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    ISSN 1756-851X
    25 October 2014
 

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EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" (13-26 October 2014): Statewatch Summary of coverage: (24.10.14): Media and Web coverage no 6 (pdf). (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 5 (pdf), (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 4 (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 3 (pdf), 13.10.14: : Media and Web coverage: no 2 (pdf) and 13.10.14:same day Web-media coverage: no 1 (pdf)

Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch can confirm that the UK is taking part in Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum". This is said to involve the exchange of information by the Border Force but there is no information as yet to the involvement of police action around the country..

The UK took part in Joint Operation PERKUNAS in 2013: Final report on operation PERKUNAS (LIMITE doc no: 16045-13, pdf): "The largest proportion (48,89%) of interceptions was reported by Italy, with 4,800 intercepted irregular migrants. The second (15,36%) and third (7,89%) largest proportions of interceptions were reported by Germany (1,606 intercepted irregular migrants) and the United Kingdom (825 intercepted irregular migrants) respectively."

and in 2012 in Joint Police Operation Aphrodite - final report (LIMITE doc no:6224-13, pdf) Interception of "irregular migrants": "Germany 1,510, United. Kingdom 728, Spain 468, Austria 387, Poland 365 and Switzerland 249 [emphasis added]

Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Document from Italian Interior Ministry giving instructions on how to treat migrants referred to during the debate in the European Parliament debate this week: Melting Pot (link) and street posters: Narbonne (jpg), Bordeaux (jpg) and Brussels (.jpg) and Web image used extensively: Mos Maiorum Warning (.jpg) Also check: 268 reports: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)

See also: Mos maiorum, a shortsighted and inhuman policy clashing with the humanitarian issues at the foundations of Europe (ASGI, link): "It is a short-sighted and inhumane policy that ignores the right of asylum under the Treaties establishing the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and national constitutions, as well as all other instances of humanitarian who founded Europe."

London: United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) Procession 2014 (Facebook, link): Satruday 25 October: "Assemble at 12:00 pm at Trafalgar Square for a silent procession along Whitehall followed by a noisy protest at Downing Street. Please wear black. The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who are killed in immigration detention and secure psychiatric hospitals."

UK: MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal - Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill had phones tapped, correspondence intercepted and friends and wives monitored (Guardian, link): "MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britain’s leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed. The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets’ personal lives than any threat to national security."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Met police to pay more than £400,000 to victim of undercover officer - Female activist who was traumatised after discovering that the father of her son was a spy is to receive compensation (Guardian, link): "The Metropolitan police are to pay more than £400,000 to a woman who has been profoundly traumatised after discovering by chance that the father of her son was an undercover police officer. It is the first time the police have made a payment to settle any of the legal claims brought by women who were deceived by undercover officers sent to spy on political and activist groups. The woman has been receiving psychiatric treatment and has contemplated suicide since she read a newspaper in 2012 and found out the true identity of the man who had fathered her son before abandoning her and the child 24 years previously."

European Commission: Access to documents: Requests for Commission documents reach record high (Press release, pdf):

"There were 6,525 requests – a rise of 8.5% on the 6,014 document requests in 2012. This compares with just 450 requests when the current rules entered into force in 2001. The Commission handles around twice as many requests as the Council and European Parliament combined, and grants access in more than four out of five cases.:" [emphasis added] :

See: Report on the application in 2013 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf) and: Annex - statistics (pdf):

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "This is an extraordinary claim. One of the reasons the Commsiion get more requests for documents is that its public register of documents in manifestly incomplete. In 2008 the Commission refused to comply with the Recommendations of the European Ombudsman following a Statewatch complaint." See: Statewatch wins European Ombudsman complaint against the European Commission over its public register of documents – but it refuses to comply (pdf) "18 December 2008 the Ombudsman found it an instance of maladministration by the Commission and issued “Critical remarks” and said: “The Ombudsman remains unconvinced that it would be impossible, or logically impossible, to maintain a register of all documents that are in possession."

SEARCH, RESCUE & RIGHTS: OHCHR Releases Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (Migrants at sea, link): "The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday issued Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders. OHCHR, along with multiple stakeholders, has been working on the principles and guidelines since 2012"

See: OHCHR: Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (pdf):

"International borders are not zones of exclusion or exception for human rights obligations. States are entitled to exercise jurisdiction at their international borders, but they must do so in light of their human rights obligations. This means that the human rights of all persons at international borders must be respected in the pursuit of border control, law enforcement and other State objectives, regardless of which authorities perform border governance measures and where such measures take place. "

European Parliament: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": MEPs ask for further details of EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants (pdf): "Concerns about how to reconcile the fundamental rights and non-discrimination of migrants with the need to gather information to dismantle criminal networks profiting from trafficking were the key points raised by MEPs in Wednesday evening’s debate with the Italian Presidency of the Council, represented by Benedetto Della Vedova on the EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants "Mos Maiorum".

USA-IRAQ: Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges (The Intercept, link): "A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007."

EU Parliament promises a better document register (EDRI, link): "In 2011 the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) discovered that some European Parliament decisions regarding the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were not recorded in any known document. A hidden class of documents (“coordinators’ minutes”) seemed to exist, but the Parliament denied their existence. The FFII filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman."

See: Draft Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in the inquiry into complaint 262/2012/OV against the European Parliament (link): "“Parliament should register all existing Parliament documents in its electronic Register of documents, in particular the minutes of the meetings of Parliament Committee Coordinators.”"

EU: European Parliament: Parliament elects new European Commission (Press release, pdf)

Spain/Melilla: "Urine with ebola, fire and stones against the fence", or the most brutal media manipulation possible (Peio M. Aierbe, 16 October 2014): "Today, El Faro de Melilla [newspaper] offered us an example of the media manipulation that we have been complaining about for years. The headline could not have expressed this intention any better: presenting the migrants who want to cross the fence not just as violent, but as a threat to our society. And what could be more effective at the moment, than associating them to ebola?

The newspaper's account of the violent expulsion carried out yesterday by the Guardia Civil consists in showing the Guardia Civil officers as victims, and the migrants as violent and dangerous. Precisely the opposite of what happened, as can be seen from the videos recorded and circulated by Prodein."

EU: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation: Press release: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation (pdf) and Letter to Frontex: Own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2014/MHZ concerning the means through which Frontex ensures respect for fundamental rights in joint return operations (JRO) (pdf)

UK: South London Anti-Fascists present: Blacks Britannica (pdf): "Originally banned from television in 1977, Blacks Britannica exposes the structures & realities of racism in the UK. The hour long film has been rarely seen, so join SLAF for a very special screening. The film will be introduced by Colin Prescod, a contributor to the film and current chair of the Institute of Race Relations. at Goldsmiths University Cinema Thursday 30th October 2014 7pm Drinks and Nibbles included Suggested £2 donation towards SLAF."

Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Demonstration in Stockholm: Thursday (link) and Demonstration in Brussels: Wednesday (link). See also European Parliament: Resolutions on topical subject: Joint police operation "Mos Maiorum" (link) Debate today: afternoon/evening in plenary on Mos Maiorum (formally called "Council statement") but without resolution. You can follow the debate here:(link) An indicative timetable will be displayed from 15:00 on on the same page. See also: EU-wide "Mos Maiorum" police operation (Green/EFA Group, link)

EU: European Parliament: Civil liberties MEPs vote on their preferences for EU data protection watchdog (Press release, pdf):

"Mr Giovanni Buttarelli was voted top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday after three and a half hours of hearings on Monday evening. Top candidate for Assistant Supervisor is Mr Wojciech Wiewiorowski. The appointments still need to be agreed with the Council of Ministers."

EU: Meijers Committee: To the LIBE (Civil Liberties) Committee: Note on the state of negotiations on the proposal for the recast of the Students Directive and Researchers Directive (pdf): "The reports on the implementation of the two Directives pointed out certain inadequacies in the two instruments, mainly concerning the admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students’ access to the labor market, and intra-Union mobility."

EU: Council of the European Union: Foreign fighters: follow-up on the Conclusions of the European Council of 30 August 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 14160-14, pdf) Including: "Invited the relevant working groups to explore the possibilities for sharing API data on internal EU flights and to reflect on the appropriate legal framework for this exchange."

EU: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Effective criminal justice response to the phenomenon of foreign fighters (LIMITE doc no: 14188-14, pdf):

"To what extent the existing measures in your national legislation are compliant with the requirement of UNSCR 2178(2014) to criminalise certain types of behaviour linked to the foreign fighters phenomenon? Do you plan to amend your legislation and what type of measures do you consider to this effect?

How would you assess the adequacy of the Framework Decision on terrorism in the context of the problems posed by foreign fighters to ensure an effective common EU legal framework to address this phenomenon? Which aspects need to be reviewed in this respect? Would it be desirable to have a collective implementation of UNSCR 2178(2014)?"

And see: UN Resolution 2178-14 (pdf)

EU: Operation Mos Maiorum: Interim report: documenting racist controls with mapping software (linksunten.indymedia.org. link): "For the first time we have set up such a mapping-software to visualize and make public racist controls in the EU. It is an experiment which still has a lot of room for improvement. But already now we can envision the potential of such a tool, once it becomes a common media practice for thousands of activists." See: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch Summary News & Web coverage: (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), See also: (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), 13.10.14: Media and Web coverage (pdf) and 13.10.14: second batch:: Web-media coverage (pdf) For country reports see: Refugees Welcome (221 reports so far, link)

Occupy London protesters start week long demonstration in Parliament Square (Evebing Standard, link): "Protesters from Occupy London have begun a week long demonstration in Parliament Square. The group have pitched tents and are displaying placards highlighting more action to be taken on a number of issues including the NHS, inequality and poverty." And: Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!! (Ecologist, link) See: Occupy Democracy camp (link)

Also: Westminster Council proposes banning "tents and similar structures" and "noise equipment" in crackdown on political protest (Statewatch database, link) and UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices (Statewatch database, link)

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 8: Council's explanation is "economical with the truth": Council Presidency says the operation is about the "collection of data on migration flow" when its stated purpose is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes." See: Council response to media coverage and widespread concern in civil society: What is "Mos Maiorum" joint operation? The collection of data on migration flows in EU countries has been launched (Official statement by Council Presidency, pdf)

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"This statement by the Council Presidency is "economical with the truth". The Council presents Joint Operation Mos Maiorum as a statistical exercise to gather data on migration flows when its first aim is quite different as stated in Full-text (p2, pdf) which is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes."

In the previous operation "Perkunas" 10,459 undocumented migrants were "intercepted", in Aphrodite 5,298 were "apprehended" and in Project FIMATHU (Europol-Austria and Hungary) 7,429 "illegal migrants" were "apprehended". In none of the reports on these three operations was any information given as to what happened to the migrants who were "intercepted" or "apprehended".

Did they ask for asylum, which they had the right to do? How many ended up in detention centres? How many were deported? Were these people afforded their rights or are EU fundamental rights, Treaties and the Charter simply not a consideration when it comes to Council-organised operations?"


Top reports 2014

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

SECILE Project: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatch’s findings for SECILE project (pdf)
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Catalogue of EU Counter-Terrorism Measures Adopted since 11 September 2001 (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
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Report on how the EU assesses the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of its counterterrorism laws (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
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Data Retention in Europe: A Case Study (pdf) by Chris Jones & Ben Hayes :

EU: 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."

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

TNI - Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society

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


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