Search Results: torture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are shaped by how we choose to view violent crimes

    • Lyn Bender
    • 17 January 2016
    18 Comments

    In the early hours of a brand new year, two small boys had their lives extinguished by a purportedly depressed father. For me this event brought to mind two cases from a past life, when I was the manager of Melbourne Lifeline. One was a woman who disclosed that she had killed her two small children a decade earlier. In a second case, a belligerent suicidal man expressed rage towards his former partner, who was about to remarry. I asked pertinent questions. Would he harm his children? 'Yes.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    2015 in review: Melbourne medicos' refugee heroism

    • Justin Glyn
    • 10 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Health care professionals at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital have begun to do what could not be achieved by reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Australia's Human Rights Commission. The doctors and staff are refusing to release children they treat back to the detention which caused their problems in the first place. By this brave act has begun the slow task of pouring daylight (always the best antiseptic) into this gaping wound in Australian society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Which refugees would Jesus resettle?

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 14 December 2015
    25 Comments

    The UNHCR guidelines for resettlement are there for a reason: those who need resettlement, when this option is available, are the most vulnerable and weak in a refugee population: children and teenagers, women at risk, people with urgent medical needs, the elderly, victims of torture and trauma, split families. None of these should be subject to a religious test. As several Muslim commentators have said in the Australian media, you do not ask a drowning person her religion before rescuing her.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What led to the trashing of Christmas Island

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2015
    6 Comments

    Questions remain regarding the recent death and disturbance on Christmas Island, posed by the responses by New Zealand and Australian government ministers to the unrest. New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne compared the Christmas Island regime to Guantanamo Bay. Australian Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton emphasised the $10 million damage to property. Both responses were partial. At a deeper level the riot was the predictable outcome of a brutal government policy.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    On blaming Muslims for Paris

    • Justin Glyn
    • 18 November 2015
    12 Comments

    It is possible to find 'texts of terror' in Jewish, Christian and Muslim Scriptures. They need to be responsibly understood and explored with a close understanding of their context. We did not demand all Catholics stand up and denounce every IRA attack, nor that all Christians apologise for Anders Breivik. Similarly, why should we expect all members of a religion with over a billion adherents with multiple ancient variants to actively disown every horror claimed to have been committed in its name?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Before they were monsters they were us

    • Michael Walter
    • 10 November 2015
    10 Comments

    This photo is quite ordinary. It seems as though the men have just arrived somewhere, and have awkwardly posed for a camera. What is so haunting about this photo is the story of what these men would do. The man on the left is Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge. The man in the middle is Comrade Duch, the meticulous chief of Tuol Sleng Prison. In 50 years' time, what stories will be embedded in the ordinary photographs of today? What stories will be attached to ordinary photos of us?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If only gender-based violence really was unAustralian

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared that violence against women needs to be seen as 'unAustralian'. But sexual violence against women was part of the colonial experience for the Indigenous population, and continues to be a symptom of the punitive measures enacted against asylum seekers that we have a moral and legal obligation to protect. Violence against women is very much 'Australian', and will be until the institutional violence that has defined our past is owned and redressed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Melbourne medicos bring detained children into the light

    • Justin Glyn
    • 12 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Health care professionals at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital have begun to do what could not be achieved by reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Australia's Human Rights Commission. The doctors and staff are refusing to release children they treat back to the detention which caused their problems in the first place. By this brave act has begun the slow task of pouring daylight (always the best antiseptic) into this gaping wound in Australian society.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    I was a teenage Cold War Russophile

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 September 2015
    9 Comments

    When Josef Stalin died on 5 March 1953, a couple of months into my Matriculation year, my Russophile leanings seemed about to be intensified. Research in those days was a matter of consulting encyclopaedias, or, if possible, going to the Public Library, but in Stalin's case the newspapers were full of reports, history, anecdote, judgement and various degrees of relief, so there was suddenly plenty of information.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The amazing grace of Joan Baez

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 September 2015
    4 Comments

    Folk legend and renowned human rights activist Joan Baez's fire hasn't dimmed. Today she rages at the 'disgusting' state of race relations in America — 'police violence, mass arrests of people of colour, torture in prisons' — half a century on from the Selma civil rights marches, in which she took part. Yet amid these horrors, Baez still finds herself able to be moved by examples of 'amazing grace'.

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