Australia: A 'Historic' Ruling On Offshore Detention

Australia's controversial policy of diverting immigrants to tiny Pacific Islands dominated the Australian media Thursday, after country's highest court ruled it was legal for the government to fund and participate in offshore detention. The Sydney Morning Herald juxtaposed a photograph of an immigrant baby with the faces and votes of the High Court's seven justices in what the newspaper called a "historic" ruling.

The failed court challenge â€" brought by the Human Rights Law Center (HRLC) â€" focused on the legality of the Australian government to detain people on foreign soil. Australia has for years embarked on a controversial policy in the face of migrants and refugees trying to arrive on the island nation by boat. It intercepts the boats, and places the would-be immigrants in detention on small, relatively poor Pacific island nations.

The islands of Nauru and Manus have been the main destinations in the detention program, and more than 1,400 individuals, including some 70 children, are currently being held on the island while awaiting their claims to be processed, ABC News reports.

The HRLC brought the case on behalf of 260 people â€" mainly women and children â€" who had been transported to Australia for medical care. Wednesday's judgment legally entitles Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to send these individuals back to Nauru. According to UNICEF, the group includes women who have been sexually assaulted, 54 children and 37 babies born on Australian soil.

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Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Properly dressed in the holy city of Qom.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.

The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

A woman in Tehran walks past a mural of an Iranian flag

The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes

Rouzbeh Fouladi/ZUMA

New academic discipline

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

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