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    26 February 2020
 

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Analysis: Fort Vert: Nature conservation as border regime in Calais (pdf) by Hanna Rullman:

The construction of a nature reserve in Calais as a way to prevent the return of migrant encampments raises important questions over the political uses of the environment in Europe’s border regime.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (4-24.2.20) including:

  • European court under fire for backing Spain's express deportations
  • Frontex’s History of Handling Abuse Evidence Dogs Balkan Expansion
  • Italy’s Failed Migration Fix Has Led to Chaos in Libya

Assange's fate hangs in balance as UK court considers U.S. extradition bid (Reuters, link):

"Almost a decade after his WikiLeaks website enraged Washington by leaking secret U.S. documents, a London court will begin hearings on Monday to decide whether Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States."

See: Julian Assange should not be extradited due to potential impact on press freedom and concerns about ill-treatment (Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, link)

EU: EEAS calls for changes to Operation Sophia so "chances to conduct rescue operations are lower"

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has called on EU governments to limit the saving of lives at sea by Operation Sophia. A note sent to the member states' permanent representatives in Brussels says the mission should prioritise the enforcement of a UN arms embargo on Libya, rather than monitoring migrant smuggling activities, and suggests that ships could be placed "at least 100km off the Libyan coast, where chances to conduct rescue operations are lower."

Statewatch Analysis: Spain: Will the new 'progressive' government uphold freedom of expression? (pdf)

Following the announcement of the coalition government in January, the Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información (Platform in Defence of Freedom of Information, PDLI) published the ten top priorities the new administration should deal with to ensure respect of the right to freedom of expression.

ECHR-SPAIN: European court under fire for backing Spain's express deportations

"The European court of human rights has been accused of “completely ignoring the reality” along the continent’s borders after it ruled that Spain acted lawfully when it summarily deported two people who tried to scale the border fence separating Morocco from Spanish territory six years ago."

GREECE: PRESS RELEASE: A criminal complaint was filed regarding the death of a 31-year-old Iranian national at the Pre-Removal Detention Centre of Moria

EU: Internal Council report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy

"Delegations will find attached the joint paper of the outgoing Finnish Presidency and the Croatian Presidency on the implementation of the renewed EU Internal Security Strategy."

European complicity in CIA torture in 'black sites' (Amnesty, link):

"... this renewed spotlight on Guantánamo is also an opportunity to hold to account the US’s European friends which hosted key black sites, helped to “disappear” detainees, and facilitated torture and ill-treatment. The fact that they watch the proceedings at Guantánamo from afar – unscathed and unaccountable – is also an outrage.""

Italy’s Failed Migration Fix Has Led to Chaos in Libya (Foreign Policy, link):

"ROME—Over three days in May 2017, the Italian secret service—masquerading as a humanitarian nongovernmental organization—summoned to Rome two dozen delegates from the southern edge of the Sahara desert. The pretext was to promote a peace deal for their war-torn region; the real goal was to bring them on board with an Italian plan to curb migration."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.1-3.2.20) including:

  • EU aid increasingly taken hostage by migration politics
  • New yearly report on torture of asylum seekers by Croatian authorities at EU external borders
  • Death of a ten-year-old child in Roissy: another victim of European migration policies?
  • Italy guilty of refoulements in 2009 handover of Eritrean shipwreck survivors to Libya

EU: New Council "strategic guidelines" frame the next five years of EU justice and home affairs policy

The Council of the EU is moving towards the adoption of its next five-year set of strategic guidelines for justice and home affairs policies. Priorities listed in a draft document include enhancing the powers of justice and home affairs agencies, such as eu-Lisa and Europol; preventing future migration "crisis situations"; and cooperating more closely with non-EU states to control migration.

Viewpoint: The shadowy business of fear-mongers (pdf) by Ana González-Páramo:

Every morning, Spanish radio listeners are bombarded with advertisements for home security alarms, which spread fear of thieves, foreigners and squatters. Interestingly, such sermons mirror the mainstream narrative and messages from certain political parties.

GREECE: Solidarity Statement: Freedom for Hamza Haddi and Mohamed Haddar: The European Union must stop the arbitrary incarceration of refugees and migrants (pdf)

"The accusations against Hamza and Mohamed are clearly unfounded. They are refugees, not smugglers."

UK: Met Police could deploy facial recognition against protesters (Computer Weekly, link):

"The operational use of live facial recognition (LFR) by UK law enforcers could artificially inflate tension between political activists and police during protests, as participants may feel under pressure to conceal their identities because of privacy concerns."

See also: Facial recognition can’t tell black and brown people apart – but the police are using it anyway (gal-dem, link)

Statewatch Analysis: Italy guilty of refoulements in 2009 handover of Eritrean shipwreck survivors to Libya (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:

An Italian court has ruled that the country’s Cabinet presidency and defence ministry were responsible for the refoulement of 14 Eritrean nationals in July 2009, when a warship rescued some 80 people and took them back to Libya, ignoring requests for international protection.

FRANCE: Death of a ten-year-old child in Roissy: another victim of European migration policies?

This morning [8 January], the body of a child of around ten years of age was found in the landing undercarriage of an aeroplane arriving from Abidjan (Ivory Coast) to the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport (Paris).

EU to target violent right-wing extremism, terrorism and "other extreme political movements"

The EU is taking action to counter "right-wing violent extremism and terrorism" through information-sharing, the development of anti-radicalisation and risk analysis programmes, online censorship and cooperation with third countries. As well as the far-right, "this work shall also address violent extremism and terrorism stemming from other extreme political movements," according to a document produced by the Council Presidency in November 2019.

Germany: Over 500 right-wing extremists suspected in Bundeswehr (DW, link):

"Germany's Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) has said it was investigating 550 Bundeswehr soldiers suspected of right-wing extremism, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday."

See: Statewatch Analysis: Germany: Shadow army or isolated cases? Right-wing structures in the security authorities (pdf)

UK: Priti Patel’s plan to tackle radicalised youth is so flawed it’s mad, says study (The Guardian, link):

"A Home Office-funded study into tackling radicalisation among young people has concluded that the approach being pushed through by the home secretary, Priti Patel, is so flawed that it is “madness”."


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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