December 11, 2003


The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

A number of refugees on Nauru had gone on an indefinite hunger strike, some sewing their lips together, to coincide with world Human Rights Day, a refugee advocate said today.

Hassan Ghulam, president of the Hazara Ethnic Society of Australia, said the refugees, including some children, wanted to stage a non-violent protest to highlight their plight.

He said he had received a phone call from one of the Nauru refugees today ...

Hassan Ghulam: Hello?

Refugee: Mmmmph. Mmmph nfffff! Gnnnnnnnnngmffl!

Hassan Ghulam: What’s that you say? You’ve sewn your lips together and you’re on a munger strike? What the hell’s a mun ...

Refugee: Nffft! Mnnnngrr mmmph!

Hassan Ghulam: Oh, a hunger strike. Cool. So, you want I should tell the media?

Refugee: Yyyynm. Mmmgph nnngff, gnnn mmmfffnn nnnfffll.

Hassan Ghulam: Right. "Conditions less than ideal." Got it. Anything else?

Refugee: Mmmm .... nnnff mmmph nrrr gmmmrrr?

Hassan Ghulam: What am I wearing!?

Posted by Tim Blair at December 11, 2003 05:01 AM

Isn't Krazy Glue less painful than sewing?

And just when is World Human Rights Day anyway? Geez! It's today!!! No glue! No thread! Stapler out of staples! Wait -- there's a C-clamp!

Happy rrrrllll hmmmmn rrrff nff.

Posted by: Jim Whyte at December 11, 2003 at 05:30 AM

If their mouths were sewn shut when they arrived then I might believe that they were genuine refugees. Anyway I don't take protests seriously unless there is nudity involved.

Posted by: Ross at December 11, 2003 at 05:40 AM

Yay, Ross! Git them illegals neckett! Then someone might take some notice of them. I think.....!

Posted by: Kate at December 11, 2003 at 06:17 AM

if they're illegal, i want the police to notice them

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 11, 2003 at 06:22 AM

John Lennon can imagine his perfect world (well, not anymore, actually); in mine, *all* these lunkheads would sew their lips together.

Now that's a dream all of us can cherish.

Posted by: Ken Begg at December 11, 2003 at 06:28 AM

Some of these lunkheads are the same people who fled Saddam's Iraq.

We either honour our obligations under the Refugees Convention or pull out of it all together.

At the end of the day, over 90% of these lunkheads who arrive by boat are found to meet the internationally sanctioned definition of a refugee by our decison makers.

Don't like it? Encourage Howard to pull out of the Convention. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: bongoman at December 11, 2003 at 06:50 AM

"Don't like it? Encourage Howard to pull out of the Convention. You can't have it both ways."

Actually you can - it's called "double standards" or "duplicity". Works great! Plus, it's not as if those human rights conventions are enforced anyways...


Posted by: Döbeln at December 11, 2003 at 07:05 AM

Who told the legally detained refugees that is was world Human Rights Day?.

Posted by: Gary at December 11, 2003 at 07:25 AM

Is it legal to sew lips together, when is it legal, why isn't it legal to sew leftoids lips together but if it is shouldn't the spivs in Spring St. have sewn their lips some time ago and since they haven't why are they not in prison for the crime (of omission)?

Posted by: d at December 11, 2003 at 07:39 AM

Bongoman, I understand that these particular asylum seekers are from Afghanistan and that many of those who arrived with them have returned. Happy to be corrected on this one. Also, isn't it true that by travelling to Australia via countries in which they would NOT be persecuted (eg. Pakistan or Indonesia), that none of these inmates are refugees under the 1951 convention?

Posted by: Fidens at December 11, 2003 at 07:53 AM

Bongoman and Dobeln, it's easy to simply repeat the old lefty shibboleths, harder to actually get a grip on what the covnetion requires in reality.

Ensuring that these people have their claims tested by the IOM in offshore locations, with those who are found to be genuine refugees subject to orderly resettlement, and preventing them travelling to Australia while their claims are tested - all this is perfectly consistent with our convention obligations.

On the wider question - yes, we should withdraw from the convention unless it is radically reformed at some point in the very near future. We won't be the only one, believe me. The fact is that the 1951 convention has been and is being grossly exploited by criminal people-smugglers and benefiting mainly "economic migrants" at the expense of genuine refugees.

The fact that as many as 90% of applicants are eventually successful in Australia, as opposed to the approximately 14% of similar groups processed by the UNHCR, shows the ridiculously rortable nature of our decision-making and appeals system, fuelled by the sanctimonious zealots who use every possible means to prolong the appeals processes and the associated detention of illegal arrivals. Primary decisions are generally given within 3 months.

Posted by: Bob Bunnett at December 11, 2003 at 08:35 AM

I don't want it both ways bongoman.

Our troops have removed the murderous dictatorships that existed in Afghanistan and Iraq and it is now safe to repatriate all those people to their homeland where they can now sew their lips together in peace.

Posted by: Gilly at December 11, 2003 at 08:45 AM


I should point out I was merely being a bit flippant. Sorry there - I have no beef whatsoever with John Howard et al. Just clearing things up =P

/ Döbeln

-Stabil som fan!

Posted by: Döbeln at December 11, 2003 at 08:53 AM

I'm guessing these guys haven't sewn their lips together.

Posted by: Pig head Sucker at December 11, 2003 at 09:05 AM

Tim, you fool! It's not the lips on their faces that are getting the overlock treatment; how culturally insensitive of you!

Posted by: Habib at December 11, 2003 at 12:06 PM

There is one benefit for opening the doors to asylum seekers....since most of them are Muslims, there must a fair percentage of fundies who absolutely abhor homosexuality. The more fundy Muslims in this country....the less homosexual refugees who want to come here.

Posted by: Fred Nurk at December 11, 2003 at 03:24 PM

Seen it. That sort of stuff is old hat now. It's done before. And let's not forget that it didn't really sway public opinion that much. Ok, it did kind of shock people, but not with the results that they had in mind. Because not many countries want to have citizens who actually sew their own lips together.

Posted by: Charles at December 11, 2003 at 04:34 PM

i'd be more impressed if they killed themselves...

Posted by: roscoe at December 11, 2003 at 04:48 PM

The swallow dives into the razor wire were pretty impressive.

Didn't gain an ounce of sympathy, but it was spectacular.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at December 12, 2003 at 03:05 AM

Nice to see you're attracting and inciting racist filth, Timbo

Posted by: Jason Soon at December 12, 2003 at 07:29 AM

Jason Soon

Perhaps you and Miranda can go and sew each-others lips together in solidarity. At least you'll leave the kids alone this time.

Posted by: Gary at December 12, 2003 at 08:09 AM

Nice to see you being a hysterical asshole like Miranda, Jason. Not a word about what sort of mindset would think that sewing one's lips together is a good way to protest the "unfairness" of Australia's immigration and refugee policy. Why the hell should Australia -- any country -- let hysterical, apparently mentally-disturbed people in? And another thing -- I can read a map, and I wonder just why these "refugees" came so fucking far -- across all those miles of other countries, many of them Muslim countries where presumably they could get refuge with their "Muslim brothers or sisters" -- to aim themselves at Australia of all places. It makes me wonder just how many of these people are legitimate "refugees" and how many are terrorists using a "refugee" scam to get into Australia.

As for Miranda, what is the effect of that little diatribe supposed to be? Are posters here supposed to be overcome with guilt because comments here have brought forth a load of filthy speech from someone who has never been less than thoroughly unpleasant? The thought that anything anyone has said here making you all upset and angry, Mirander, is a distinctly pleasant one. As for your claims that people here are "racist" because they refuse to turn into a puddle of shame at the actions of some fanatics -- yawn. These terrorists use easy marks like you and Jason Soon -- they know just which buttons to push.

There is one commenter whose remarks can be construed as beyond the pale (besides, of course, Miranda's pathetic diatribe): that would be the anti-gay spurtings of one Fred Nurk. Why do I get the feeling. "Mr." Nurk, that you will one day be found face down in an alley off Castro Street, passed out in a puddle of vomit and wearing a tattered and torn pink lace tutu? Yield to your yearnings, man, before they drive you to desperate measures. Just remember: be discreet, and always use rubbers, and you'll be fine.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2003 at 08:24 AM

Gary: I wish they'd sew their fingers together. That way they couldn't type.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2003 at 08:25 AM

Or go to the toilet.

Posted by: Gary at December 12, 2003 at 08:37 AM

I thought that's what they did up above...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2003 at 08:42 AM

That was just a puddle, wait until they lock cheeks.

Posted by: Gary at December 12, 2003 at 08:56 AM

This "latent homosexual" argument is getting a bit old isn't it? To suggest that everyone who is "anti-gay" is a repressed homosexual themselves is just absurd.

Posted by: Fred Nurk at December 12, 2003 at 02:26 PM

Well you're just a jerk then.

Posted by: ilibcc at December 12, 2003 at 02:27 PM


the racism accusation won't hold water here.

people with comfortable lifestyles, mostly by the grace of luck & fortune, tapping at keys, sneering at people with the misfortune to have a lot less fortune than the snipers themselves is not quite racism. not quite sure what it is.

it's often vile, it's dispiriting & disheartening at times, but hey - makes you appreciate the real world, and the good people in your life a little more huh?

Posted by: chico o'farrill at December 12, 2003 at 07:41 PM

Chico, is it cold up there on that cross? Would you like a blankie or a nice mug of hot tea?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2003 at 09:41 PM

Note from the administration: this entry has been excised and replaced by this short synopsis:

I read this site to affirm my own sense of superiority over the entire human race and to forget the sad reality of my useless life.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at December 13, 2003 at 12:09 PM