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    ISSN 1756-851X
    29 March 2020
 

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From Windrush to Covid 19: another scandal in the making (IRR News, link): by Frances Webber:

"A review of differential policies towards different populations draws attention to the ways in which civil society is mobilising to demand protection and an end to the stigmatisation of those with no escape from infection.

The growing coronavirus crisis has exposed many faultlines in the UK and in Europe, and in particular, governments’ treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable and marginalised populations including prisoners and homeless people, carries disquieting echoes."

Threats to journalists: The ’new normal’ in Germany (ECPMF, link):

"The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom publishes results of its five-year study of attacks on media workers in Germany

...In 2019, with the exception of three attacks, they all came from right-wing groups. This confirms the findings of the past four years: media professionals, journalists and reporters were still most at risk from right-wingers who despise the press. ECPMF is not aware of any attacks from the left in 2019."

ENAC: autorizzati i droni per il monitoraggio (link):

The Italian civil aviation authority (ENAC, Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile) has authorised the use of drones on city streets to strengthen the capabilities of police forces and municipal councils. Previous limits for their use that centred on the risk of drones causing damage to people and things in ordinary circumstances may not apply, considering that sidewalks are empty and streets are clear, meaning that drones are useful to monitor gatherings. Derogations to these norms are motivated as follows:

"With a view to guaranteeing the containment of the epidemiological 'coronavirus' emergency, in order to allow operations to monitor the movement of citizens in the municipal territory envisaged in the decrees of the President of the Council of Ministers (PM) of 8 and 9 March 2020, it becomes necessary to derogate from some provisions of the measures in the ENAC Regulation on 'Remotely Piloted Aircraft', 3rd edition of November 2019."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (17-23.3.20) including:

  • Anti-migration cooperation between the EU, Italy and Libya: some truths
  • Erdogan in talks with European leaders over refugee cash for Turkey
  • COVID-19: No one is safe until All are protected!

Two new analyses and one new briefing: EU-Italy-Libya cooperation; Spanish migration policies

Statewatch is today publishing three new in-depth pieces, examining anti-migration cooperation between the EU, Italy and Libya; the renewal of Italy's Memorandum of Understanding with Libya and the accompanying parliamentary debate; and a briefing outlining demands for the new Spanish government to ensure that its migration policy respects human rights.

HUNGARY: Orbán introduces 'Enabling Act' in the name of fighting coronavirus (Hungarian Spectrum, link):

"Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán never lets a crisis go to waste. Friday, he put before the Hungarian Parliament a law that would give him dictatorial powers under cover of declaring a state of emergency to fight the coronavirus. Parliament could vote on this law as early as Monday."

UK at last follows other EU states: UK pubs and restaurants told to shut in virus fight (BBC News, link):

"Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from Friday night, except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

All the UK's nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been told to close "as soon as they reasonably can".

Speaking at a daily Downing Street press briefing, Mr Johnson said the measures would be enforced "strictly" and that licensing arrangements will make doing so "relatively simple"." (emphasis added)

UK: Undercover policing inquiry: secretive Met unit shredded files (The Guardian, link):

"A secretive Scotland Yard intelligence unit shredded a large number of documents after a public inquiry was set up into the undercover infiltration of political groups, a watchdog has found."

Over 400 migrants returned to Libya over weekend (InfoMigrants, link):

"Over 400 migrants have been picked up by the Libyan coast guard and returned to Libya over the weekend. That’s according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which called the action “unacceptable.”"

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (10-16.3.20) including:

  • Little new on migration in Commission's plan for a "comprehensive strategy with Africa"
  • More calls for EU and Greece to uphold international law and refugee rights
  • Turkey steps back from confrontation at Greek border
  • Border externalisation: agreements on Frontex ops in Serbia and Montenegro head for approval

Brussels considers pan-EU police searches of ID photos (Politico, link):

"Ready for your closeup? Your face could soon be included in police databases searchable by law enforcement across the European Union."

ITALY: Coronavirus: critical situation in prisons and detention centres

A note issued on 12 March by the ombudsman for people denied their freedom in jails and places of detention on describes the situation as "relatively" calm, despite problems resulting from disturbances and violence in numerous prisons in the past days.

EU: Border externalisation: Agreements on Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro heading for parliamentary approval

On 29 January the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) approved the conclusion of status agreements on the actions on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on the territory of two neighbouring non-EU states - Serbia and Montenegro.

Frontex border operation in Greece 'lacks legal basis' after Greece suspends asylum law (euronews, link):

"Experts have questioned the legality of EU border agency Frontex sending officers to the Greek-Turkish border."

UK: Police warned about ‘insider threat’ from extremists inside their own forces (The Independent, link):

"Police have been warned about the threat from extremists inside their own forces."

See the report: HMICFRS: Counter-terrorism policing – An inspection of the police’s contribution of the government’s Prevent Programme (pdf)

Statewatch Analysis: Frontex launches "game-changing" recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards (pdf) by Jane Kilpatrick:

On 4 January 2020 the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) adopted a decision on the profiles of the staff required for the new “standing corps”, which is ultimately supposed to be staffed by 10,000 officials. The decision ushers in a new wave of recruitment for the agency. Applicants will be put through six months of training before deployment, after rigorous medical testing.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.2-2.3.20) including:

  • Open letters, joint statements, responses to the situation at the Greek-Turkish border
  • Danish boat in Aegean refused order to push back rescued migrants
  • EU governments ‘harassing’ those who help migrants


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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