Author: Kerry Murphy

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A bad Christmas for refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 09 December 2013
    11 Comments

    Last week asylum seekers had a small win only to have it snatched away, and then were confronted by a more serious attack. Those working with asylum seekers have learned to expect abuse and derision from governments directed against asylum seekers and those helping them. Labor is only moderately better than the Coalition, but at least they occasionally made positive decisions. However these recent events have reached a new nadir.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Protection visa sequel worse than the original

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 21 October 2013
    22 Comments

    The new TPV is harsher than the version introduced by the Howard Government, mainly because it has no pathway to a permanent visa — once granted, it is likely that the best you will ever get in Australia is a TPV. The TPV is a punishment, not a deterrent; a cruel visa that reflects the cruelty of the politicians introducing it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's asylum seeker vergogna

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 14 October 2013
    14 Comments

    Italians are not necessarily more ethical than Australians, but the attitude of their government and local officials to asylum seekers who arrive by boat is in stark contrast with our own. The Pope called it vergogna — shameful, or a disgrace — that so many asylum seekers trying to get to Italy by boat have drowned. Australia's vergogna lies in its official attitudes of punishment and demonisation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor and the Coalition's cruel credentials

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 August 2013
    9 Comments

    Labor is subcontracting our international obligations to poor neighbours who do not have the resources to resettle refugees who may well have trauma issues. Not to be outdone in the cruelty stakes, the Coalition has four proposals, each of which has serious flaws. Neither party has a policy that respects relevant human rights issues, or an administrative system designed to ensure the correct decisions are reached.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PNG policy places politics over principle

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 July 2013
    15 Comments

    PNG is not a resettlement country, has few if any resettlement services for a refugee population and is struggling with its own serious law and order and basic services issues. Australia has subcontracted its international obligations to a former colony. Once again the poorer countries of the world are used to warehouse refugees while the richer countries cherry-pick those they deem suitable for resettlement.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Bob Carr is kidding himself about refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 04 July 2013
    5 Comments

    Senator Carr's comments about 'economic migrants' and asylum seekers from 'majority groups' show a lack of understanding of the separation of powers, the rule of law and the refugee assessment process in Australia. It is remarkable that, when confronted with the fact that the numbers of people meeting the refugee criteria are high, Carr's solution is to change the rules.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two unsuccessful asylum seekers

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 18 June 2013
    6 Comments

    Comparison of these two cases is illuminating. One is the recruit to the Australia A cricket team, Pakistani born Fawad Ahmed. The other is, in Tony Abbott's words, the 'convicted Jihadist terrorist', Egyptian born Sayed Ahmed Abullatif. Ahmed will be the second Pakistani born cricketer in an Australian side that desperately needs a good leg-spinner. Abdullatif has possibly a more difficult road ahead.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers stiffed by election year spin

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The ad hoc nature of arrangements for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG reveal that priorities are being determined by election dates rather than respect for human dignity and international human rights laws. The latest Coalition idea to interdict boats from Sri Lanka outside our territorial waters and send them back is particularly ill-considered.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Back road encounter in the Italian countryside

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 30 October 2012
    3 Comments

    We drove up a narrow road, on the dubious instructions of the GPS. Suddenly the car became unbalanced and the front wheel spun above the side of the road, which had collapsed. We were stuck. We could hear dogs barking in the night. After a while a car approached from one direction, and then a utility from the other.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rise of the Kurds in Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 09 October 2012
    4 Comments

    It is not only Arabs that stand to benefit from the Arab Spring. Kurdish autonomy has long been a desire of the Kurds, who are spread through Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In Syria, while the Assad regime is occupied by rebel groups in Aleppo and Damascus, the Kurds are establishing their own armed security in their areas.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Farewell to the concierge of Pitt Street

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 07 August 2012
    24 Comments

    Yassin made sure the bins were out for the garbage collectors, and that people had parking tickets on their cars in case the rangers passed by. He looked after the area so well that we nicknamed him 'the concierge'. Last Monday a security guard found him lying unconscious and without a pulse.

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