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    ISSN 1756-851X
    28 June 2017
 

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EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council: 6-7 July 2007, in Tallinn, Estonia: Press release (pdf): Includes: two sessions on:migration - failure of relocations in EU and increasing returns plus "Interoperability" of all EU databases and data retention.

EU: EUROJUST: Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Eurojust’s Views on the Phenomenon and the Criminal Justice Response:  Fourth Eurojust Report: Summary of Main Findings (pdf):

"This paper presents a summary of the main findings of the fourth Eurojust report, Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Eurojust’s Views on the Phenomenon and the Criminal Justice Response (the ‘report’) of November 2016. The objective of the report is to present Eurojust’s findings on the evolution of the EU criminal justice response to FTFs."

European Council: Press release: European Council conclusions on security and defence, 22/06/2017 (pdf): See: EU flexes military muscles with new defense plan (Reuters, link): "European Union leaders launched their the most ambitious defense plan for decades on Thursday, agreeing a multi-billion-euro weapons fund, shared financing for battlegroups and allowing a coalition of the willing to conduct more missions abroad." And see: 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit (euobserver, link)

ITALY: Italian police tortured Genoa G8 protesters, ECHR rules for the second time

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that 42 demonstrators were tortured by Italian police officers during protests againts the Genoa G8 summit in 2001, following a seperate ruling in 2015 that reached the same conclusion.

FRANCE: Petition calls on French president to end the detention of migrant children

La Cimade, with Réseau Education sans frontières (RESF), Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), Anafé, MRAP, Syndicat des avocats de France (SAF), France terre d’asile and ASSFAM has launched a petition calling on the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, to put an end to child migrants' detention.

GERMANY: Data retention, video surveillance and state trojans: "surveillance state" measures under fire from politicians and NGOs

A swathe of new surveillance and security measures recently introduced by the German government are facing increasing criticism from politicians and civil society organisations, with legal challenges to new laws on data retention and video surveillance in the works

EU: Border management going virtual (EUobserver, link):

"Internal security and migration are merging under the guise of border management as the EU seeks to tighten controls on who leaves and enters the bloc.

Krum Garkov, who heads the Tallinn-based EU agency that oversees large-scale IT systems, described the merger as a fundamental shift that will also make border controls virtual."

EU should stop cooperating with Libyan coastguard, to avoid abuse of refugees: Amnesty International (New Europe, link)::

"Ahead of the European Council on 22-23 June, Amnesty International is calling on EU leaders to step up efforts to save lives in the Mediterranean, and stop cooperating in returns to Libya, before more drown as crossings increase during the summer months.

“The EU is allowing the Libyan coastguard to return refugees and migrants to a country where unlawful detention, torture and rape are the norm. They are increasing the capacity of the Libyan coastguard while turning a blind eye to the inherent, grave, risks of such cooperation,” said Iverna McGowan, Director of the Amnesty International, European Institutions Office."

EU: European Council wants industry to develop automated censorship tools and "address the challenge" of encryption

- Draft conclusions for 22-23 June meeting also back multi-billion euro military research programme
- Migration: "Training and equipping the Libyan Coast Guard is a key component of the EU approach and should be speeded up"

UK: Privatised probation service is failing prisoners

"Prisons and probation services are failing to meet the needs of newly released long-term prisoners, one in seven of whom end their sentence with no idea where they will spend their first night on the outside, according to a report which campaigners called "devastating"."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (19-20.6.17) including: three shipwrecks on eve of World Refugee Day; pro-refugee protests in Madrid

EU: Schengen: temporary internal border controls to be replaced with intensified police checks "across the entire territory"

The Council of the EU has begun to discuss ways to implement the European Commission's May 2017 recommendation for Member States to "intensify police checks across the entire territory, including in border areas," in the hope that the authorities "give precedence to police checks before deciding on the temporary reintroduction of border controls."

UK: Terrorism-related arrests and trials increase as number of far-right extremists reported to Prevent programme grows by 30%

The number of arrests for terrorism-related offences in the UK jumped to 304 in the year ending March 2017, an increase of 18% on the previous year, while the number of completed trials for terrorism-related offences completed in the same period increased by 55%, from 51 to 79.

The change "was driven by an increase in arrests of people from 'white' ethnic groups," according to the Home Office, while a report in The Independent has revealed that "the number of suspected far-right extremists flagged to the Government’s key anti-terror programme soared by 30 per cent in the past year."

Commission report on relocation: Does it know how many refugees there in Greece?

Commission asks "the Greek authorities to clarify the total number of migrants present on the mainland and the islands."

COE: European countries must lift obstacles to reunification of refugee families (link): "reunification is a fundamental part of the right to family life, which is protected by international human rights law. This right is particularly important for refugees in Europe. Because of the dangers they face at home, their only option to enjoy their right to family life is to bring their families to Europe. Regrettably, many European countries are limiting refugees’ access to this right through restrictive measures which are unjust, unlawful and cause immense hardship for refugees and their families.

This has to change”, says today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a report which aims at helping Council of Europe member states adopt a more humane and human rights oriented policy on family reunification for refugees and beneficiaries of international protection."

See: Issue Paper (pdf) and Summary (pdf)

EU: Schengen Information System (SIS): Returns, border checks and discrete checks

EU: Potential expansion of Eurodac database scope raises data protection concerns (ECRE Bulletin, link):

"The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament has adopted a report on the European Commission proposal to recast the Eurodac Regulation. It outlines a wide expansion of the scope of the Eurodac database that raises strong concerns about data protection.

These measures have raised serious concerns about asylum seekers’ right to data protection from a number of actors and organisations including ECRE, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Meijers Committee."

See European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee position on recast Eurodac Regulation and the Council's position (LIMITE doc no: 10079-17,pdf) going into trilogue meetings.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (15-18.6.17)

Europol: TE-SAT: Terrorism: Situation and Trend Report 2017 (8MB, pdf): Largely concernng Spain, Italy and Greece: "Left-wing and anarchist activities included riots, arson attacks and attacks with explosives, criminal damage and spreading propaganda."

And: "Migration and the perceived threat from Islamisation are key topics on the agenda of right-wing extremists.... Germany stated that after the investigation into the National-Sozialistischer Untergrund (NSU, National Socialist Underground) in 2011, additional investigations into groups such as the Old School Society in 2015 and Gruppe Freital (Freital Group) in April 2016 demonstrated that the formation of right-wing terrorist structures cannot be excluded."

EU: Passenger Name Record (PNR): Meijers Committee: Note on the EU law aspects of PNR in public transport pdf)

"The note concludes that the Meijers Committee is not convinced that national instruments extending the scope of application of PNR rules beyond the air transport sector would be in accordance with all requirements of EU law. This being said, the note also specifies the main issues that should, in any event, be resolved in the decision making process."

See: Putting the PNR pieces in place: more EU funding for mass surveillance (March 2016) and: EU-USA: PNR Directive: USA offers a helping hand to EU air travel surveillance and profiling efforts

WikiLeaks Reveals How the CIA Could Hack Your Router (Wired, link): "Your Wi-Fi router, sitting in the corner of your home accumulating dust and unpatched security flaws, provides an attractive target for hackers. Including, according to a new WikiLeaks release, the CIA. On Thursday, WikiLeaks published a detailed a set of descriptions and documentation for the CIA's router-hacking toolkit. It's the latest drip in the months-long trickle of secret CIA files it's called Vault7,..." See: Vault 7: Projects (Wikileaks, link)

EU: Court of Justice in the European Union (CJEU): Making available and managing an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works, such as ‘The Pirate Bay’, may constitute an infringement of copyright (Press release, pdf):

"Even if the works in question are placed online by the users of the online sharing platform, the operators of that platform play an essential role in making those works available.

Ziggo and XS4ALL are internet access providers. A significant number of their subscribers use the online sharing platform ‘The Pirate Bay’. This platform allows users to share and upload, in segments (‘torrents’), works present on their computers1. The files in question are, for the most part, copyright-protected works in respect of which the rightholders have not given the operators or users of that platform consent to share those works.

Stichting Brein, a Netherlands foundation which safeguards the interests of copyright holders, has brought proceedings before the courts in the Netherlands seeking an order that would require Ziggo and XS4ALL to block the domain names and IP addresses of ‘The Pirate Bay’.
See: Judgment (pdf)

Greek Hotspots: Deaths Not to Be Forgotten (Pro Asyl, link): "In an extensive policy paper, the team of Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) in Greece has observed that in numerous cases of refugee deaths at the hotspots on Greek islands, the Greek authorities have undertaken little or no investigation, turning the hotspots into an institutional gray zone." Report: Refugee Support Aegean (RSA, link)


Top reports

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project:

Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives: Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem, the member states are upgrading the Union’s external borders. Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens some of the EU’s fundamental values - under the pretence that one’s own interests are at stake. Such an approach borders on the inhumane."

How the EU works and justice and home affairs decision-making (pdf)

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI/Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society (pdf) by Ben Hayes

Statewatch publication: Guide to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex, with additional material by Tony Bunyan

Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial complex (pdf) by Ben Hayes

The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan


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