Executive Summary for September 29th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including heroes of the global displacement crisis among the favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize, a ‘people smuggler’ goes on trial in Australia and a Ugandan-born man is shot dead by California police.

Published on Sep. 29, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Colombia Is Frontrunner for Nobel Peace Prize

Colombia is among the favorites for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It is hoped a peace deal between the government and the FARC rebel group may speed the return of millions of displaced people.

The Latin American country has been in conflict for nearly half a century, with more than 7 million people forced to flee their homes. As part of the deal, the left-wing FARC will become a political party. The agreement has to be ratified by a referendum.

Media speculation has centered on the idea of the Swedish prize being shared between President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist FARC rebel leader Timochenko.

Other talked-about contenders include populations and individuals from the front lines of the global displacement crisis. They include Svetlana Gannushkina, a Russian campaigner for human rights and refugees, Syria’s White Helmets, a civilian group that seeks to rescue victims of airstrikes and Greek islanders who have aided Syrian refugees.

Alleged People Smuggler Stands Trial in Sydney

An Iranian citizen faces trial in Sydney for attempting to smuggle people by boat to Australia. He is the eighth suspected people smuggler to be extradited from Indonesia.

Mohammad Naghi Karimi Azar, 56, is accused of trying to smuggle 73 people aboard boats between 2011 and 2013. There has not been a successful crossing by asylum seekers from Indonesia in two years, according to Australia.

Australia refuses to accept asylum claims or resettle refugees reaching the country by boat. Instead the country has opted to house “boat people” in offshore processing centers on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea, a practice widely condemned by rights groups.

The extradition “underlines that fact that the Australian and Indonesian governments will continue to cooperate to do what we can to prosecute those who are responsible for the human misery of the people-smuggling trade,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan told reporters in Canberra, Australia’s capital.

Ugandan-Born Man Shot Dead in California by Police

A 38-year-old man shot and killed by police on Tuesday in San Diego was a Ugandan refugee who came to the U.S. in 1991. The killing, which has sparked protests, is the latest contentious police shooting in the U.S.

Alfred Olango appears to have been shot after taking an electronic cigarette from his pocket and pointing it at a police officer. Officers responded to a call from Olango’s sister who said that he was mentally unwell and needed help.

Relatives of Olango said he was suffering an emotional breakdown after the death of a close friend and have demanded an inquiry.

Demonstrations were held near the site of the shooting and at the local police department to protest the shooting.

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