, concentrating on the Jalalabad region. The second arrived four months later, broadening the
study to include the capital Kabul, which has a population of nearly 3.5 million people. The city itself contains the highest recorded number of fixed targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. For the study's purposes, the vicinity of three major bomb sites were examined. It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was possibly causing the high levels of illness but also high concentrations of non-depleted uranium. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabadd subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before. Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure and with some types of chemical or biological weaponry. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Many of these symptoms are found in Gulf War and Balkans veterans and civilians. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous. The study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months. The team also conducted a preliminary sample examination of new-born infants, discovering that at least 25% may be suffering from congenital and post-natal health problems that could be associated with uranium contamination. These include undeveloped muscles, large head in comparison to body size, skin rashes and infant lethargy. Considering that the children had access to sufficient levels of nutrition, the symptoms could not be due to malnourishment. Durakovic and his team have searched for possible alternative causes, such as geological or industrial sources, or the likelihood of Al Qaeda having uranium reserves. But the uranium found is not consistent with the "dirty bomb" scenario proposed by the US (in which stores of radioactive materials might explain the findings), nor is it connected to DU, or an enriched uranium-type dust that has been found in Iraq and Kosova. The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now possibly using milled uranium ore in their warheads to maximize the effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to mask the uranium, hoping that it may be discounteded as part of any local natural deposits. However, marked differences between natural uranium and the uranium used in the metal fragments found in Afghanistan was uncovered with the use of an electron microscope, which revealed the presence of small ceramic particles produced by the high temperatures created on impact. This method of disguising uranium would benefit governments that are under pressure from the growing anti-DU lobby. And British and Afghan governments in April by scientific researcher Dai Williams in her report, "Mystery Metal in Afghanistan". Warning were also sent to the UN Environment Program, the World Health Organization and Oxfam. All have ignored them and failed to conduct their own investigations.
Iraq          Present information and studies stressing the growing mortality rates amongst young children, especially the new born, indicate that malnutrition and other social causes cannot be the only attributable source of this phenomenon. This is confirmed by health specialists, international observers and a few brave officials from local hospitals who are convinced that this rise in illnesses and malformation are due to uranium/DU weapons.
In October, Durakovic spoke on al Jazeera television, claiming that the amount of DU/uranium used in Afghanistan far exceeded that of past conflicts. He also warned that if the scale of the attacks in Afghanistan was matched or exceeded in a forthcoming war in Iraq, then the consequences would be of appalling proportions for both civilians and military forces alike. This scenario has substance, if the $393 billion defense authorization bill that Congress approved recently is taken into account. More than $15 million was assigned to modifying bunker busters bombs to nuclear capable, quite apart from uranium being added to conventional and bunker buster systems. Money was also invested in other weapons of mass destruction, including thermobaric and electromagnetic weapons.
The anti-war movement must oppose radiological and other weapons, as well as research and access to the source materials. Many of us have seen the heart-wrenching pictures of deformity and death in Iraq, and know of the growing cancer wards in Bosnia and Kosovo, not to mention the 80,000 American, 15,000 Canadian and thousands of British, Australian, French and other troops who are suffering a painful existence from Gulf War Syndrome plus the growing number suffering from a Balkans equivalent.
Davey Garland is a coordinator of the British-based Pandora DU Research Project. Source; Green Left Weekly, Issue of December 2002.

"The military as an instrument of mass killing is a waste institution - humans, energy, oil, metals, scientific and technical skills, money – it consumes all and restores nothing to the resources of the planet. Any
faithful or sane scrutiny would conclude that it must be dismantled. It kills, threatens and wastes - it is the BIG LIE institutionalized. Its veneer and untouchability gives new meaning to the demonic."
- Phil Berrigan (Anti-war activist who spent 11 years of his 79 years in prison for non-violent resistance to America's "bosses and warriors", as he put it. He died of cancer on December 6, 2002)
"I die with the conviction, held since 1968 and Catonsville, that nuclear weapons are the scourge of the earth; to mine for them, manufacture them, deploy them, use them, is a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself. We have already exploded such weapons in Japan in 1945 and the equivalent of them in Iraq in 1991, in Yugoslavia in 1999, and in Afghanistan in 2001. We left a legacy for other people of deadly radioactive isotopes - a prime counterinsurgency measure. For example, the people of Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Pakistan will be battling cancer, mostly from depleted uranium, for decades. In addition, our nuclear adventurism over 57 years has saturated the planet with nuclear garbage from testing, from explosions in high altitudes (four of these), from 103 nuclear power plants, from nuclear weapons factories that can't be cleaned up - and so on. Because of myopic leadership, of greed for possessions, a public chained to corporate media, there has been virtually no response to these realities..."
- Last statement from Phil Berrigan soon before he died.

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cc HRH  The Grand Duke of Luxembourg
 Mr. Charles Goerens  Mrs. Christiane Martin
 Mr. Raymond Weber  Mr. Norbert von Kunitzki
 Mr. Jul Christophory  Mr. Azedine Lamamra
 Ms. Isil Gachet  Ms. Isabelle Chopin
 Ms. Beate Winkler  Mr. Lukas Sosoe
 Mr. Jean-Paul Harpes  Mr. Ardavan Fatholahzadeh
 Mr. Fernand Speltz  Mr. Victor Weitzel
 ÂLNU   ASTI
 CARITAS   CLAE
 Amnesty International  GFBV International

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We caught another asylum-seeker!



 

TEXT III
 

Greetings!!!! ….. you are welcome to publish  (partially or fully)  distribute, install on your website, link, forward by e-mail, and/or translate this article freely.  It would be appreciated if you would notify us of any media or other publication of this and future articles.  Copies of any translations would also be welcome.   Thanks      The author has worked with asylum-seekers and victims of torture, and also assisted them with some legal information.  He has many years of experience in these matters, having worked and lived in various countries in Africa, S. E. Asia and Europe.   This article is used by many refugee organizations and psychologists in several countries as an introduction to some of the realities on the ground. B. Hassall     asylum_seekers_forum@gmx.net

Is this the Luxembourg  (& EU)  program for the  ‘Final Solution’  for stateless persons and asylum-seekers?

OR   ‘Snow White & the Madness of Truth’  (with acknowledgements to Mr & Mrs Feiler for this title taken from their art exhibition in Sweden).

I am trying to introduce some other  -  sane  -  reality into the distorted picture of asylum seeking.

If I’m scapegoated for pointing out the reality  -  that the emperor has no clothes  -  that’s par for the course! It’s also a childish, arrogant, stupid and counterproductive attitude and action. Telling my truth is obviously heretical and seditious, in line with the Inquisitional /burocratic approach to reality. Fairly typical of the  ‘would-be übermensch’  syndrome.

All my comments and views expressed herein are psychological definitions  -  although the use of these definitions in psychology may have other meanings in terms of the law.

My premise is that politics should be completely divorced from humanitarian considerations.

I also point out that I, and other asylum seekers, are not against any individual or administration; we are struggling  -  peacefully and through legal channels  -  to retain our innate rights, and to prevent this administration from depriving us of these rights.

I consider many of the actions by the Luxembourg administration to be acts of 'MALFEASANCE'.
Dictionary definitions:
Illegal or unethical conduct; wrongdoing beyond simple negligence, especially on the part of administration officials.
Failure to perform, or complete neglect of, a required legal or contractual duty.
Negligence, incompetence, or the improper performance of a legal act.

The most important human right is the right of all individuals to life     (recognized in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).   The right to life is the "supreme right" from which no derogation is permitted and the protection of this right requires that State parties adopt positive measures.

I refer to my letter of 11/9/01 to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Lydie Polfer, requesting that information be given to me on how to proceed with my application. I’m still awaiting her reply after 2½  years.
I wrote letters to Commissaire Ms Christiane Martin and to Minister Ms Marie-Josée Jacobs, both of the Ministry of Family, to which I have had no response
I wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Mr J-C Juncker, to which I have had no response
I wrote to the Attorney General, to which letter I have had no response
Some letters were written over 3 months ago, and the non-response to my letters by various administration departments is, if not illegal, then I certainly consider it to be illegitimate, uncouth, and a travesty of the spirit of  -  and the right to  -  good governance.

When this administration specifically and deliberately refuses to communicate with me  -  then I am the one who is not cooperating?!

Abuses against me include attempted intimidation, misleading information given to the courts, and of course the infamous  ‘administrative silence game’  possibly being played by all the above, to which  ‘game’  I refer in my article  “Human Rights & other Irrelevancies”, a copy of which is available on request.

The fact is that there is no such thing as a  ‚refugee problem’.  The reality is that politicians are the cause of wars and other disasters, and that asylum seekers are the victims.

The individual at the Ministry of Justice, and Ms Martin in her capacity as a lawyer and as Commissaire, have both  -  it would appear to me  -  acted illegally by countermanding a court order which granted me financial and medical assistance. Since when are Ministries or their agents given what appears to be the right to break the law, and to do so with apparent impunity?  Under international laws from the time of Nuremberg, as well as under current local laws, is it not clear that illegal orders which are carried out by an individual, whatever their status within or outside politics or administrative duties, makes that individual personally liable for prosecution for carrying out that illegal order, as well as the individual who gave that illegal order?

Ms Martin complained verbally to my lawyer that my letters to her and to the Minister are insulting. My letters are NOT in any way insulting, but angry, and it is THEIR treatment of ME, and others, which is insulting!

This attitude of  ‚blame the victim’  is absurd and unacceptable.     It is the equivalent of a rapist accusing and prosecuting the victim for defending themself against the rapist!

My letters to both Ms Martin and to Ms Jacobs state clearly my objections to the unacceptable treatment of myself and other asylum seekers by the staff at the Ministry of Family, and ALL Ministries should be ORDERED to change their attitudes and treatment towards us.

As another example of the  ‘blame the victim’  charade, the Ministry of Justice accuses me  (they don’t ask me whether their allegations are true)  of not requesting financial and other assistance when I arrived in Luxembourg.    Mail exchanges between myself and my ex-lawyer contradict this false assertion. The court may wish to ask my ex-lawyer why he explicitly refused to ask for this assistance in my behalf.
I also refer to my various letters to HRH The Grand Duke from October 2001 onwards where I asked for assistance, and which requests by HRH to the ministries concerned were ignored.   The ministry also alleges that I didn’t comply with certain  -  unstated  -  administrative procedures and that I deliberately withheld information from them. We’re back to the analogy of the rapist again!

"Rights" are not something any government can ever rescind. That's why they are called "rights" and not "indulgences" or "privileges". When any government "scales back" rights, it is acting contrary to its laws and Constitution, which means that government ceases to be the legal government of the land.

In Luxembourg, a person who TAKES ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE,  is deemed  ‘to be innocent until proven guilty’  unless convicted by a court of law.
Also in Luxembourg, a person who has SAVED HIS or HER OWN LIFE, and has thus become stateless or an asylum seeker, is treated  ‘as guilty until proven innocent’. This is apparently acceptable because he or she is, in my opinion,  pre-judged and pre-convicted by political decree.

In effect, for committing the  ‘heinous crime’   of escaping to  ‘safety’, for over 35% of my lifetime I have been illegitimately deprived of my basic human rights and freedoms.

Thus, I have not been allowed to legally;
earn a living, or to practice my work-skills, nor to update these skills and continue  learning new and other relevant skills. This prejudices not only my current quality of life and of health, but also dramatically reduces my future capacity for earning an income, and my future quality of life and health.

nor have I been given any financial assistance

nor have I been given health care

nor have I been given legal status as a  ‘stateless person’

nor do I have legal documentation

nor am I able to travel

nor has it been financially possible to study the local languages nor to adequately integrate into society

The current political agenda, dogma and treatment of asylum seekers is apparently diametrically opposed to human rights, and I consider that I am explicitly and deliberately targeted, abused, harassed, treated with contempt, marginalized, ignored, and generally subjected to what I would deem to be state-sanctioned cruelty and psycho-terror tactics, because of the simple fact that I’m stateless.

I didn’t come to Europe for the frivolous, and extremely dubious, pleasure of enjoying the tropical climate here;
I escaped to Europe to avoid being tortured and /or murdered, and to seek sanctuary, hope and justice, NOT to be further brutalized!

I am not the 1st or only Stateless Person in Luxembourg, nor in Europe, and the relevant Conventions and Laws state either explicitly and /or implicitly that ALL stateless persons and asylum seekers have the absolute RIGHT to financial and medical assistance, especially as we are legally forbidden to work. This apart from the humanitarian considerations and the non-negotiable HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE.  There are vast numbers of de jure and de facto decisions which have been made world wide on this matter, but the Ministry of Justice disputes this obligation and these precedents.

I recommend a most important article,  “Health & Well-being of Asylum Seekers & Refugees”,
http://www.asylumsupport.info/publications/kingsfund/wellbeing.pdf
which covers some of the reasons why I refuse to accept the accommodation offered by the Ministry of Family, which accommodation in my opinion could politely be described as  ‘slum-ghetto conditions’.
I will under no circumstances live in such disgusting accommodation, which would seriously affect my physical and mental well-being. In fact, no human being should be forced to live in  -  or even be offered  -  such unsanitary, unhealthy and brutal living conditions.
Some of my articles and letters on these subjects were written many years ago, as well as similar studies having been made by many other individuals and organizations, and these facts are now beginning to be recognized and accepted world wide.

There are also several recent articles on these subjects available under the heading  ‘Good Practice Guides on the Integration of Refugees in the EU’   which are extremely relevant. http://www.asylumsupport.info/publications/ecre/integration.htm

I attach very relevant press articles regarding statements made by Mrs Cherie Blair, one of the most prestigious UK lawyers   (who is also the wife of the PM of UK, Mr Tony Blair),  as well as articles by other authors on the same subject. I wrote about these practices in my letters to the Luxembourg Commission on Human Rights, copies of which letters are available on request.

The situation of asylum seekers and stateless persons MAY be  'irregular', but it certainly is NOT  'illegal'.
It’s nonsense and illogical  -  in both common usage and in legal terminology  -  to talk about or define asylum seekers and stateless persons as being  ‚illegal’,   By definition, asylum seekers and stateless persons are INNATELY  -  and in legal status  -  ‚lawful immigrants’.  This innate right to escape from being murdered and to enter another country is confirmed legally under the UDHR, the Refugee and Stateless Conventions   (and many other laws)  apart from simple logic.
It is the obligation and the duty of the host administrations to  ‚regularize’  our status, and it is our INNATE RIGHT to have our status recognized and to be given protection and assistance.

Because asylum-seekers frequently have to   'cross the street where there is no zebra-crossing'    (escape / enter without papers / with false papers / clandestinely)  in order to avoid being murdered, the host administrations are trying to charge us  -  in essence  -  of  'littering the street’   or  'jay-walking’   (the  'victimize the victim'  powergame).   Is that what gives states the  ‚right’  to try to murder us by starvation, lack of medical attention, etc.?

If animals were maltreated the way asylum seekers are, the local Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would organize their members to riot in the streets, and the politicians would kowtow and grovel and also protest because it’s in their personal and political interests to  ‘show solidarity’  with  their voters.
Unfortunately there is no Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Human Beings to educate the public and the politicians, and to protect the  ‘untermenschen’. So this deliberate perverse persecution continues to be inflicted cruelly on innocent, vulnerable and already traumatized human beings, specifically because we are labelled  -  in this case  ‘asylum seekers’  -  and we are not treated as individual human beings.

Luxembourg spends a vast fortune in time, money and other resources in keeping the cities’ gardens beautiful and full of flowers. It would be magnificent if the administration devoted as much loving care and attention to helping asylum seekers and other human beings as they lavish on the plants.

Why are asylum-seekers forced to live in special centres?
This is  -  in essence  -  the administration’s taking away freedom from us traumatized people who have already lost so many freedoms, so that the administration and the courts of justice may   .....   or may not ........   possibly .....   eventually ......   grant us some freedom.
Is this more Orwellian doublespeak of   ‚Freedom from Freedom’?

Why should asylum-seekers live under such marginalized and humiliating conditions?
This is totally unacceptable.    Refer to my published article  ‚Human Rights & other Irrelevancies’  for more details.

What are the goals /objectives of the current administration’s policy and laws which have been promulgated against asylum-seekers?

Why does the Luxembourg administration appear to use punitive methods instead of rehabilitation?

Why does the Luxembourg administration apparently choose conflict, coercion, imposition and terrorism instead of co-operation, dialog, inter-dependency, common-cause for compromise  (equal benefit)  and by sharing responsibility?

Honesty is needed.   All parties have needs and rights. Why not choose a creative /constructive approach?

To get down to fundamentals, according to political dogma and doctrine, a piece of paper is more important than a human life. That’s the reality on the ground, and it’s insane!

What is the difference between administrations which pass specific laws giving their state the  ‘right’  to  ‘legally’  murder and /or inflict other barbaric cruelties on human beings who have the  ‘wrong’  color eyes, or  ‘wrong’  color skin, or  ‘wrong’ accent, or have the  ‘wrong’  belief system,

          and administrations which do precisely the same thing on the basis that a human being has the  ‘wrong’  papers (or no papers)?

(the use of these definitions in psychology may have other meanings in terms of the law)
Segregation / apartheid tactics are forbidden under international law.   Isolating individuals or groups is psychologically defined as  ‘a conscious, intentional, deliberate, targeted, illegitimate, criminal, tyrannical, malicious and specific use of torture as a means to coerce; intimidate; exclude; reinforce a sense of fear, helplessness, hopelessness, and dependency; impose prolonged financial, health and psychological poverty and deprivation, and cripples many people for life.’ This forced isolation also gives asylum seekers very little possibility to form friendships or intimate relationships, both of which are vital for our literal survival, and for our psychological and physical well being.  Unlike convicted criminals who have a known and fixed set of consequences, asylum seekers  -  who are NOT criminals  -  are kept in limbo with no timetable, and made to wait, and wait, and wait  … ………….. interminably ………………..  with no end in sight.
These measures are used by totalitarian, fascist, and racist states, and are also used by so-called democratic states, and in my opinion this includes Luxembourg because of its use of these methods. I consider this to be essentially an act of state-sanctioned terrorism of the vilest type.

Regarding the matter of food and other voucher systems used by various administrations, a stateless person or asylum seeker is thus deliberately treated as a child, and deliberately treated with contempt, because we are not given cash with which to buy food but vouchers which can only be used at specific stores. This is another humiliation as we have to  (in many stores)  go to a separate checkout counter, and the personnel demand to see an identity card.  This is totally
unacceptable practice, as ID cards show personal information which is confidential, and store clerks and others are NOT entitled to have this information. The treatment by personnel at many stores is arrogant and insulting once they see that the individual is using vouchers.  This practice also means that we are unable to choose where we shop, as well as the fact that detailed copies of purchases are forwarded to the ministry responsible, so we are effectively being spied on as to our eating habits.  This whole process is demeaning, as well as being cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
These tactics are obviously used to send a signal to other asylum seekers that their presence is not welcome or tolerated, but I consider these methods to be crimes against humanity.

Punishing any person for an offence that he or she has not committed  -  as a reprisal or as a  deterrent  -  amounts to collective punishment, which is prohibited under international laws.

There’s not that much difference between Guantanamo, Nauru, the Australian, British, and other EU states’  ‘detention centres’  or  ‘refugee centres’ , which are euphemisms for  ‘concentration camps’ /  ‘gulags’. Apart from Guantanamo and Nauru, these  ‘centres’  in other countries may be classified as  ‘concentration camps / gulags light’,  but they are ‘concentration camps’ /  ‘gulags’ nevertheless. The only difference is the degree and quantity of brutality and suffering inflicted on asylum seekers.
Isn’t it just a VERY short next step to wearing armbands, or being branded with numbers, sent to slaughterhouses, etc,,  because we seek asylum and are therefore  ‘other’,  ‘different’,  ‘outsiders’,  ‘less than human’?

All ministers of the Luxembourg administration and other people who deal with asylum-seekers should be given a forced 1 month free holiday  -  together with all their families  -  at one of these  ‘refugee centres' / gulags.  After which holiday, attitudes to, and the treatment of asylum-seekers, would probably dramatically change for the better!
Most of these human beings  -  who are coerced into  'living'  under such barbaric conditions  -  need urgent psychological treatment, not only for the traumas they've suffered in their home countries and for what they went through whilst escaping, but probably far more so for the present traumas being inflicted daily by the Luxembourg administration’s brutality.

I attach a copy of the   “Report on my visit to Tarchamps slum-ghetto  - alias  ‘refugee centre’.”

"Democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinning of life in society. . . Those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life.”

Based on my many years of experience working with asylum seekers  -  both before and after I myself became stateless  -  I consider that the basic problem stems from the misconception of the plight of asylum-seekers by many individuals within administrative and governmental departments, as well as by the unfavorable image about us which has been deliberately created by political and media spin-doctors.
The rhetoric is always that asylum-seekers are the problem.   Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of ANY war, ANYWHERE, at ANY TIME, which has been created by asylum-seekers.   Apart from natural disasters,  ALL  wars,  and thus asylum-seekers, are created by regimes,  and it’s asylum-seekers as victims who are blamed  -  and then further victimized  by the same regimes  -  for being in that situation!
The terms  ‚asylum-seekers’,  ‚refugees’  and  ‚illegal immigrants’  have now become epithets, and I think that the UN,  aid agencies and all others dealing with asylum-seekers should change their terms of reference in order to counter the disgusting political and media propaganda-machines which attempt to demonize and criminalize us for their own twisted political and anti-social agendas.
It’s far too easy to dismissively and contemptuously refer to us as  .....  ‚Oh, those bloody refugees’.
If we were referred to as   ‚human beings begging for a safe haven due to their fear of being murdered’   or similar phrasing,  it would make a great deal of difference to the understanding  -  and of the concept  -  of our situation  by the regimes and by the general public.

It is unacceptable that in looking for safety we are treated with barbarities, degraded, marginalized, criminalized, and tortured psychologically.  Considering that in terms of realpolitik Luxembourg  -    indirectly and/or directly  -  is partly responsible for many of these conditions from which we escape, this attitude is even more unjustifiable and irresponsible.

On these matters of Luxembourg’s involvement and responsibility in financing rogue regimes and wars, I will give some explicit details to the court, and specifically on how Luxembourg  -  along with many other administrations  -  supported the fascist regimes in certain countries and flouted international sanctions against these regimes. This is part of the reality of why I am stateless.  Luxembourg is part of the problem, but apparently not part of the solution in these matters.

It is in NO WAY permissible for any administration to decide whether any individual feels  'safe'  to return to any other country. THIS IS A MATTER   -  ONLY AND SPECIFICALLY  -  FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL TO DECIDE PERSONALLY!
Over the past 4 to 6 years, the various EU regimes have  -  according to published information  - carried out deportations to such wonderfully  'safe'  countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria and the Balkans.
By sending refugees and/or others back to politically-designated  ‘safe countries’   [Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria and the Balkans are  ‘safe’?!?!]  which have been saturated by these same EU states  -  directly and indirectly, by commission and/or by omission  -  with  [for example]  depleted-uranium, is simply a way of claiming innocence and impunity, using lying and callous propaganda to show their citizens and the rest of the world their  'spotless, angelic and humane death-masks',  whilst at the same time deliberately exporting human beings to die somewhere else,  but certainly  "not murder them within  'my'  state borders", and is in my opinion inherently illegal, amoral and even genocidal, and is a travesty of humanity and of justice.
On all official governmental websites there are explicit warnings that these countries are extremely unsafe to visit, however refugees are obviously not considered as human beings, so it’s  ‘safe’  for them.

In effect, Luxembourg and the other EU states DO have the death-penalty.          This fact is hidden by misleading propaganda and distortion of the reality on the ground, and the death-penalty is carried out by exporting people from the EU to die elsewhere, so projecting the hallucinatory image of these countries'   'humane and civilized'  attitude. Effectively, many human beings have been murdered in this way by the EU administrations, with  -  apparently  -  no legal or other accountability whatsoever.  See also my letters to the Luxembourg Commission on Human Rights with attached articles on this subject.
I’m not really surprised that the refugee community in Luxembourg refer to Luxair as  ‘Luc Friedhof’s Airline of Death’.

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Gas-chambers are no longer fashionable,  nor are they commercially viable.

Why don’t host-countries just reintroduce the guillotine?

(or alternatively bring back the delightful Inquisitional  ‘sport’  of barbecuing live human beings on an open bonfire, while the kids sing nursery rhymes?)

This has multiple benefits:-    It would save taxpayers having to foot the bill for transportation  and  other expulsion costs.   It could be the base for a new entertainment industry which is beneficial to the local economy.       It’s wholesome family entertainment, with reduced entrance fees for children,  and which at the same time educates the entire population as to how we asylum-seekers should be viewed  and  treated. It would also be a rare  and  wonderful display of honesty to show the world openly what the local political  and  social agenda really is,  so that the citizens  and  the outside world can never again claim   *we didn’t know what was happening*.

The end result for us asylum-seeker is the same  -  torture  and /or death.

Guillotining us would save us from these agonies, uncertainties, terrors  and  stress,  so this system for eliminating us could thus be marketed by each host-country’s government, media  and  civil population as a   *humane act*,    so keeping their individual  and  collective consciences clear.

This would give us the ultimate freedom ……..  ‘Freedom from Life’!

********************************************************************

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."    --William Pitt

The rhetoric and spin-doctoring of political dogma and realpolitik, plus the media distortion of reality, is unacceptable. The image given out is that asylum seekers  ‘demand’  financial and other support from the host countries. This is pure propaganda and lies, used deliberately to influence the innocent and gullible taxpayers and voters to become  ‘anti-asylum seekers’.   I consider that this is a fraud perpetrated on taxpayers by the administration  -   which specifically disallows us permission to work and to contribute tax  -  and then blames us for  ‘claiming’  assistance.    We  ‘claim’  and  ‘demand’  the inviolable human right to protection and safety.  We  ‘ask’  for the right to work and to be self supporting. An intelligent and humane way forward is to allow asylum seekers to work, regain our self-worth and autonomy, integrate, practice work skills and update same,  (or learn new skills and languages)  and so be productive members of the host country’s society. This means that if asylum seekers return to their country of origin, or remain in the host country, we are always an asset, to ourselves, our families, and to society.
Depriving human beings of any outlet for positive and constructive creativity and expression  (work, etc)  drives a micro-minority of these people to a negative expression of that suppressed creativity  -  namely destructive violence, depression, drugs, criminality, etc..  The administration then blames the victims  -  again  -  when they are in reality being victimized and repressed by the selfsame administration’s policies.
Asylum seekers and stateless persons are not allowed to work or earn money, and many of us are deprived of all state assistance, but we are forced to pay tax!  It's the TVA,  (VAT)  and one cannot eat or otherwise purchase anything without being forced to pay this tax. It's called taxation without representation  -  also known as extortion or blackmail  -  and is another hidden facet of the abuse of asylum seekers and others. In effect, we are forced into financing the administrations which brutalize us. See the article   'The European Ombudsman - Jacob Soderman'   regarding 'the fundamental rights to good administration'.

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."      ---Thomas Paine, "Common Sense" (Feb 1776)
 
In "The Banality of Evil", Edward S Herman wrote, "Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on 'normalisation'... There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals... others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive Napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public."

Deliberate lies, distortions and anti-immigrant, anti-refugee spin-doctoring is used by the regimes, and is supported and promoted by much of the national and international media. See many press and other articles on this subject, and the paragraph below.  Cynicism, state-terrorism and the brainwashing of citizens and others, is, of course, a priority for all regimes.
As a prime example, many European and other countries' citizens died due to the power of the Nazi regime. Why therefore are there streets in various EU cities named in  'honor'  of a person who was a known Hitler admirer, and who was also personally  -  in his capacity as one of the senior members of GE  -  and later was also politically responsible, for directly financing, trading with, and supporting that regime, before AND during WWII?  Why do neither those who were tortured or otherwise damaged by the Hitler regime, nor the families of those who died, object to these streets being named after a mass-murdering so-called  'hero'  as being an insult to them personally, as well as to the whole of humanity? Why have no historians or others pointed out this disgusting anomaly? Just because the so-called leaders of certain EU countries at that time decided to promote this person as a  'savior'  -  for whatever political agenda was expedient for them  -  does not mean that the reality and truth of the facts should remain hidden from the citizens of these countries in the 21st century.
Why not provide a little honesty, and name this street, for example,  blvd Hitler, or blvd Stalin, or blvd Bush, or blvd King Leopold, or blvd Peres, or blvd Pol Pot, which would make about as much sense as its present name,   blvd F D Roosevelt.
The same brainwashing techniques and cynicism apply to the current anti-asylum-seekers campaigns.

We hold this truth      [universal declaration of mental rights and freedoms]
That all human beings are created different. That every human being has the right to be mentally free and independent.
That every human being has the right to feel, see, hear, sense, imagine, believe or experience anything at all, in any way, at any time.
That every human being has the right to behave in any way that does not harm others or break fair and just laws.
That no human being shall be subjected without consent to incarceration, restraint, punishment, or psychological or medical intervention in an attempt to control, repress or alter the individual's thoughts, feelings or experiences.

There must be a clear distinction made between the terms which are being deliberately abused  -  these terms being  ‘asylum seekers’ and  ‘migrants’. In law and in reality these are very specifically different categories.

News quote.   “A new, and seriously important opportunity has developed to "nail down" journalists and writers in Australia who engage in forms of distorting the facts in relation to refugees and asylum seekers.   THE UK SITUATION  As the documents, reproduced below, clarify, the UK Press Complaints
Commission (PCC, item 2) recently issued new Guidelines for journalistic behaviour relating to writing about refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press. The PCC identified the use of the term "illegal", "illegal immigrant" or "illegal asylum seeker", and stated that the use of this terminology is erroneous in the context of asylum claimants' rights under the UN Refugee Convention and as such constitute a Breach of the PCC clauses of "accuracy" in reporting. The use of the terms "illegal", "illegal immigrant" or "illegal asylum seeker" and "unauthorised arrival" is erroneous: under the UN Refugee Convention also those who enter "on their own initiative" have the right to claim asylum, whether they arrive by plane, boat, container or in a dinghy, with or without valid identity papers. In addition, but this is just my personal view: under pressure and with the debatable "leadership" of the Howard government and its ministers, sitting members and candidates, before, during and since the last Federal election, the use of this type of terminology deliberately sought to mislead the Australian public about Australia's obligations to asylum seekers under the UN Refugee Convention, because the refugee convention was written and developed precisely to pre-empt this type of 'arriving' in a country.  The Commission is concerned that editors should ensure that their journalists covering these issues are mindful of the problems that can occur and take care to avoid misleading or distorted terminology. By way of example, as an "asylum seeker" is someone currently seeking refugee status or humanitarian protection, there can be no such thing in law as an "illegal asylum seeker". A "refugee" is someone who has fled their country in fear of their life, and may have been granted asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention or someone who otherwise qualifies for Humanitarian Protection, Discretionary Leave or has been granted Exceptional Leave to Remain in the country. An asylum seeker can only become an "illegal immigrant" if he or she remains in the UK after having failed to respond to a removal notice.”      End quote.

According to press reports, 10 billion Euros are spent annually by the EU countries to harass, intimidate, exclude, control and otherwise brutalize asylum seekers. There are better ways to use this vast amount of wasted taxpayers’ money to benefit human beings, rather than to tyrannize them.

Some quotations from various sources.
“Asylum is my right, defined by Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This little blue book of thirty little paragraphs is what the entire world is up in arms about. This is what scares Tony Blair so much that he wants to pull out of it (luckily Cherie won’t let him!) But this is it! Thirty articles and number 14 says, ‘Everyone has the right to seek...asylum from persecution”. It is actually a mechanism to protect human life, because my life has value beyond the borders of any national destiny. That is what asylum is about.”

“I can be all sorts of things, but refugee doesn’t mean anything to me. It is a bureaucratic label attached to me by others just because I had to leave my country. So that is not my identity.”
“I feel this country is so disenfranchised from citizenship in the political sense, that the only time when the white indigenous population feels that someone is speaking for them is when the xenophobes are speaking out and saving them from immigrants!”

“It’s time to stop arbitrary & random detention of asylum seekers /economic refugees /migrants without status”
”It’s time to question the rate of refusals (the high rate of which becomes an instrument of anti-asylum propaganda) by immigration courts & tribunals, which are overturned on appeal.”

”It’s time to demand the right to work for asylum seekers whilst pursuing their claims
      - we do not want hand-outs
      - we do wish to be self-supporting
      - we do wish to be contributing to the state instead of costing, (migrants with status contribute 2.5 billion pounds annually to the exchequer)”.

”It’s time to demand a "Blunkett amnesty"  unconditional, for all asylum seekers and those migrants without status.”
”It’s time to stop the criminalization, demonization, scapegoating of asylum seekers /economic refuges /migrants without status.”

“If asylum seekers are a burden on us, it is largely our own fault. If, that is, we have the Government we deserve that sets the rules forbidding asylum seekers to work. On the whole I have found asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to be considerably superior in intelligence and motivation to work to a large proportion of the British population. They are often much more cultivated, and many of them are linguistically gifted. Most of the ones I see who are in deep despair ascribe their unhappiness to the fact that they are not allowed to work, which is their dream.
They are kept in a kind of limbo that, within a few weeks or months, transforms them from being eager and enthusiastic to being helpless, querulous and lacking in initiative. Those who, for some capricious reason, are given permission to work are usually only too proud of their new independence. Needless to say, enforced idleness does not generally bring out the best in people. They have time to dwell on their misfortunes and the injustices done to them. They become fractious, discontented and explosive. The decision to deny people the right to work flies in the face of our national interest. I had a patient who was an illegal immigrant, who started a successful and wholly legitimate business and was told that he had to wind it up and become a pensioner of the state. Not only was his own standard of living drastically reduced, but he also became in short order a genuine economic burden on those around him, where only a short time before he had actually been creating wealth and providing employment.    Such cases are by no means uncommon. They demand no special privileges, they ask for no state-funded organisations to get them on their feet. I am impressed by their enterprise, their intelligence and their willingness to work, even in menial occupations.  The refusal to allow them to work turns them into yet another group of dependants on whom the bureaucracy of compassion can exercise its sadism disguised as kindness, while claiming to be underfunded and understaffed. It is yet another example of the state not allowing people to fend for themselves.  It is this refusal to allow them to work, rather than the lurid provocations of the press, that turns us xenophobic. When we see large numbers of slightly foreign looking young men congregating in our streets, with obviously nothing much to do, yet tolerably well fed and well clothed (and all with mobile phones), we naturally enough feel resentful. In one respect, they enjoy a luxury that many of us do not. But it is not a luxury they enjoy, because it saps their self-respect. They end up loathing the country that is sufficiently generous not to let them die, but not generous enough to let them fully live.   If illegal immigrants and asylum seekers are a drain on us, it is our own fault. If they were not deprived of the right to work, they would be net contributors to our country, and we would learn to appreciate them.”

 “Having been preached to about human and civil rights from so-called developed countries, asylum seekers/economic refugees find themselves "at the crossroad of civilization in today's UK where actions and procedures are in direct contradiction with the charter of human rights.”

”Was the Geneva Convention good enough only for the aftermath of World War II Europe?
Were human rights good enough for the then asylum seekers and not for nowadays?
Is it a question of politics or humanity?".

“It is dangerous to identify and vilify, partly in response to a press campaign, a vulnerable minority group as unworthy of basic human rights, and then to remove from them the protection of the law. This precedent could be used to breach the rights of every unpopular minority in the country.   “It is a novel, bizarre and misguided principle of the legal system,” declared the Shadow Home Secretary in 1992, “that if the exercise of legal rights is causing administrative inconvenience, the solution is to remove that right.” The Shadow Home Secretary in 1992 was Tony Blair. He is a humane man and a trained lawyer. He must have serious qualms about Clause 10. He should now instruct his illiberal Home Secretary to remove it from the Bill. If he does not, then the House of Commons must do the job for him. “

Most regimes and organizations dealing with asylum-seekers  -  (including the UNHCR)  -  operate under their own specific and separate political agendas, which have very little to do with observing human rights and the many Conventions and laws relating to these rights.     Also, there is an almost total disregard by administrations, refugee organizations and humanitarian-aid agencies of even the most basic human rights.    This situation has never been acceptable, and it is imperative to resolve our status in a just and humane manner.  We do not need anyone’s permission to grant us our human rights; we merely take them.  It would, however, be humane for regimes, state and international judicial bodies, refugee organizations  (such as UNHCR)   et al,  to not only legally recognize these rights, formally and unequivocally, but also put them into practice.

www.counterpunch.org     “Amnesty International  The Case of a Rape Foretold   By PAUL de ROOIJ November 26, 2003
Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns.   -- Francis Boyle, Prof. of International Law and former board member of Amnesty International [1].      Human Rights organizations used to play an important role raising awareness of human rights abuses, scoring an occasional point with one state or another, and were instrumental in releasing a handful of hapless prisoners. However, they have increasingly abdicated their role as modern-day paladins of justice, to become politically manipulated organizations that are more concerned with fundraising or appearing on TV. Several authors have described how human rights organizations have played a role in priming the propaganda pump prior to war; these accounts make sobering reading, and they dispel preconceptions about some of these organizations [2].”
The founder of Medicine sans Frontiers publicly stated basically the same sentiments about his own organization.
In my opinion, the above description fits the realities within most NGO’s, UNHCR, other refugee aid organizations, etc.!
.
http://www.asylumrights.net      “Basic Rights - A political regime - even one supported or elected by a majority of the population - which sought to deny basic rights to those falling within its care would be in danger of forfeiting the right to call itself democratic"

Do asylum-seekers have to apologize and plead guilty for NOT being mass-murdering politicians, dictators, arms-dealers, traffickers in human beings, drug-dealers, etc., many of whom  -  such as Fujimori, 'Baby Doc' Duvalier, Pinochet, Kissinger and Mengistu, just as a very few examples  -  have had no problem whatsoever obtaining refugee or similar status and /or immunity against prosecution for committing crimes against humanity and for genocide?  Hosting, courting and admiring present-day mass-murdering  'heads of state'  and other  'officials'   from  so-called  'civilized and democratic'  or other regimes also appears to be acceptable in  'civilized and democratic'  European and other countries; however those private and innocent individuals who are victims and manage to escape these barbaric wars and political games are harassed, rejected, and brutalized by these same  'civilized and democratic'  European and other countries.
The expression  'realpolitik'  was probably designed specifically for this purpose; to distinguish between actions taken by humane beings for humanitarian concerns, and to separate by spin-doctoring and by brute force those specific duties and obligations due from politicians to their fellow human beings in the name of good governance, and to glorify these politicians' barbaric actions and causes which are in reality in no-one's interests, except their own personal fiefdoms.

Saying that  'it's not personal'  is one of the most barbaric and insane expressions of a barbaric and insane attitude.. Of course it's personal!       If one is deliberately bombed or tortured or deprived of life, liberty, health or any other life facet, it does happen to be personal for those at the receiving end. If one individual harms or kills another in order  -  for example  -  to rob that person, this is classified as a crime, even though the motive for the robbery was  'impersonal'. When it comes to political motives  - such as declaring war, treating citizens and others in violent and inhumane ways, this is said to be  'not personal',   and this practice would appear to be quite  'acceptable', simply because it's state-sanctioned terrorism. The policy of sending in masked state-gunmen to arrest or deport people in the middle of the night  -  or at any other time  -  is an example of this type of legally sanctioned state-terrorism.

When taxpayers elect and/or employ and finance any politicians who are not forced by the taxpayers and the courts to be accountable for their actions, it's the equivalent of the taxpayers deliberately employing paedophiles to be in charge of children.
In both situations the innocent and the vulnerable get fucked.

At a conference some while ago I met a gentleman from the UK House of Lords, who  -  after reading some of my articles and letters on the subject of statelessness and asylum seekers   -  suggested that there should be a specific    'EU Ombudsman for Humanity-in-Governance'!  I agreed with him, but pointed out that first citizens have to elect  'humane  [or  'human']  beings'  into political life, and ensure that they are held accountable to the electorate and to the courts of justice, and without allowing politicians to grant themselves immunity from prosecution.

I've been asked on several occasions by regime officials, lawyers, friends and others as to whether I ever felt like  'taking-out'  the burocrats and others who have interfered with and screwed-up my life for so many years. My response is that  1.)  I'm a pacifist   and  2.)   that their question was absurd in the extreme, because how can one kill the soulless walking-dead? That's an oxymoron!
One can only have pity on these impoverished and frightened little people.

According to reliable sources, Luxembourg and the other EU states are not,  or not yet   (as far as I know),  totalitarian states  -  although I’m open to correction on that point  -  but certain members of the administrations act as though they are.

The wonderful statements by supposedly humane and  ‘educated’ , EU and other countries’ ministers and officials are medieval, and add a whole new dimension to 21st century sanity and humanitarian progress. For example, the recent statements by an Italian official that their navy should be instructed to sink all boats with asylum seekers aboard, and of the Australian official who publicly suggested that asylum seekers should be used by the army for target practice. And so on, ad nauseam.
These people are  ‘leaders’?  Of what, or of whom?  Genocide?
And they still remain in their government posts as  ‘servants of the people’?
Did the Luxembourg administration categorically and publicly condemn these officials and their attitudes?
Or did the administration  -  by silence  -  condone and support these ideas?
The fact that the local  ‘public’, the administration and the law courts allow such brazen statements to be made without legal consequences, and also allow such people to continue in public service, is extremely frightening, and is a disgrace to humankind.
This is  ‘democracy’?  This is the way states obey the human rights laws?
Is this a nation of civilized human beings, or of inhumane political tactics?
Is there  ‘justice’, or only  ‘law’  by political decree?
Of course certain politicians rant and rave about the lack of human rights in other countries in order to deflect their own populations from the reality of the similar insane behavior by themselves onto other  -  equally demented  -  ‘leaders’.

Instead of the old-fashioned army marching rhythm of  ‘left, left, left right left’  we now  -  again  - have the politicians giving goose-stepping orders of   ‘right, right, extreme-right right’!

I have made an open and formal offer to several refugee organizations, and to the Ministry of Family, to give free personal-counselling and/or advice, suggestions, ideas,  etc. to asylum-seekers at any of the Luxembourg  ‘refugee centres’, once or twice a week in either the English or Spanish languages. There has been zero response.
I'd also be happy to offer the politicians and burocrats lessons in  'humane governance', ethics, humanitarianism and similar matters.

"We are not all guilty. But we are all responsible."

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The glyphic devices of Christopher Moody's banner (pictured above), while designed in the early 18th century, perhaps best symbolizes today’s Europe.

The winged hourglass symbolizes the fleeting notion of liberty, or, if you prefer, the insistent, never-ending search for scapegoats like asylum seekers.

The upraised arm symbolizes tyranny both past, present and to come, while the grinning skull symbolizes victims, asylum seekers and others, of inhumane political agendas, of depleted radiation poison, or perhaps only the mocking of our moral ambiguity.

With acknowledgements to  http://www.rense.com/general48/deathead.htm     “Death's Head: Piracy, Plunder  and Foreign Policy”        by Douglas Herman  (Changes made to text by Asylum Seekers Forum)

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14/7/03 Report on my visit to Tarchamps slum-ghetto  - alias ‘refugee centre’.

My reception by the  'welcoming host', Mr Wiltgen       I arrived at approx. 12.40 hrs and asked some people outside the front door if Mr Wiltgen was there. One man responded in bad German that I should go upstairs and to the right.  This I did, but apparently there was a misunderstanding and I should have gone behind the stairs, to the kitchen where he apparently was. Mr Wiltgen came storming out as I was coming down the stairs, shouting at me, demanding to know who I was and what I was doing there. I gave him my name and the paper that I was given by the ministry. Still shouting, he said that he was told I was coming on Friday, so I told him that I told the ministry that I would only come today. He replied,  'that's what you say'  -  and I said my lawyer was present at that meeting. He replied  ' well your lawyer can also get a bed here'.  I basically ignored his arrogance and belligerence, and asked him to show me where I would stay. He grudgingly took me to an annex of the main building, where he showed me a 1st floor  'living area'  where there was a small salon and 2 bedrooms, 1 with 2 beds and 1 with 3 beds. There is a downstairs bathroom which I didn't bother to look at. The dining room is in the main building a few metres away. Frankly, this place is far, far worse than Don Bosco, and the administration should be prosecuted for even daring to offer such disgusting, degrading, filthy and depressing conditions to any human being.  It's far worse than many 4th world slum conditions that I've seen.  He refused to give me, or let me see a copy of the house rules, and  'didn't know'  what time the next bus went to Wiltz!   I took a camera with me, but didn't even bother to ask if I could take photos.  To Mr. Wiltgen's credit, he did semi-apologize saying there was a misunderstanding. If the state   (taxpayers)    pays the owners of Pension Rosi in Tarchamps more than 50 Euros per person per year for  'accommodating'   asylum seekers, I consider that the taxpayers are being defrauded.     This is an example of the  ‘adequately trained personnel’  referred to in 1080 Law of 27 July 1993?

Another development:       I arrived back at my apartment at about 15.20, and at 15.50 my bell was rung by someone stating he was from the police.   I met  2 gentlemen at the lift and they asked if they could come in to my apartment. to ask some questions. I politely refused and said that it was an invasion of my privacy, that I had been at the ministry on Friday and nothing had been mentioned to me about a visit. The 2 gentlemen, one named Mr Klein, said they wanted to see how I lived, but reluctantly accepted that I wasn't going to let them inside. They asked if I worked, to which I said no, how much I paid in rent and who was providing me with money..They also asked whether I was at home all day or not. I replied that I had no timetable. They then asked whether I had documentation, and I said only an expired ID card, to which Mr Klein replied,  'Oh, from Spain". I said  'yes', and   (apart from a few other minor questions)  that was the end of the  ‘interview’.

This is a blatant example of what I consider to be unwarranted, belligerent, and intrusive abuse of my rights to privacy, and an attempt to intimidate.  If any ministry wants to ask questions I have no objections, and they may do so by writing to me or to my lawyer explaining what they want, and we can arrange a mutually acceptable timetable for me to visit their offices.

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15/9/03 Ms. Christiane Martin  Ministry of Family
14 ave Emile Reuter  L-2919 Luxembourg

Dear Ms. Martin

I again visited your offices on 10/9/03, was again addressed by my surname only without the use of any title, and was kept waiting for 1 hour 45 minutes until I could collect the coupons for  'pocket money'  and food.

If you and /or your staff have no self-respect, and /or are uncouth, and /or without education, that is your problem. However, you are not permitted to treat me  -  or anyone else  -  with disrespect and contempt. You and your staff are employed to serve the public, and we do not have to tolerate the very apparent lack of courtesy and efficiency by your staff.

Your office appears to be extremely dysfunctional at the level of human relations, as well as in basic work efficiency. To have to wait for a ridiculously long period  -  in fact to have to wait for more than 5 minutes  -  just to collect a few pieces of paper is absurd. Is this a deliberate strategy by your department to humiliate and psycho-terrorize vulnerable and dependent human beings?

The general attitude and manner of treatment by some of your staff towards refugees is brutal, contemptuous, and inhumane. There is no such thing as any so-called  'refugee problem'. The reality is that regimes are the cause of wars and other disasters, refugees are the result. The political and media spin-doctoring and rhetoric has to do with insane realpolitik, and has nothing to do with human beings and their lives. It is the legal, moral and humanitarian duty and obligation  -  for you and your staff personally as well as institutionally  -  to assist, nourish, support, and help heal the traumas of refugees, not cause more trauma.

In my letter to you of 28/8/03 I told you that these current practices are unacceptable, but until now you have not changed your system, nor have you had the courtesy to reply to me.

I expect your explanation and your apology.

Yours faithfully
B. H.

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This is a copy of mail sent to those people with whom I've been in contact & who must be tested for TB.  This letter explains my situation so that you know what's happening.!!

28/8/03  Greetings
I have no doubt that you are extremely pissed-off because of the scare caused by my health situation, and some people have explicitly indicted me for being responsible.

Some realities:        Most regimes in Europe and elsewhere  -  for realpolitik reasons  -  consider asylum-seekers and stateless persons to be non-humans, and mistreat us for that explicit reason. You  (as a citizen, resident or visitor)   need to understand that YOU are also merely  'collateral damage',  in this case due to the regime's policies.

Health-care and financial assistance have been specifically denied to me. This despite the fact that I and my lawyers have repeatedly over the last 3 years  (since I arrived in Luxembourg)  requested this assistance.

I had absolutely NO symptoms of TB, or of any other illness.
It was the fact that I won 2 court cases against the regime which forced the Ministry of Family to recognize that I am  (possibly, remotely, vaguely)  some kind of a human being, and that they were now required  (under the only intelligent and humane law that is apparently applied in Luxembourg to assist me. I was therefore sent for a TB x-ray, and it was discovered that I had sometime over the last 60 years actually had TB  (about which I knew nothing, and it obviously  'cured itself'),  and that this TB was now possibly surfacing again.

I therefore got in touch with everyone with whom I'd had recent contact, to protect their health, and that of their family and friends. You are legally obliged to have this TB test.  Despite the fact that I consider it an invasion of your and my privacy rights, I have now been told that I am legally obliged to give the ministry a complete list of those people I contacted, and they will follow-up to ensure that everyone is tested for TB,  'as a matter of public interest'.  Frankly, in my opinion, the regime's only  'public interest'  is in   (belatedly)  trying to protect their arse legally.  If I'd been given this test  (and any possibly required treatment)   3 years ago, neither you nor I would be in this situation.

If you have any complaints and /or claims to make regarding this matter, please let me have them in writing, and I will pass same on to the regime.

At least you should be pleased that I won my court cases which forced the regime to give me medical attention, otherwise this TB infection would probably not have been discovered, and you  (and many more people)  would possibly have been infected.  Until the Luxembourg regime changes its policies, you  (and everyone else)  will remain at risk.

In due course you will receive a copy of a report on this matter, which article I am still writing.

I'm delighted to hear that all friends and acquaintances who have so far been tested have all shown that they are clear of any TB infection.

Take care
B

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OPEN LETTER to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr J-C Juncker           Copy to HRH The Grand Duke, & HRH The Grand Duchess       4/10/03

Having escaped assassination in my country of origin, I applied in Luxembourg almost 3 years ago for protection as a Stateless Person.
During this period I have been refused any sort of recognition, and all the Ministries which my lawyer contacted for medical and other support on my behalf have totally refused any responsibility for Stateless Persons, despite the fact that this country has signed and ratified all the relevant European and International Conventions.
HRH The Grand Duke also very kindly forwarded copies to the various Ministries of letters which I wrote to him in 2001 asking for his assistance, but none of the Ministries took any notice of his request.
Apart from the above, the Ministries of  'Justice'  and of Foreign Affairs each stated that the other Ministry was responsible for attending to my application. I took this matter to court, where the judgement ruled that the Ministry of  'Justice'  was the competent Ministry for Stateless Persons, and also that they should comply with the relevant laws. Presumably the Ministries DO actually know which competencies they hold, as they themselves were specifically involved in drafting and passing this legislation.
This  'game of ping-pong'  -  plus the refusal of medical and other assistance  -  is not only absurd, but an inhumane and outrageous insult to me personally, to humanity in general, and is a disgrace to the State of Luxembourg and its citizens.

Is it a specific and deliberate policy of this regime to try to murder human beings by starvation, lack of medical attention, and lack of shelter?

After years of existing in limbo in Luxembourg I won 2 court cases against your regime, and I was only then  'recognized'  as a human being by the Ministry of Family, who directed me to have a medical test.  I have now been informed that I was at some time infected with TB.  Thanks to your humane and benevolent regime's refusal  -  due to your realpolitik agendas  -  to grant me medical assistance when I asked for same, my short- and long-term health has probably been seriously damaged by your callousness and bloody-mindedness.  If I had been given medical attention in October 2000 when I applied for the status of Stateless Person, the TB and/or other possibly infectious illnesses could have been treated and/or possibly avoided at that time. Your regime could probably be held legally responsible and liable for potentially causing the spread of these diseases.  The risk has been to me, my friends and acquaintances, and the general public, especially to the most vulnerable sectors;  babies, children, pregnant woman, and elderly persons.
It's apparently not important to you to care for the welfare of the citizens who elected you and who pay your salary, nor for the welfare or protection of Stateless Persons or asylum-seekers, all of whom you are obliged to protect under the Luxembourg Constitution, and also under various European and international Conventions and laws signed and ratified by this country.   Even simple humanitarian considerations obviously have no place in your political agendas.

There is no such thing as a so-called  'refugee problem'. The reality is that politicians are the cause of wars and other disasters; refugees are the victims.

When Luxembourgers were recently refugees, including the Royal Family, I'm sure that they weren't treated in such a barbaric fashion in their countries of asylum. Treating already traumatized people with such brutality is neither sane nor humane.

We have a tremendous amount to contribute to society and to our host countries which is extremely valuable, and that fact you should acknowledge and welcome.

I await your enlightening explanations, and your public apology.

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17/11/03  The Attorney General
Palais de Justice Luxembourg BP 15 Luxembourg

Dear Sir

I would like to bring to your attention the following matters for possible legal action by your office.

1. Attached please find 2 different copies of a letter dated 31 October by the Ministry of Justice.
In this connection, I would advise you that this is the 3rd letter from this ministry that I have received which does not state the name of the signatory. This is an unacceptable practice, as legally the signatory of any official mail must state their name, and I have the legal right to know who is sending me mail.  “Anonymous”  letters are unacceptable.  I previously complained to the Grand Duke about this matter.  The absurd contents of this letter are not relevant to my complaint to your office, as these matters are the subject of ongoing court litigation.

2. The reason for sending two copies of ostensibly the same letter, is that the letter marked  (1)  was sent directly to me, and the letter marked  (2)  was sent to my lawyer, who forwarded a copy to me as usual.  What surprises me is that the 2 documents are not the same;  without knowing the correct legal terminology, the letter sent to my lawyer appears to have been changed and/or manipulated, and as far as I know this practice is considered fraudulent and illegal in most countries.

3. I would also ask you to investigate the following matter, and I enclose the relevant self-explanatory email copy from my EX-lawyer dated 20 April 2001.  From 29 November 2000 to  20/4/01, at least 4 or 5 letters were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by my ex-lawyer, and the ministry claims they did not receive same. This I consider bizarre, and I would like a formal explanation for these so-called  ‘missing letters’.

Thank you for your advice and action on these matters.

Yours faithfully
B. H.

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12/12/03 Minister Ms. Marie-Josée Jacobs Ministry of Family
14 ave Emile Reuter  L-2919 Luxembourg

Dear Ms. Jacobs
I refer you to the attached copy letter which I sent to Christiane Martin, to which I have had no response, and would ask you to take appropriate action.
I visited the Ministry of Family on 11/12/03 to collect my support vouchers, and was attended to by Patrick shortly thereafter,  who AGAIN called me only by surname without any title  (Mr /Mrs /Miss) . He informed me that Christiane Martin was in Paris but had left instructions that I was no longer to be given support.

I asked him why Christiane Martin had not written to inform me about this matter instead of wasting my time by having to viisit their offices for no reason. He replied that  ’she had no time to write to everyone’. I then asked him why I was being deprived of support, to which he replied that he didn’t know.
Christiane Martin’s timing in refusing me support was impeccable; the day after  ’International Human Rights Day’!
The fact that my support was unilaterally  -  and possibly illegally  -  withdrawn, plus the manner in which her staff treat me and others who visit her offices, is, in my opinion, arrogant, insulting, uncouth, belligerent, an abuse of power, inhumane, as well as in contravention of various anti-discrimination laws, Human Rights laws, the UDHR, the ECHR, the Convention against Torture and several other national and international laws and conventions.

I have the legal RIGHT to be informed in writing, of any decisions taken by your ministry, and your ministry has the legal OBLIGATION to inform me in writing  -  very specifically and in detail  -  precisely which laws are being used  (or possibly abused?)  to justify your ministry’s actions.

I will not tolerate this insulting behavior by your staff, and I  -  like everyone else  -  am entitled to, and DEMAND, respect and efficient service.

I request your detailed reply to my complaints, as well as an official letter of apology.

Yours faithfully
B. H.

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Defining Apartheid for refugees

The definition of apartheid is taken from the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, ratified by United Nations General Assembly resolution 3068 (XXVIII) of 30 November 1973 [http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/11.htm].

 From the Convention:      "For the purpose of the present Convention, the term "the crime of apartheid", which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

...Article II(a)(ii): "By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" Article II(a)(iii): "By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups"

 practices …….mass arbitrary arrests, systematic ill treatment

From the Convention, Article II(b):     "Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part"

 practices……. strangulation of the refugees’ economy with forced dependency upon the State and economy with no independence ……   border controls, violation of the full range of employment/workforce rights –

"(There are) I policies and methods designed to impoverish the refugees  through movement restrictions denying or hindering access to humanitarian aid and assistance, food and water, medical supplies and aid, hospitals, work and education.   Women and children have been particularly affected by lack of access to humanitarian aid, including prevention of access to pre natal, and post natal care; and access to immunisation/health services for children."

"(There is a) war of attrition on refugees including: . Restrictions on movement with besiegement and now imprisonment of communities, . Deliberately-induced humanitarian crisis; .
From the Convention, Article II(c):       "Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association"

 (Right to freedom of movement and residence)

From the Convention, Article II(d):    "Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, …..

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http://politics.guardian.co.uk/cherie/story/0,12713,936861,00.html
Cherie on attack over refugees  David Fickling, Melbourne  Tuesday April 15, 2003   The Guardian

Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Booth QC, has compared the plight of asylum seekers to that of Jews in Nazi Germany, in a speech to 1,300 lawyers from the Commonwealth in Australia.

She said both of these groups were put at risk by a "crass majoritarianism" which would crush the rights of the weak in return for electoral gain.

Democracy was no longer true democracy, she said, if governments followed the popular will "in the case where a majority of the electorate may favour the deprivation or attenuation of rights for unpopular minorities - whether that be present-day asylum seekers in the more developed countries of the Commonwealth, or Jews in the Germany of the early 1930s".

The remarks would have been particularly uncomfortable for Australia's prime minister, John Howard, a former lawyer, who opened yesterday's Commonwealth law conference in Melbourne. His government won the 2001 Australian federal election largely on the basis of an anti-immigration campaign linking refugees from the Middle East to the attackers of the World Trade Centre.

Ms Booth aimed a few barbs at the British and Australian governments: "A political regime - even one supported or elected by a majority of the population - which sought to deny basic rights to those falling within its care would be in danger of forfeiting the right to call itself democratic."

The persistence of unequal life expectancies in developed countries was also evidence that "liberal democracy continues to fail its citizens".

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see also article at
http://www.asylumrights.net/amtssprache.htm  Chilling echoes
 

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http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR08/fmr8.16.pdf

see also article at
37 FORCED MIGRATION review 8
The next HCR must refocus on protection  by Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop
 

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www.ncadc.org.uk
Section 55: High Court rejects Home Secretary's Appeal
Press release from Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

A devastating defeat for the government in the Court of Appeal today has provided hope for civilians fleeing Saddam Hussein's Iraq and other tyrannical regimes.
The government's policy of denying asylum seekers any access to welfare benefits or even the right to work lies in tatters as a consequence of today's ruling.
Under section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, those who didn't apply for asylum at the earliest possible opportunity were made destitute by the Home Office. There was no mechanism for appeal and the draconian policy applied even if the individual was advised - and believed - that they did not need to apply for asylum at the point of entry.
Liberty and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants have led the campaign against these provisions.
In 2002, Iraqis topped the list of those applying for asylum in the UK - accounting for nearly one fifth of the 85,000 applicants. Shami Chakrabarti, lawyer for the human rights organisation Liberty, said:
"The government has had a terrible message for all those fleeing Iraq and other nightmarish regimes. They are not allowed to work. They may not receive state benefits. They must beg, steal and prostitute themselves or starve on the streets of the United Kingdom. This is an outrageous affront to basic human dignity.
"Our victory today marks a critical step in securing decent treatment for all. The court has found that it is degrading to deny people both the right to work and any access to support. The system operated by the government would have been unfair, unjust and inflexible. It is thanks to the independence of our judiciary and our human rights legislation that thousands of people fleeing for their lives now have a ray of hope."
Habib Rahman, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said:
"This decision represents victory for the basic principles of humanity and compassion which the UK has historically extended to all those who are here. Asylum seekers should not be treated differently to anyone else. They are fleeing from tyranny and persecution and are the most marginalised, vulnerable members of society. "The decision vindicates JCWI's assertion that the government's actions are in direct conflict with its human rights obligations. There is no justification for dividing asylum seekers into two groups and making one group sleep out on the streets by denying them support.
"The government should now acknowledge that it cannot compromise the basic rights of asylum seekers simply to achieve political targets and to deter them from coming to the UK. Whatever its plans are for future asylum policy, it will be expected to discharge its international duties to asylum seekers and refugees."
For further information contact:
JCWI: Tauhid Pasha, Legal Policy and Information Director, on 020 7608 7304 or
07813320212 or Habib Rahman, Chief Executive, on 0207 553 7456
Liberty: Shami Chakrabarti, press office, on 020 7378 3656
or Mark Littlewood,     Director of Campaigns, on 0797 456 92 99
Notes for editors
1. Human rights campaigners won an injunction in the High Court on 19 February 2003 to allow temporary access to benefits pending the Court of Appeal's ruling.
2. Liberty's and JCWI's intervention was supported by: The Refugee Council for England; The Refugee Council for Scotland; The Refugee Council for Wales; Refugee Action; The Refugee Arrivals Project; Migrant Help line; The Immigration Advisory service; Crisis; Shelter and The Child Poverty Action Group
Blunkett loses asylum appeal      The Independent Tuesday 18th March 2003

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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,8518342%5E7583,00.html
Kofi Annan: Don't demonise migrants, encourage them  January 29, 2004

ONE of the biggest tests for the enlarged European Union, in the years and decades to come, will be how it manages the challenge of immigration. If European societies rise to this challenge, immigration will enrich and strengthen them. If they fail to do so, the result may be declining living standards and social division.
There can be no doubt that European societies need immigrants. Europeans are living longer and having fewer children. Without immigration, the population of the soon-to-be 25 member states of the EU will drop, from about 450 million now to fewer than 400 million in 2050.  The EU is not alone in this. Japan, the Russian Federation and South Korea, among others, face similar possible futures - where jobs would go unfilled and services undelivered, as economies shrink and societies stagnate. Immigration alone will not solve these problems, but it is an essential part of any solution. Even in countries without these demographic problems, immigrants can be engines of economic growth and agents of social dynamism.    We can be sure that people will go on wanting to come and live in developed countries. In today's unequal world, vast numbers of Asians and Africans and Latin Americans lack the opportunities for self-improvement that those in rich countries take for granted. They yearn for a new life in a land of opportunity - just as the potential of the new world once attracted tens of millions of impoverished but enterprising Europeans.  All countries have the right to decide whether to admit voluntary migrants (as opposed to bona fide refugees, who have a right to protection under international law).  But rich countries would be unwise to close their doors. That would not only harm their long-term economic and social prospects. It would also drive more and more people to try to come in through the back door - by asking for political asylum (thus overloading a system designed to protect refugees who have fled in fear of persecution), or by seeking the help of smugglers, often risking death or injury in clandestine acts of desperation on boats, trucks, trains and planes.
ILLEGAL immigration is a real problem, and states need to co-operate in their efforts to stop it - especially in cracking down on smugglers and traffickers whose organised crime networks exploit the vulnerable and subvert the rule of law. But combating illegal immigration should be part of a much broader strategy. Countries should provide real channels for legal immigration and seek to harness its benefits, while safeguarding the basic human rights of migrants.  Migration is therefore an issue in which all countries have a stake - and which demands greater international co-operation.
But managing migration is not only a matter of opening doors and joining hands internationally. It also requires each country to do more to integrate new arrivals. Immigrants must adjust to their new societies -- and societies need to adjust, too. Only with an imaginative strategy for integrating immigrants can countries ensure that they enrich the host society more than they unsettle it.
While each country will approach this issue according to its own character and culture, no one should lose sight of the tremendous contribution that millions of immigrants have already made to modern European societies, and indeed to societies all over the world. Many have become leaders in government, science, academe, sports and the arts. Others are less famous but play an equally vital role. Without them, many health systems would be short-staffed, many parents would not have the home help they need to pursue careers, and many jobs that provide services and generate revenue would go unfilled. Immigrants are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
All who are committed to Europe's future, and to human dignity, should therefore take a stand against the tendency to make immigrants the scapegoats for social problems. The vast majority of immigrants are industrious, courageous and determined. They don't want a free ride. They want a fair opportunity for themselves and their families. They are not criminals or terrorists. They are law-abiding. They don't want to live apart. They want to integrate, while retaining their identity.
This is based on a speech Kofi Annan will make to the European Parliament tonight.

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The following applies to all countries, not just to Germany from where this report originated. This is an extract from that article.   www.wsws.org

“The number of immigrants who lost their lives on Germany’s borders, and as a result of brutal deportation measures and the inhuman conditions prevailing in deportation centres, exceeded the number of victims of racist attacks. The article concluded by stating that, despite occasional lip service by politicians proclaiming their hostility to racism, state policies in the end only served to validate the neo-Nazis’ view that the life of an “undesirable” alien in Germany is worthless.

According to the intelligence service’s online report: “The author of this article accuses the immigration authorities, the border police (BGS) and regular police of treating refugees and foreigners in a contemptuous manner and claims that the so-called BGS ‘border regime’ prevents refugees from entering Germany in the first place. In addition, the practice of deportation is also dealt with in a very critical manner. In the course of deportation those involved have been repeatedly injured (sic!) or have even died. In light of these ‘facts’ the author expresses her scepticism as to whether the struggle against the extreme right by the forces of the state is serious in its intent.”

What is one to make of a state agency that is formally obliged to protect the constitution and human dignity, but calls into question information that has appeared regularly in newspapers and has been documented by various organisations involved in the defence of immigrants’ rights? It is factually indisputable that, because of the difficulties involved in legally entering European countries, large numbers of refugees from all over the world have lost their lives or been injured in attempts to enter Europe by other means. They have drowned or frozen to death while attempting to cross rivers or seas, suffocated in sealed containers or come to harm in the course of fleeing from border guards. In addition, migrants confront intolerable conditions in deportation centres and camps and are often subjected to brutal treatment by police or guards in the course of deportation.

The number of self-imposed injuries, suicide attempts and suicides by refugees remains very high. Such tragedies arise from the desperate reaction of many refugees to impending deportations or to the deplorable conditions in the refugee camps and deportation centres.  In the years 2001-2002, the Anti-Racist Initiative Berlin documented eight cases of refugees who either committed suicide prior to their deportations or were killed as they attempted to flee imprisonment. Over the same period, at least 57 persons facing deportation (28 were already incarcerated in deportation centres) either deliberately injured themselves or attempted suicide—in most cases surviving with severe injuries.There are no figures available for 2003, but press reports have brought to light a number of cases. In January of this year, refugee David Mamedov hanged himself following a visit to the immigration offices in the region of Gütersloh. Mamedov first entered Germany with his family from Georgia at the end of 1996 and was awarded refugee status in February 1997. He was a member of an oppressed minority community in Georgia, subject to persecution by both state and non-state groups. Mamedov had been repeatedly mistreated by police in his homeland—in one incident his leg was seriously burned with a hot iron. German authorities argued against maintaining Mamedov’s refugee status, arguing that attacks carried out by police cannot be counted as state repression. The upper court for the city of Munster accepted this line of argument, and shortly before his suicide Mamedov was informed that he would be deported. Less than six months later, Mamedov’s widow was also informed that she had to leave the country immediately or would herself face deportation to Georgia.

Deportation jails and refugee camps      For years various refugee organisations have charged that conditions prevailing in deportation centres and refugee camps are an insult to human dignity and are evidently aimed at breaking the spirit of those incarcerated—and thereby deterring attempts by other undocumented immigrants to enter Germany.

In an open letter, the inhabitants of one refugee centre in Brandenburg (Rathenow) wrote of the “humiliating treatment” they receive from those working in the centre. The letter also criticised the security firm “Security Zarnikow.” Security measures were solely directed at the refugees, whose private mail was subject to scrutiny by guards. The refugees in the centre were also able to establish that known neo-Nazis were employed by the security firm. Last winter it was revealed that at least four members of the firm were members of an extreme right-wing organisation (“Kameradschaft Hauptvolk”).
Inhabitants of another centre in the state of Thuringia sent a letter of protest to the state interior minister complaining of deplorable conditions and treatment. “The head of the centre treats us like animals, slaves or prisoners.... We have been threatened with deportation if we complain about the situation.” The residents were particularly concerned about the lack of medical treatment as well as the isolation of the centre. The nearest village was 5 kilometres away and the next nearest town 25 kilometres. In addition, the centre’s interior grounds were fenced off with barbed wire.  In the deportation prison located in the Berlin suburb of Köpenick, 68 detainees went on hunger strike in January 2003 in protest over abominable living conditions, lack of hygiene and prolonged periods of detention. In the Köpenick jail there have been a series of suicides and attempted suicides by innocent individuals who were only arrested because the authorities deemed there was a danger they would “go underground.” Some of these victims have spent up to 18 months in a deportation prison. For every day of detention, the authorities impose a fee of 60 euros to be repaid by the detainees should they ever be released. In their press statement, the imprisoned refugees on hunger strike reported on the humiliating treatment they had received at the hands of prison personnel. “A person who collapsed into unconsciousness was merely met with laughter.... Police personnel behave in an utterly arbitrary manner, employing humiliation and ridicule. Every request or question leads to open rudeness and abuse on their part.”

END OF QUOTES FROM ARTICLE

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http://www.epolitix.com/data/html/news/EPX-NEWS/articles/000000001A447390AA6611CD9BC800AA002FC45A0900A56F84C9D8EDD111A102006097C4CD0D0000000B18030000238FC1C7798E1040A0F463339140C66D00000110B98C0000.htm
UN refugee chief slams asylum 'distortion'

The UN's commissioner for refugees has accused some politicians and newspaper editors of "wilfully distorting" the asylum issue.

Ruud Lubbers expressed how he was "appalled at the exaggerations" and claimed there was an "abusive group at work".
Writing in the House Magazine, the former prime minister of the Netherlands called for a more balanced and equitable approach to the issue of asylum.

He also accepted that the issue "remains a hot political topic in some European countries".
"There are two reasons for this. Firstly, there are some very genuine concerns about the way the asylum system is being managed; about the role of people smugglers; and about those who misuse the system by falsely portraying themselves as asylum seekers," he wrote.
"Secondly, there is another abusive group at work - including some politicians, pressure groups and newspaper editors - who are wilfully distorting the issue. I am appalled at the exaggerations, statistical manipulation and scare-mongering that have proliferated recently."
Lubbers warned the global nature of the problem meant it could not be solved by countries such as Britain acting alone.
"Unilateral actions by a single state, or even a small club of states, will not bear fruit unless they are acceptable to other countries around the world, particularly developing countries that host huge refugee populations, sometimes for decades," he wrote

"These countries will need to be convinced that the richer countries will share the economic, social and political burdens imposed by large movements of refugees. If they feel the rich states are only interested in passing the buck back to them, they will not co-operate."
To help move the political issues forward, he revealed that the UNHCR will put forward new proposals at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Dublin on January 22.
He also called on governments to spend more on aid in poor countries to reduce the flow of refugees. "The amount now spent on supporting refugees in their regions of origin is woefully inadequate. Little wonder that refugees - genuine refugees - lose hope and head towards Europe," he wrote.
"Their original hosts, with inadequate financial support, are unlikely to encourage them to stay. Nor are they likely to welcome them back, just because Europe doesn't want them either."

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http://www.unsw.edu.au/news/pad/articles/2004/jan/TPV_Health.html
Temporary protection visas compromise refugees' health: new research    30 January 2004

New research by the Centre for Population Mental Health Research at the University of New South Wales supports health professionals' concerns about the adverse impact of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) on refugees.
UNSW professor of psychiatry, Derrick Silove, said: "The study's preliminary findings show that refugees placed on TPVs have a 700 per cent increase in risk for developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder compared to refugees with permanent protection visas."
He said that the research "confirms that TPVs cause immense psychological distress to an already vulnerable and traumatised community". The Centre will publish a report of the full study later this year.
Clinical psychologist, Zachary Steel, co-author of the study, said: "These are refugees who have proven their cases. It is a public health tragedy that their mental health should deteriorate so significantly in a relatively short period of time as a result of this policy. Our findings illustrate that it is just not possible for refugees to rebuild their lives on TPVs and the cost will ultimately be paid by the broader community as we are forced to repair the damage caused to these peoples lives."
"Refugees on TPVs get trapped in a situation were they live in permanent fear about the future. Of the TPV holders interviewed, 80 per cent experienced intense and disabling feelings of fear and terror about the future compared to only eight per cent of those with permanent protection visas," said Steel, a senior lecturer in the UNSW school of psychiatry.
The Centre's research was undertaken among a sample of 241 refugees and immigrants from a persecuted Middle Eastern minority group now living in Sydney. Of the 140 refugees placed on TPVs the majority experienced severe symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.The research also provides the first long-term assessment of the impact of immigration detention on refugees who are released into the Australian community. The 154 refugees who had spent time in detention had twice the risk of depression and three times the risk of traumatic stress compared to refugees who had not been in detention. The risk for depression was found to increase by 17 per cent for each additional month spent in detention.
"While we have known for some time that many individuals in detention experience poor mental health, it was hoped that they would recover once released. Unfortunately these new findings show, for the first time, that the effects of detention extend well beyond release and that the longer the period of detention, the worse their mental health outcomes are in the community," Professor Silove said.
"These results should be taken into account when reviewing the immigration system so that it is equitable, fair, and does not contribute to the burden of mental illness."
The Centre also released the preliminary results of a second study involving detailed clinical assessments of a randomly selected sample of 73 asylum seekers applying for refugee status in the community. The asylum seekers arrived in the period preceding and subsequent to the Tampa crisis.  "This research should dispel any notion that asylum seekers are economic migrants," said Zachary Steel. "They are a highly vulnerable group - 62 per cent gave credible accounts of torture, with a third of the group reporting sexual torture. The asylum seekers had experienced an average of eight major life traumas prior to their arrival in Australia."

MEDIA CONTACT: Zachary Steel m 0407 200 517; Professor Derrick Silove m 0409 717 284; Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, m 0405 207 685 w 02 9385 3192.

NB   This article also refers to all countries where there is any type of forced communal  ‘living’, whether called  ‘refugee centres’,  ‘detention centres’, etc., as well as to the general unbearably long waiting time for resolution of asylum seekers’ status.

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AfricaNode@ecoterra.net  One day as a refugee
One day as a refugee - gives you the deep rooted anxiety to let nobody know your name.
One week as a refugee - gives you traumata others can not even dream up in nightmares.
One month as a refugee - and you wonder that mind and body still function.
One year as a refugee - and you lose any belief in the human race.
One decade as a refugee - if you survive so long - will have you made strong to speak out, but for the rest of your life you will have to struggle to make others understand, what you experienced and live through.
EINSTEIN WAS A REFUGEE - YOU CAN BE ONE TOMORROW !
STOP THE DEHUMANIZING BUSINESS AND STOP MISUSING REFUGEES FOR IT !

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REFUGEES  I.V..2000 Author unknown
Cut from your roots
By a bayonet
You’d best forget
The dead
In a distant land
Hands tied
With barbed wire
A bullet in the nape
Here you escape
Those ghosts
So take your chance
On the fickle sand
Of your alien hosts’
Generously hostile
Tolerance
Our god is the same
And we’re modestly proud
Of our fraternal feeling
And the open welcome
On our bounteous soil
Do make a new beginning
On the sound
Of a tongue newly learned
Play the game
The sky’s your limit
If you honestly toil
And behave ....
Don’t say it loud
But your sky’s a steel ceiling
And  -  to be sincere  -
We’d rather you hadn’t come
Into our paradise
But now you are in it
Please be nice
As behoves a guest
Do your best
So we don’t know you’re here.

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