Rebel-held areas starved in Syria
Syrian president Bashar al?Assad is using brutal sieges to break the revolt against his rule.
New truces in rebel areas around the capital Damascus are spun as allowing starving people access to food and medicine. But rebels must hand over their weapons, and soldiers hoist the regime flag.
In Yarmuk over 18,000 Palestinian refugees have been trapped for over 18 months
At least 100 have died of starvation. Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said they are seeing “the regime impose its will by starving people”.
Australian vigils for slain refugee
Thousands of campaigners and trade unionists joined vigils across Australia last Sunday, following the death of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati.
Reza was killed and 77 others injured in an attack on asylum seekers imprisoned at Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea last month.
Amnesty International described Manus Island as “cruel, inhuman, degrading and violating prohibitions against torture” last December.
Tractors take to streets in France
Around 40,000 people marched in Nantes, France, last Saturday, against plans to build a new airport in nearby Notre Dame des Landes.
They included trade unionists and more than 520 farmers in their tractors. Environmental activists wore animal masks.
Despite particularly harsh police repression, organisers report a “festive, creative and determined” march. A shop belonging to Vinci, a company with a major financial stake in the airport, was destroyed.