|600,000 Rohingya still in Myanmar at 'serious risk of genocide': UN|
|[DAWN] Rohingya s remaining in Myanmar still face a "serious risk of genocide", UN said on Monday, warning the repatriation of a million already driven from the country by the army remains "impossible".|
The fact-finding mission to Myanmar, set up by the Human Rights Council, last year branded the army operations in 2017 as "genocide" and called for the prosecution of top generals, including army chief Min Aung Hlaing.
UNHRC current members include China, Iraq, Pakistain, Bangla, Rwanda, Cuba....
Some 740,000 Rohingya fled burning villages, bringing accounts of murder, rape and torture over the border to sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh, where survivors of previous waves of persecution already languish.
But in a damning report, the UN team said the 600,000 Rohingya still inside Myanmar's Rakhine state remain in deteriorating and "deplorable" conditions.
"Myanmar continues to harbour genocidal intent and the Rohingya remain under serious risk of genocide," the said in their final report on Myanmar, due to be presented on Tuesday in Geneva.
The country is "denying wrongdoing, destroying evidence, refusing to conduct effective investigations and clearing, razing, confiscating and building on land from which it displaced Rohingya," it said.
|Myanmar army says it will punish soldiers in Rohingya atrocities probe|
|[DAWN] Myanmar's army will court-martial soldiers after a new finding in an inquiry into atrocities in Rakhine state, from which more than 730,000 Rohingya s fled a 2017 army-led campaign the says was executed with "genocidal intent".|
On Saturday, the website of Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing said a military court that visited the northern state found soldiers had shown "weakness in following instructions in some incidents" at a village said to have been a Rohingya massacre site.
In 2018, the news agency reported the existence of at least five graves of Rohingya in the village, Gutarpyin, in the township of Buthidaung.
But government officials at the time said 19 "terrorists" had died and their bodies were "carefully buried".
On Sunday, military Tun Tun Nyi told the investigation's findings were secret.
"We don't have the right to know about it," he said by telephone. "They will release another statement about it when the procedure is finished."
|UNHCR: 1,350 migrants in Libya sent to safe third countries during 2019|
|[Libya Observer] The High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Libya has announced that 1,350 have been sent to safe third countries.|
The UNHCR explained via Twitter that the number given was for the evacuation and resettlement programs conducted during 2019, expressing hope for the who benefited from this program to have an opportunity to start a new chapter of their lives.
The UNHCR has demanded that rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard in the Mediterranean not to be returned in any way to Libyan-based shelters located in areas of .
|Bangladesh Offers Repatriation to Rohingya Muslims, None Accept|
|[BREITBART] The government of Bangladesh on Thursday cleared 3,450 Rohingya refugees to return to their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, but not a single one of the 295 families approached by Bangladeshi and officials was willing to go. The Bangladeshis were left with a line of empty trucks and buses pointed at the Myanmar border.|
According to Sky News, some Rohingya whose names were on the repatriation list actually hid from officials so they would not be returned. Both Bangladesh and the United Nations have given assurances that repatriation will be strictly voluntary.
Rohingya leaders stated they will not consider returning home unless the government of Myanmar meets a set of security demands, chief among them an end to their awkward status as a stateless people. Myanmar refuses to recognize the Rohingya as citizens, and does not even see them as a distinct ethnic group.
The refugees also want safety guarantees, the return of property seized when they were subjected to a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and justice for the Myanmar troops and leaders who mistreated them.
"We need a real guarantee of citizenship, security and promise of original homelands. So we must talk with the Myanmar government about this before repatriation," Rohingya leader Muhammad Islam told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed that not a single family they interviewed was willing to consider repatriation. A similar repatriation effort in November was equally unsuccessful.
Even if they had accepted, the 3,450 Rohingya invited to return would have been a tiny fraction of the roughly 740,000 refugees currently packed into the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, a ghastly city of ramshackle shelters stretching to the horizon where human trafficking is one of the major industries.
|China warns of next jihadist wave in Syria|
|[ALMASDARNEWS] China has warned of "terrorist organizations" including remnants of * rising again in Syria if the international community ignores the "early warning" signs.|
Xie Xiaoyan, Beijing’s envoy in Syrian, said: "There is now a danger of terrorist organizations like ISIS ( ) being revived. The international community should pay attention."
He was meeting in Geneva with the Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen.After the so-called Arab Spring, rebels challenged the government of President Assad in 2011 and three years later , an Sunni militia, overran a huge chunk of eastern Syria and northern Iraq and proclaimed a "caliphate."
Eventually was forced to retreat and in March this year it relinquished its last stronghold, Baghouz, to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF).
The focus has now turned to Idlib, which since January has been administered by the Hayat alliance, led by jihadists from Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate.The UN has warned President Assad and his Russian allies an assault on Idlib could trigger a humanitarian catastrophe.
Tens of thousands of fighters who fled the region around Raqqa last year are believed to have infiltrated Idlib and are preparing for a last stand against the Syrian Army.
Mr Xie said the situation in Idlib was "very complicated".
He said: "We all know that this is the last stronghold of some of the terrorist organizations... so this is an issue that needs to be dealt with. The fight against terrorism is not finished yet."
|Pompeo: We Will Act If Iranian Tanker Tries to Deliver Oil to Syria|
|[AAWSAT] The United States will take every action it can to prevent an Iranian tanker sailing in the Mediterranean from delivering oil to Syria in contravention of US sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Tuesday.|
Greece said earlier in the day that it had not had a request from the Adrian Darya 1, the vessel at the centre of a dispute between Tehran and the Washington, to dock at one of its ports, as US warned Greece against helping the vessel.
The tanker, formerly called Grace 1, left Gibraltar on Sunday, reported.
Changed its name and gender
Ship-tracking data on Tuesday showed the vessel was heading toward the Greek port of Kalamata on the southern coast of the Peloponnese and was scheduled to arrive next Monday.
"We have made clear that anyone who touches it, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States," Pompeo told s at the "If that ship again heads to Syria, we will take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent that."
He said that if the tanker's oil was sold, the revenue would be used by elite units of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
|Bangladesh ready to repatriate 3,500 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar|
|[AlAhram] Some 3,500 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have been cleared to return home to Myanmar beginning this week, a top official said Monday, nearly two years after a military crackdown sparked their exodus.|
Some 740,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in August 2017 from a military offensive in Myanmar -- joining 200,000 already there -- but virtually none have volunteered to return despite the countries signing a repatriation deal.
Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam, however, said he was "optimistic" about a new repatriation process scheduled to start on Thursday.
A previous attempt in November 2018 to return 2,260 Rohingya failed after they refused to leave the camp without guarantees for their safety.
"Everything is ready... the land transit point has been prepared," Kalam told s after a meeting with Myanmar officials in Cox's Bazar, southeast Bangladesh, where the refugees live in vast camps.
"Nobody will be forced to return unless they volunteer," he said.
Bangladesh and Myanmar officials plan to repatriate 300 Rohingya each day, with some 3,500 refugees cleared to make the journey home, Kalam said.
The new push follows a visit last month to the camps by high-ranking officials from Myanmar led by Permanent Foreign Secretary Myint Thu.
Sunday will mark the second anniversary of the crackdown that sparked the mass exodus to the Bangladesh camps.
Kalam said Myanmar and officials were meeting with selected refugees on Tuesday to encourage them to return to Rakhine state.
The Rohingya, who are mostly , are not recognised as an official minority by the Myanmar government which considers them Bengali interlopers despite many families having lived in Rakhine for generations.
|Rebel attack on Myanmar elite military college leaves 15 dead|
|[DAWN] Myanmar killed at least 15 people on Thursday, most of them members of the security forces, in attacks on an elite military college and other government targets in the country’s north, an army said.|
The Northern Alliance, a collection of s in the region, for the unprecedented attack on the Defence Services Technological Academy in Pyin Oo Lwin in western Shan state, where army engineers are trained, and attacks at four other locations.
Army Tun Tun Nyi said soldiers were fighting in Naung Cho township near the Gokteik viaduct, a towering railway bridge built under British colonial rule and a tourist hot-spot.
Another bridge across the Goktwin valley had been destroyed by who also burned down the township’s narcotics police office, he said.
Fighting was reported at a toll gate on the highway to Lashio, the largest town in Shan state.
"They killed seven military men in Goktwin, two at the toll gate, and and civilians too," Tun Tun Nyi said by phone, saying one civilian staff member at the military academy was killed. Photos published by local media showed damaged buildings and burnt cars riddled with bullet holes. The attacks mark a major escalation in a decades-old conflict in the region, where several groups are fighting for greater autonomy for ethnic minorities.
Pyin Oo Lwin, a military town and former British hill station outside the city of Mandalay, had until Thursday been unaffected by in the region, which have mostly taken place in rural areas.
A months-long ceasefire agreement that ended in June was recently extended until Aug 31.
A for the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, one of the groups in the Northern Alliance, said it was responding to recent army action in ethnic areas.
"We aim to change battlefronts, as the Burmese military are increasing their offensives in ethnic areas during these days," Mong Aik Kyaw said by phone.
"The Aung San Suu Kyi-led ... government is trying to make peace, but nothing can happen if the military doesn’t participate in it," he added.
|Hundreds of refugees protest outside Australian Parliament|
|[IsraelTimes] Conservative governments have cracked down on refugee entry, replacing permanent visas with temporary ones and refusing asylum to those who arrive by boat.|
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside Australia’s Parliament House on Monday, saying they wanted to highlight the uncertain futures of many refugees since the government replaced permanent protection visas with temporary visas.
The protesters were from Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Somalia and included Rohingya s from Myanmar. Most were in Australia on three-year visas or five-year visas that are available to refugees who agree to live outside the major cities.
Such refugees lose their visas if they to return to their homelands to visit family.
"The circumstances of the temporary visas are onerous as well as a bureaucratic nightmare," Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said. "People are effectively in limbo in that [they] are indefinitely separated from partners and from children as well as brothers and sisters."
The temporary visas were introduced when the conservative government was first elected in 2013 as a way of deterring asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat. Refugees who do not arrive by boat are entitled to permanent protection visas.
Some asylum seekers who arrived by boat as far back as 2012 were only allowed to apply for refugee visas last year, Rintoul said.
When visas expired, some were not renewed in cases where the government decided that conditions the refugees had fled in their homelands had improved. Refugees who were refused visa extensions included Sri Lankans and some Iraqis, Rintoul said.
Chanting "eight years is too long" and "justice for refugees," most of the 1,000 protesters had driven 650 kilometers (400 miles) from the city of Melbourne to demonstrate, Rintoul said.
Heydar Aftahi, an Iranian Kurd, said he arrived in Australia by boat in 2010 and had his permanent residency visa canceled in May. He faces deportation despite having an Australian citizen wife and a 4-year-old Australian son.
The 36-year-old Sydney interpreter said he was fighting for a visa in the Federal Court, but the government had refused him a bridging visa while his case was heard because he arrived by boat.
"I have no visa at all, having an Australian wife and an Australian son and I have to shut down my business as well," Aftahi said outside Parliament House.
"It’s discrimination just because I came by boat. They prevent me from applying for any other visa," he added.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to meet a delegation of protesters led by Iraqi Council Melbourne president Samir Kafaji in Parliament House. But two s from the opposition Labor Party, which opposes temporary visas, agreed to speak to the delegates.
The government toughened its policy against boat arrivals in 2013, banning any asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by water from ever settling there.
The boats have since all but stopped, after arriving at a rate of more than one a day.
Those arriving by boat since 2013 have been banished to immigration camps in the poor Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, where hundreds still languish.
The United States agreed to resettle up to 1,250 of these refugees. The Australian government said last week that 585 refugees had since found new homes in the United States under the agreement.
|Pence urges Pakistan to release professor accused of blasphemy|
|[DAWN] Days ahead of Prime Minister ’s July 21-24 visit to Washington, US Vice President Mike Pence urged Islamabad to free Junaid Hafeez, a university teacher arrested on charges.|
At a religious freedom summit in Washington on Thursday, Mr Pence highlighted the detention of religious dissidents in , Mauritania, Pakistain and . He also asked Saudi authorities to free Raif Badawi, a blogger for 10 years in 2014 for allegedly insulting religious sentiments.
"In Pakistain, Professor Junaid Hafeez remains in solitary confinement on unsubstantiated charges of blasphemy," Mr Pence said in his address to the summit meeting attended by hundreds of delegates from across the globe. "And in Saudi Arabia, blogger Raif Badawi is still in prison for the alleged crime of "criticising Islam through electronic means."
Mr Pence said that "all four of these men have stood in defence of religious liberty, in the exercise of their faith, despite unimaginable pressure".
Assuring the prisoners that the American people stand with them, the US vice president said: "Today, the United States of America calls upon the governments of Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistain, and Saudi Arabia to respect the rights of conscience of these men, and let these men go."
Mr Pence also criticised Myanmar, China, and Venezuela for their alleged continued violation of "We’re also standing up for the persecuted Rohingya people in Burma," he said. "We cannot ignore the rise of Buddhism against and Christian minorities that’s taken place."
|Trafficking route for persecuted Rohingya Muslims appears open for business despite|
|Shut out from Bangladesh schools, Rohingyas turn to madrassas|
|[AlAhram] Half a million refugee Rohingya children are shut out of local schools in Bangladesh, leaving many in religious madrassas where critics say educational standards are low and students are vulnerable to indoctrination.|
Around 740,000 Rohingya fled into the country during a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military, swelling the numbers of the minority in Bangladesh to around a million.
But while their language and culture are similar to people in southeastern Bangladesh, authorities regard the Rohingya as temporary guests and their children are denied access to local schools, raising fears of a "lost generation".