Australian journalist Peter Greste was imprisoned in Egypt for supporting a terrorist organisation and producing “fake news”. His trial would have made Kafka blush.
When the great Jewish-Italian writer, Primo Levi, wrote in his memoir If This is a Man that Germans “love order, systems, bureaucracy; even more, although rough and irascible blockheads, they cherish an infantile delight in glittering, many-coloured objects”, he wasn’t simply roasting his captors.
In the early 19th century, during his second term as Governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry approved a new set of senate districts. But something was fishy. The shape of one of the districts, Essex County, closely resembled a humble salamander.
In May 2013, 28 life jackets washed up onto the shores of the Cocos Islands, a network of islands off Western Australia, southwest of Christmas Island, about half way between Sri Lanka and mainland Australia. One contained a small amount of Iranian currency.
In 2014 Australia’s peak human rights body, the AHRC, releases a report detailing the terrible effects the country’s detention regime is having on hundreds of children — ten year olds self-harming, attempting suicide. The government says it’s all rubbish. On 11 February 2015 the government tabled the Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) ‘Forgotten Children’ report — the most extensive study ever conducted on the deleterious effects of detention on asylum seeking children. Its findings are damning but unsurprising: locking up children in sub-prison-like conditions for indefinite periods causes extensive, likely irreversible damage to their mental and emotional health and development. During the 15 months of investigation, which included interviews with 1,129 children and some of their parents, the commission recorded hundreds of instances of