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    20 August 2017
 

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UK-EU-IRELAND: British government proposals: Northern Ireland and Ireland: Position paper (pdf) And see: UK Brexit position paper opposes Irish border posts (BBC, link)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (15-16.8.17) including: Deportation by EU states of 29 Nigerian, Togolese in leg chains; deaths at French-Swiss-Italian borders

FRANCE: Police and protesters clash at planned nuclear waste site (RFI, link):

"Police in north-east France used water cannon, tear gas and stun grenades on Tuesday against demonstrators protesting plans to store nuclear waste at a site in Bure. Protest organisers said over 36 people were injured, six of them seriously.Two police officers were also injured.

Over 300 protesters joined the demonstration - some helmeted and wielding stones, sticks and shields, according to the authorities.

Officials say demonstrators threw stones and at least one Molotov cocktail at police who respoded with water cannon, [tear] gas and stun grenades."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (13-14.8.17) including: NGO rescue ships suspend work in Libyan waters; migrants must be able to leave Libyan "hell"

UK: Deportation with Assurances: Flogging a Dead Horse? (one small window, link):

"Overall, the two authors agree that “DWA can play a significant role in counter-terrorism, especially in prominent and otherwise intractable cases which are worth the cost and effort, but it will be delivered effectively and legitimately in international law only if laborious care is taken.” The only example they provide that comes close to this, in a policy spanning almost thirteen years, is that of Abu Qatada, “the cost and effort” of which may be debated. Given the approach of the report, the legal arguments against DWA remain intact. What emerges from their discourse, however, is the impact various aspects of the case law and practices related to the application of DWA have had on the evolution of counter-terrorism policy in general."

See: Deportation with assurances (pdf) by David Anderson Q.C., Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (2011-2017) with Clive Walker Q.C., Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds

NORTHERN IRELAND: Torture was ‘the norm’ in the North, says university lecturer (The Irish Times, link):

"A university lecturer who alleges he suffered “waterboarding” after he was arrested in Belfast in 1978 has said he believes torture “was the norm, rather than the exception” in the North in the 1970s.

Greece: Europe’s laboratory. An idea for Europe (pdf) Excellent and timely report:

""Greece: Europe's laboratory. An idea for Europe" written after a field research made by legal operators and lawyers from ASGI (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione - Association for Juridical Studies on Migration) conducted in march 2017.

The research aims to analyze the juridical effects that the Eu-Turkey deal had on the Greek asylum system after one year from its approval. Through this observation and the contemporary study on the European ongoing reforms of the European asylum system we can say that Greece can be considered as a laboratory for the newest European immigration governmental policies which clearly focuses on stopping the fluxes also despite the respect of fundamental principles of the European rule of law."

SOLIDARITY IS NOT A CRIME: Solidarity must not be considered a law-breaking offence. It is not a crime, but a humanitarian obligation

"
The recent proliferation of prosecutions in Italy and France towards people who showed solidarity with the refugees is a disturbing attempt to create division among NGOs active in Search and Rescue operations, and to isolate common European citizens who are concerned with the safety of the forced exiles who embarked in perilous journeys from Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and many other distressed countries. For years, they risk death on land and sea on a daily basis – in a sort of Darwinian selection – and the European Union, where only a part of them arrive, is closing more and more its doors and externalizing its asylum policies.

The vast majority of migrants and refugees (80%) find shelter in developing, mostly African countries. The extraordinary activity of NGOs in the Mediterranean is due to the absence of proactive public Search and Rescue operations carried out by the Union and its Member States, since the end of "Mare Nostrum"."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (6-12..8.17)

EU: Council of the European Union: Letter from SIS II Supervision Coordinating Group Chair to Council Presidency concerning SIS II legislative proposals (pdf) The Letter "underline the following most crucial issues" also raised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). And it emphasises the need to:

"prepare a prior analysis of the necessity of the introduction of new biometric (facial images, palmprints and DNA profiles) which should clearly explain that the purpose of the system cannot be achieved in a less intrusive way. Additionally palmprints have been introduced for the first time ever in an EU large scale IT system... [and give] an explanation of the necessity and proportionality of the use of such data is even more urgent."

To "better define the access rights and rules" for the European Border Guard Agency teams "involved in return-related tasks" plus the necessity to extend the retention period alerts from "three to five years.".

See also: Commission proposals: Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, amending...(COM 881-16, pdf) and Regulation on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third country nationals (COM 881-16, pdf)

Surveillance & Society: Latest issue (link): "This is our first ever special "Responsive Issue," conceived of as something extra to our usual process of publication. We asked for shorter articles, written in a more punchy and accessible style, to cover specific countries which are moving in an authoritarian direction, and/or transnational issues that relate to the nexus of surveillance and authoritarianism." See: The Global Turn to Authoritarianism and After (link)

Member states ask for new EU data retention rules (euractiv, link): "Several EU member states want to include new rules allowing for data retention in a draft privacy bill. Diplomats from EU countries have been asked to determine whether they want new data retention rules ahead of a meeting to discuss the draft ePrivacy legislation in September.

Estonia, which is leading countries’ discussions on EU laws until the end of this year, asked national delegations after a meeting in July whether they want to add new rules to the draft bill as a way to require telecoms companies to store consumers’ personal data for a set amount of time, according to a draft memo that was leaked by the NGO Statewatch."

UK citizens to get more rights over personal data under new laws (Guardian, link):

"New legislation will give people right to force online traders and social media to delete personal data and will comply with EU data protection... The main aim of the legislation will be to ensure that data can continue to flow freely between the UK and EU countries after Brexit, when Britain will be classed as a third-party country. Under the EU’s data protection framework, personal data can only be transferred to a third country where an adequate level of protection is guaranteed.

See: Government: A New Data Protection Bill: Our Planned Reforms (pdf) and Research and analysis to quantify the benefits arising from personal data rights under the GDPR (pdf)

The West attempts hybrid resistance (link):

"EU and NATO are training for their joint rapid response in the event of a crisis with three coordinated exercises. The simulated threat comes from Russia, hackers, the caliphate, immigrants and globalisation critics...

On 1 September the European Union and NATO will start their shared „EU Parallel and Coordinated Exercise 2017“ (EU PACE17). This is according to a Council Document published online by the British civil rights organisation Statewatch. The two alliances will test their crisis management structures over six weeks."

EU: Council of the European Union: New powers for eLisa agency

  Compared version of the proposed eu-LISA Regulation with Regulation 1077/2011 (LIMITE doc no: 11164-17, pdf): "The new text in the proposed Regulation, compared with the current one, is marked in bold italics, and the deleted text is marked with strikethrough."

  Opinion by the Management Board of eu-LISA on the recommendations of the Commission on changes to the Establishing Regulation of eu-LISA (LIMITE doc no: 10873-ADD-3-27, pdf)

  Discussion on the proposed new tasks for eu-LISA (LIMITE doc no: 11182-17, pdf):

"The proposed Regulation mainly aims to enhance the role and responsibilities of eu-LISA with regard to existing and possible new large-scale IT systems on cooperation and information exchange in the area of freedom, security and justice and to enable it to provide support to Member States and to the Commission. This is expected to contribute to rendering border management more effective and secure and to reinforcing security and combatting and preventing crime.

Some of the proposed novelties, in particular as regards the Agency's role in relation to interoperability..."
[emphasis added]

EU "Implementation Plan" on Central Mediterranean will exacerbate "abuse, mislead and expel" process in Italy's hotspots

The EU's plans to limit the number of people travelling across the Mediterranean to Italy are set out in a detailed internal "Implementation Plan" (pdf) believed to be drawn up by the Council that is silent on the right to claim asylum in the EU - aside from ensuring that Italy "speed up examination of asylum applications" and ensure that it can "issue return decisions together with final negative asylum decisions," which is likely to exacerbate existing problems with access to the asylum procedure in Italy's "hotspots".

See: The Central Mediterranean - Alleviating the pressure: Implementation Plan (pdf)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (31.7.17-5.8.17)

A Schengen Zone for NATO - Why the Alliance Needs Open Borders for Troops (Foreign Affairs, link):

"NATO’s member states are willing to defend one another, and they have the troops and the equipment to do so. But quickly getting those troops and equipment to their destination is a different matter altogether. In some new NATO member states, bridges and railroads are simply not suitable for large troop movements. But one thing frustrates commanders even more: the arduous process of getting permission to move troops across borders.

“I was probably naïve,” admits Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe. “I assumed that because these were NATO and EU countries we’d just be able to move troops. But ministries of defense are not responsible for borders.”"

UK: Institute of Race Relations (IRR): Fighting fire (link): by Colin Prescod and Daniel Renwick

"The Grenfell Tower inferno throws up all the contradictions between community self-help and resistance and an uncaring state...."

Data retention: Can the mass retention of data be justified under the planned ePrivacy Regulation?

The Council of the European Union is struggling to find a way to by-pass the Court of the European Union's judgments in the cases of Digital Rights Ireland and Tele2 and Watson which ban the mandatory collection of data of everyone's communications.

The Council is trying to justify mass data retention for the "prevention and prosecution of crime". Council document (LIMITE,11110-17, pdf) asks Member States to consider a "mind map" (see p3).

Now the Council's attention has turned to the planned ePrivacy Regulation: Processing and storage of data in the context of the draft ePrivacy Regulation = Introduction and preliminary exchange of views [LIMITE doc no:11107-17, pdf)

Greece: Alarm raised over detention of unaccompanied minor refugees (ekathimerini.com, link):

"An investigation conducted by the Greek Ombudsman from July 17 to 19 has revealed what it describes as “blatant violations of the rights of unaccompanied, underage refugees and migrants.”

The independent authority referred to prolonged detention in unsafe and inappropriate conditions at police stations and refugee centers across northern Greece as the main violations.

One example cited in the investigation is that of 17 minors who were found held in a single 25-square meter cell at a detention center for illegal 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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