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Australia denies mass immigrant hunger strike

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Australia denies mass immigrant hunger strike

SYDNEY: Australia has denied that hundreds of immigrants have gone on a mass hunger strike at a facility in Melbourne, while insisting conditions at the facility are not “inhumane or brutal.”

Days after detainees and activists declared a hunger strike in a protest against living conditions, the Australian Border Force said there was no “mass hunger strike” at Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation.

“While some detainees are refusing to attend regular meal times as part of a protest, they continue to eat and drink in other parts of the facility,” the border force said in a statement.

But activist Ian Rentoul of the Refugee Action Coalition said the “hunger strike protest” was now in its fourth day.

Detainees launched the protest over complaints of prison-like conditions and limited privacy.

Thirty-year-old New Zealander John Vaofusi, who lost automatic residency rights after being convicted for assault, earlier told media said he would continue the hunger strike “until we see some change.”

“I feel like I’m in jail again,” he said. “I’ve done my time for that crime.”

The border force defended conditions inside the centre, saying “the detention population has changed considerably in recent years.”

It added “a significant number” of the detained population had “their visa cancelled on character grounds, based on criminal convictions and links to criminal associations such as outlaw motorcycle gangs or organised crime.”

Successive conservative and Labor governments have upheld a decades-old policy of mandatory detention for “unlawful non-citizens” even for minor offences like visa overstays.

Hunger strikes are a frequent occurrence at Australia’s onshore detention facilities, which house people who have run afoul of immigration law.

 

 

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Pakistan

COAS Bajwa arrives in London on official trip

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Qamar Javed BAjwa

LONDON: Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in London today on an official visit, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported.

The COAS is scheduled to meet senior civil and armed forces leadership of England on the trip.

The trip will underscore matters pertaining to Defence, Security and Geo Strategic situation of the region.

The discussion will also take place on bilateral relations between the two countries especially matters related to mutual security and strategic interests, the ISPR said.

 

 

 

 

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Pakistani writers, poets’ delegation visits Beijing, Tianjin

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Pakistan Academy of Letters

BEIJING: A four-member delegation led by Director General, Pakistan Academy of Letters, Dr. Rashid Hameed is currently visiting China to further enhance cooperation in the field culture and literature between the two countries.

The delegation arrived here on the invitation of Chinese Writers Association also included renowned poet Amjad Islam Amjad, Dr. Abdul Karim Soomro, and Ms. Bushra Farrukh.

Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid in a meeting held at the Pakistan Embassy Beijing briefed the delegation about Pakistan-China relations and highlighted that both countries were enhancing cooperation in the fields of arts, broadcasting, films, publications, sports, museums, people-to-people exchanges and cultural linkages.

He said that an exhibition of original artifacts from Pakistan representing Gandhara Civilization was on display at the National Museum of China, Beijing.

Ambassador Khalid informed the delegation that publishing houses in Pakistan and China were being encouraged to translate and print literary classics so that the people of the two countries can appreciate each other’s rich culture.

The delegation members briefed the Ambassador about their visit to China stating that they would continue to project the culture and literature of Pakistan through their cooperation with Chinese Writers Association and academics.

During their visit, the delegation would meet the Chinese writers association and academics in Beijing and Tianjin.

They would also visit the famous cultural and historic sites in Beijing including the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the National Museum of China.

It may be mentioned here that the cooperation between the Pakistan Academy of Letters and Writers Association of China is under the Executive Programme of the Cultural Cooperation Agreement which was signed between the two countries in February 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

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Qatar Emir visits Pakistan tomorrow

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Emir Qatar

ISLAMABAD: Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani will reach Pakistan on Saturday evening on two-day visit.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will receive the royal guest at airport.

Emir of Qatar will visit the Prime Minister House where he will be presented guard of honour at the PM House.

President Dr Arif Alvi will host a luncheon in the honour of Qatari guests on Sunday.

Qatar is expected to sign investment deals of around $22 billion in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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