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    ISSN 1756-851X
    29 May 2015
 

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Statewatch Briefing: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (pdf):

New guidelines released by the European Commission allow Member States to use physical and mental coercive measures to take fingerprints of migrants and asylum seekers entering Europe, including minors and pregnant women. If they refuse, they face detention, expulsion and a potential five year EU-wide ban.

“If the data-subject still refuses to cooperate it is suggested that officials trained in the proportionate use of coercion may apply the minimum level of coercion required, while ensuring respect of the dignity and physical integrity of the data-subject..” [emphasis added]

UN: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye (pdf):

"In the present report, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 25/2, the Special Rapporteur addresses the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications. Drawing from research on international and national norms and jurisprudence, and the input of States and civil society, the report concludes that encryption and anonymity enable individuals to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age and, as such, deserve strong protection." [emphasis added]

EU: FORCIBLE FINGERPRINTING, DETENTION, EXPULSION & ENTRY BAN of MIGRANTS including pregnant women and minors: European Commission: Implementation of the Eurodac Regulation as regards the obligation to take fingerprints (pdf) Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director comments:

"Where is the EU going? Migrants, including pregnant women and minors, who have fled from war, persecution and poverty are to be forcibly finger-printed or held in detention until they acquiesce or expelled & banned from entry. To add insult to injury the Commission deliberately withheld publication of the Guidelines yesterday to control news reporting when announcing its new migration plans."

See also: Fingerprinting by force: secret discussions on "systematic identification" of migrants and asylum seekers (Statewatch News, March 2015)

UK: EU Referendum Bill published (pdf) and Explanatory Memorandum (pdf) And see: Press Pack All new Bills (pdf)

EU: Ombudsman opens investigation to promote transparency of "trilogues" (pdf, letter to the Council of the European Union): The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has opened an investigation into the transparency of "trilogues" with a view to boosting transparent law-making in the EU. Trilogues are informal negotiations between the European Parliament (EP), the Council and the Commission aimed at reaching early agreements on new EU legislation.

See: Statewatch Analyses:
Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit (pdf) and Abolish 1st [and 2nd] reading secret deals - bring back democracy “warts and all” (pdf)

EU: European Commission Migration Action Plan: The following documents were released: - Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece (COM 286-15, pdf) - Communication: EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015 - 2020) (COM 285-15, pdf) - European Commission makes progress on Agenda on Migration (Press release, pdf) - Questions and Answers (pdf)

But if you search for the following you get a PR statement/News management (as of 11.30 - 20.00: 27 May):
- Guidelines on the implementation of EU rules on the obligation to take fingerprints (pdf)
- Recommendation on a European Resettlement Scheme (pdf)

European Parliament: INTERPARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE MEETING: National Parliaments - Conference on the Democratic oversight of Intelligence services in the European Union, 28-29 May 2015: Agenda (pdf) and Background documents (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: Interview | Bridget Anderson on Europe’s ‘violent humanitarianism’ in the Mediterranean (Ceasefire, link): "Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration at the University of Oxford, speaks to Ceasefire's Luke De Noronha about Europe's response to the Mediterranean crisis and how borders are 'a dystopian project whose enforcement exposes the horrific violence of the state....

EU: MED-CRISIS: Statewatch Analysis: Manufacturing consent, EU style: The EU’s anti-smuggling military operation (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:

A EU military planning document reiterates that the EU’s new anti-smuggling operation could result in a ground conflict in Libya that leads to the loss of life of soldiers, refugees and smugglers, and destabilise Libya in the process. The document makes clear that most of the key details of the plan have not been worked out yet, and there is no political end point. But this is all fine, because the document plans a media strategy designed to brush these problems under the carpet.

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Seven LIMITE documents: Despite the claims of the Council Presidency that it hopes to conclude the negotiations between Member States by the end of June much remains to be agreed

EU: MED-CRISIS: TWO "RESTRICTED" EU DOCUMENTS made public by Wikileaks

Exposes full military plan: European External Action Service (EEAS): Military Advice on the "Draft Crisis Management Concept for a possible CSDP operation to disrupt human smuggling networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean" (RESTRICTED doc no: 8802-15, pdf):

"INFORMATION STRATEGY: the EUMC identifies a risk to EU reputation linked to any perceived transgressions by the EU force through any public misinterpretation of its tasks and objectives, or the potential negative impact should loss of life be attributed, correctly or incorrectly, to action or inaction by the EU force.." [emphasis added]

And: Political and Security Committee: PMG Recommendations on the draft Crisis Management Concept for a possible CSDP operation to disrupt human smuggling networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean (RESTRICTED doc no: 8824, pdf): "PMG Recommendations on the draft Crisis Management Concept for a possible CSDP operation to disrupt human smuggling networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean, as finalised by the Politico-Military Group, reinforced by Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management, on 12 May 2015."

LONDON: SNOWDEN MEETING: Stand Up for Truth: Whistleblowers speaking tour London: Monday, 1 June 2015 from 18:30 to 21:00 at Birkbeck (University of London) Main building, Room B35 (entrance on Torrington Square) London WC1E 7HX Speakers: Eileen Chubb, Daniel Ellsberg, Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley, Norman Solomon & Justin Schlosberg. See also Statewatch Observatory EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance: June 2013 - ongoing

EU: In memoriam of Simonetta POZZI co-founder of the FREE-Group (ASFJ, link)

"On May 15, 2015 Simonetta POZZI co-founder (with Philippe DE BRUYCKER and myself) of the Fundamental Rights European Experts Group passed away due to severe heart failure.

What will be most missed by everyone who met her will be her noble spirit, her constant research of perfection together with true, heart-warming generosity, and her heightened sensibility. On a political perspective She was a truth and Justice seeking person. She hated hypocrisy, easy compromises as well as window dressing of political and diplomatic discourses. Hating ostentation She worked hard in the background to make more visible to the ordinary citizens the activity of regional, national and European Institutions.

I consider then a unique privilege to have been on her side in the last forty years. Emilio DE CAPITANI

USA: NSA bulk phone records collection to end despite USA Freedom Act failure - Administration has not applied to secret court for 90-day extension - USA Freedom Act fails in early hours after long Senate session (Guardian, link): "“We did not file an application for reauthorization,” an administration official confirmed to the Guardian on Saturday. The administration decision ensures that beginning at 5pm ET on 1 June, for the first time since October 2001 the NSA will no longer collect en masse Americans’ phone records.... A chaotic early morning on Saturday in the Senate ended with the procedural defeat of the USA Freedom Act, which would have banned the NSA bulk collection program while renewing an expiring Patriot Act provision allowing FBI access to business records and a vast amount of US communications metadata."

UK: Theresa May's plan to censor TV shows condemned by Tory cabinet colleague - Exclusive: Former culture secretary Sajid Javid told prime minister he was unable to support home secretary’s proposal as it infringed free speech (Guardian, link)

"A plan by the home secretary to introduce counter-extremism powers to vet British broadcasters’ programmes before they are transmitted has been attacked in the bluntest terms as a threat to freedom of speech by one of her own Conservative cabinet colleagues, the Guardian has learned. Sajid Javid wrote to David Cameron to say that, as culture secretary, he was unable to support Theresa May’s proposal to give Ofcom the new powers to take pre-emptive action against programmes that included “extremist content”, in a letter sent just before the start of the general election campaign."

And see: New counter-extremism plans to allow police to ask to vet anyone's internet communications (Independent, link): "Counter-extremism powers that will allow the police to vet the online conversations of those considered extremists are to be fast-tracked into effect, David Cameron said."

EU: EUROPEAN SYSTEM OF BORDER GUARDS?: 21 May 2015: Speech by Commissioner Avramopoulos at the Frontex Conference on the European Day for Border Guards, Warsaw Poland (pdf): "The ongoing evaluation of Frontex activities should also identify the limitations and shortcomings that will have to be addressed in the medium and long term development of the Agency. When speaking about the future of border management, one of the issues that we will explore is the possible creation of a European System of Border Guards."

And see: Commissioner backs EU 'border guard corps' (euobserver, link): "Avramopoulos, a Greek former defence minister, used strident terms to praise the EU’s new military operation, EUnavfor Med, which is to start sinking migrant-smugglers’ boats in July if it gets UN and Libyan permission. “Europe has declared a war against smugglers”, he said. He noted that Frontex will create “profiles” of the type of vessels being used “in order to improve their detection”. He also said Frontex' “mandate must be reinforced” so it can physically help EU countries deport failed asylum claimants."

EU: MED-CRISIS: ACP: Destroying boats is not a solution to migration (euractiv, link): "The Secretary-General of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) group of states said yesterday (21 May) that his organisation was against the EU’s idea of destroying the boats of human traffickers, who make fortunes by luring prospective immigrants into risky journeys across the Mediterranean." Also: "The War on migrants and refugees: has the ‘never again’ imperative been forgotten?" (Franck Duvell, link): "This imperative derived from the lessons learned from the Holocaust and the failure to rescue the European Jews has now been relinquished it seems. Are we now back at the moral state of the 1930s were unwanted populations are removed from the ‘realm of moral subjects’ (Bauman 1996) and killed or left to die and the needy are turned away and refused shelter?"

EU: CIVILIAN USE OF DRONES: European Parliament: Draft Opinion: on safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), commonly known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the field of civil aviation (pdf):

""whereas Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) can be used for a range of civil (non-military) purposes, such as critical infrastructure and civil protection, disaster management and search and rescue, environmental protection, law enforcement and surveillance, journalism, commercial activities and leisure...

reiterates that when personal data are processed by RPAS operated in the EU, including for law enforcement purposes, the right to the protection of personal data enshrined in Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) applies and that the EU legal framework for data protection is to be fully complied with"

See: Statewatch Report: Eurodrones Inc


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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