Human Rights

Protestors call for stop to Chinese live organ harvesting

About 40 protestors held a candlelight vigil and gathered signatures in King George Square last week to draw attention to reported live organ harvesting of political prisoners in China. The Falun Gong group, a banned organisation in China, says 45,000 of its members have had organs harvested against their will. Falun Gong Queensland spokesman John […]

Refugee activists call for 90-day detention limit

The release of a federal parliament report last week has sparked calls for urgent government action to make things easier for refugees. Refugee Action Collective spokesperson Paul Mckinnon said he endorsed the recent report that recommended asylum seekers be given a 90-day maximum time limit in detention. “It would be a tremendous step forward in […]

Hundreds march in protest at swearing fines

Hundreds of protesters marched in Melbourne on Saturday to protest against on-the-spot fines for offensive language in public. About 500 mainly young protesters chanted slogans demanding free speech not fines in the CBD. Yelling offensive words they marched from Flinders Street station and down Bourke St demanding the government scrap the legislation to fine people. […]

Swearing law could be challenged in High Court

A new law to fine people on the spot for swearing will not be effective and may lead to a High Court case, according to legal academics. The Victorian Government has introduced legislation that will give police permanent power to give on-the-spot fines of up to $240 for those who use offensive language. Monash University […]

Street poll: Should drivers be banned from using hands-free mobile phones?

Among proposals for new laws to help reduce road accidents, the Australian Transport Council has called for a ban on hands-free mobile phone conversations by motorists. We asked Brisbane people what they thought of the idea.

Australian activists recall Gaza flotilla horror

An Australian wounded in the Gaza flotilla raid has accused the Israel military of brutal conduct. Mr Ahmed Talib was speaking at an Amnesty International forum in Brisbane on Saturday. The United Nations will this week begin its investigation into the raid on the aid flotilla that left nine activists dead and dozens wounded, including […]

Music and sport help refugees feel at home [audio]

For refugees escaping persecution in their homeland, adjusting to Australian culture can be difficult. Refugee inclusion groups in Brisbane are using sport and music to break down social barriers, not only between refugees and the Australian community, but also between separate cultures within the refugee community. Brisbane Women’s Volleyball coach Mandy Cox said sporting clubs […]

Protestors attack asylum policy

Two election candidates rejected Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s policy on asylum-seekers at a rally in Brisbane on Friday. Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane Andrew Bartlett (pictured) said people were very disappointed at how badly they had been let down by the ALP Government. He said substantial, genuine change meant shifting votes away from […]

Mabo Day remembered [with audio]

Torres Strait and Aboriginal people took part in events across Brisbane on Thursday to commemorate the historic Mabo land rights judgment of 1992. Aboriginal community leader Sam Watson said the Mabo decision by the High Court on 3 June, 1992, was of great importance to indigenous people. “Mabo is one of the most significant moments […]

Anti-Israel protests in city streets

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters marched through the city on Friday night protesting against the deaths of 10 people when Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid and activists to the Gaza Strip. The march followed a similar gathering on Tuesday night. Organiser of the two protest marches, Justice for Palestine’s Kathryn Zahran, said Australia […]

Greens call for foreign aid boost

The Federal Government is facing calls to increase its foreign aid budget, despite having downgraded its aid target for the next financial year. Speaking at a forum in the Brisbane electorate of Bonner last week, Greens candidate Darryl Rosin and Make Poverty History national co-chair Andrew Hewett called on the Government to increase their aid […]

Campaign aims to end indigenous disadvantage

Kokoberra woman and former Young Australian of the year Tania Major called for a better deal for indigenous people at the Brisbane launch of Generation One in Queen Street this week. Ms Major appealed passionately to the patriotic fervour of all Australians to acknowledge the plight of Indigenous people. “For so long in Australia, the […]

Aboriginal leader says Doomadgee inquest didn’t go far enough

Aboriginal community leader Sam Watson slammed a coronial inquest into Aboriginal deaths in custody at a rally outside Parliament House today.

City protest urges protection of asylum seekers [with video]

More than 300 Brisbane people formed a giant “life ring” in King George Square on Saturday to protest the government’s laws on border protection and asylum seekers. Amnesty International spokesman Michael Hayworth said in addition to the 300 people who turned up in Brisbane, more than 1000 people attended similar protests held in Sydney, Melbourne, […]

Brisbane Islamic leader slams burqa ban proposal

A Brisbane Islamic community leader yesterday condemned Liberal MP Cory Bernardi’s call for a ban on the burqa. Recently resigned president of the the Kuraby mosque, Dr Sikander Sabdia, said politicians like Senator Bernadi used hate as a political weapon but he believed the average Australian accepted Islamic culture. “The average Australian just like me […]

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