Weekly media round-up No. 8

The New York Times reports that more than two million people have spread across the Middle East and Europe as a result of the civil war in Syria, while 4.25 million people have been displaced internally. France has agreed to accept 500 Syrian refugees, in spite of opposition from the far-right National Front Party.

Ian Rintoul, of the Refugee Action Coalition, claims that sending seven West Papuans (including a 10 year old child) back to PNG is a violation of a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian and PNG governments. The group fears for their safety, as they will be held in close proximity to the Indonesian border.

The UNHCR has confirmed that a second pregnant woman is being held in detention in Nauru. Advocates have expressed concern over the level of available medical care.

A boat believed to be carrying 60 asylum seekers has arrived at Christmas Island. Christmas Island administrator and Former ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has called on Bill Shorten to denounce the asylum policy that the ALP took to the recent election.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he will not be discussing incidents of self-harm for fear of ‘endorsing [or]… encouraging that behaviour’.

While Mr Morrison has stated that the increased Indonesian police activity, and increased funding for the Australian Federal Police activities in Indonesia has resulted in arrests of ‘high value targets’, former immigration minister Tony Burke insists this a continuation of a trend observed prior to the change of government.

The High Court earlier this week dismissed an appeal by an Indonesian man against his five-year mandatory sentence for people smuggling offences.