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crisis: latest news from across Europe (30.6.16)
violence rising sharply in Germany (DW, link);
number of violent crimes committed in Germany by far-right extremists
has risen by over 40 percent in one year, the nation's internal
intelligence agency says. In particular, asylum seekers have
In its annual
report, Germany's domestic intelligence service (BfV) showed
a 42 percent increase in violent acts by extremists associated
with the far-right in 2015, describing attacks against journalists,
politicians and refugees.
shows a recorded 1,408 violent crimes, compared to 990 such crimes
in 2014. During the same period, seventy-five arson attacks against
refugee centers were recorded, up from just five a year earlier."
Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (English - Summary,
pdf) and Full
(German, 317 pages, pdf)
trial in Hungary: solidarity with the accused in Röszke (migszol.com, link):
report is based on the talk and discussion on an event on of
the Röszke trials in Hungary, on refugees accused
of violating the border fence during a riot/mass disturbance - which was held in
Auróra, Budapest 24th 2016. As our guest, we had Tamas
Fazekas, who works for the refugee program at the Hungarian Helsinki
Committee. Fazekas is a criminal lawyer, the defendant of three
of the accused, and works for the HHC since 2001. The views expressed
in the event and in this blogpost are his own and not representative
of the HHC. HHC has unique access to all refugee camps and detention
centers in Hungary. They are independent from the Hungarian government
and do not receive any project money the EU, and provide free
legal aid for people seeking international protection in Hungary."
And see Show
gets detained? Increasing the transparency and accountability
of Bulgarias detention practices of asylum seekers and
migrants: STATISTICAL REVIEW (EPIM, pdf):
that one common European response to the flow is
the increased detention of migrants. This statistical review
illustrates the implication of this common trend for Bulgaria.
It is appears as if detention has become a migration management
tool, especially in times when most states found themselves unprepared
for the increased numbers of migrants arriving on their territories.
Furthermore, the ongoing economic crisis and the mass austerity
measures around the continent provoked the proliferation of far-right
by a potential loss of votes, liberal European politicians also
started to resort to practices that are more akin to the far-right
spectrum: migrants are more than often portrayed as a national
security threat and criminals, and detention practices are often
used as summary punitive measures against migrants in the name
of the protection of the national interest."
CIA RENDITION: Lawyer:
CIA gave Romania millions to host secret prisons (New Europe, link):
CIA paid Romania millions of dollars to host secret
prisons, a rights lawyer said Wednesday as the European Court
of Human Rights heard accusations that Romania allowed the agency
to torture terrorism suspects in a secret renditions program
under President George W. Bush.
told the court on the opening day of the case that CIA prisons
were in Romania from 2003-2005 with the governments acquiescence
and connivance, something authorities have denied. Romanian
government representative Catrinel Brumar countered that it takes
more than hints and speculation to establish the states
responsibilities. She said an investigation was ongoing.
The court said it would rule in a few months on whether Romania
knowingly allowed CIA secret prisons where torture occurred,
and whether it failed to prevent the torture of Singhs
the dead while violating the living (open democracy, link)
"As of the
end of April 2016, the Italian Navy has deployed four ships to
fish out the wreck of a migrants boat from a depth of 370m
and retrieve the bodies of the several hundred migrants who remained
trapped inside since the night of the 18th of April 2015. Following
a collision between the migrants severely overloaded vessel
and a 147m cargo ship that had approached to rescue it, the boat
capsized, causing the death of more than 800 people the
largest shipwreck in recent Mediterranean history...
If the EU-Turkey
deal is not blocked through institutional means, then all that
will still stand in its way will be the acts of civil disobedience
such as those enacted by activists by blocking the Frontex operated
ferries on their route to Turkey with their very bodies, and
forms of direct support to migrants illegalised crossings
through the work of the numerous NGOs and activists who have,
since summer 2015, transformed the Aegean islands into a new
laboratory of transnational solidarity. The re-opening of a safe(er)
passage through the Aegean is a matter of life and deaths for
thousands of migrants, and an urgent response to revert the self-destructive
course the EU is heading in. For as long as migrants will drown,
Europe will keep sinking."
of human rights turns a blind eye on migrants life endangerment
(GISTI, French and English, link):
weekend, the European court for human right rejected a request
for emergency measures sought on June 16th by 51 Syrian, Afghani,
Iraqi nationals (amongst which many minors) who are forcibly
maintained on Chios Island, Greece, in a desperate situation.
This island, like many others in the Aegean Sea, has become an
open-air prison. The victims, lead by a GISTI lawyer, a French
NGO for the defence of migrants, had asked the court to compel
Greek authorities to put an end to the violations of their right
to life and to the inhuman and degrading treatment they have
been enduring in Chios since an immigration deal was concluded
between Turkey and the EU on march 20th more than three
months now - and which puts their childrens and their
own lives at risk.
crisis: latest news from across Europe (28-29.6.16) including: Lesvos: incident
of police violence towards unaccompanied minors
Database Used by Governments and Banks Leaked Online (VICE, link):
"A researcher has obtained a copy of Thomson
Reuters' World-Check confidential intelligence database, which is used by governments,
intelligence agencies, banks, law firms and more to scope out
risks including suspected terrorists. It was likely left exposed
on the open internet by a third party....
over 530 sanction, watch and regulatory law and enforcement lists,
and hundreds of thousands of information sources, often identifying
heightened-risk entities months or years before they are listed.
In fact, in 2012 alone we identified more than 180 entities before
they appeared on the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC) list based on reputable sources identifying relevant risks....
the categories political individual, corporate,
military, crimenarcotics, and terrorism.
Reuters World-Check (link)
and see; VICE
News Reveals the Terrorism Blacklist Secretly Wielding Power
Over the Lives of Millions (link)
& FRANCE PUSH FOR EU DRIVE AGAINST "ITINERANT CRIME
and French delegations: Draft European initiative to prevent
and combat organised domestic burglary (LIMITE doc no: 6876-15, pdf):
years, there has been a considerable increase in property crimes
committed in Europe by highly mobile organised crime groups.
The interim SOCTA for 2015 estimates 1.000 offences per day.
The following can be said about the situation regarding domestic
burglary in Europe:
The increase in the number of domestic burglaries is attributable
to itinerant crime groups originating mainly from South-Eastern
and Eastern Europe. They belong to the field of organised crime
or are considered one step away from organised crime.
They have transnational organisational structures. They
are flexible and able to adapt to countermeasures taken by individual
states. To fight these networks effectively concerted action
at European level is necessary.....
crime generates a sense of insecurity for European citizens that
leads them to doubt the ability of EU law enforcement
authorities to effectively tackle this scourge.....
The new technology
of predictive policing delivers promising new results and contributes
to a better use of resources"
This is not the
first time that the EU has targeted "itinerant" crime
groups: See: Targeting
Roma: How the EU security apparatus is mobilised for the "fight
against itinerant crime" (Statewatch database)
evictions of Roma and Travellers - International organisations
stress human cost of evictions and recall standards in a joint
statement (Council of Europe)
29 June 2016 Traditionally, summer holidays coincide with
the eviction of Roma and Travellers throughout Europe, which
takes place almost unnoticed. The Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the OSCEs
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR)
join the Council of Europe, the European Union Agency for Fundamental
Rights (FRA), the European Network of European National Human
Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Network of Equality
Bodies (Equinet) in a statement to condemn the recent
evictions of Roma and Travellers in Europe. "
(pdf) and French (pdf)
See also: European
calls for renewed commitment to Roma integration Brussels Commission
adopts its annual report on Roma integration (Press release, pdf):
year's assessment provides, for the first time, an overview of
the measures put in place by Member States following the 2013
Council Recommendation on effective Roma integration measures,
which required them to develop National Roma Integration strategies
to promote access of Roma to education, employment, healthcare
and see Commission
the implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration
Strategies and the Council Recommendation on effective Roma integration
measures in the Member States - 2016 (pdf)
policing guidance published (Press release, College of Policing,
draft guidance says undercover operatives can only work once
they have been accredited by the professional body, which involves
going through a selection process and undergoing vetting and
two types of undercover operative:
foundation operative carries out low-level infiltration that
does not require the ability to withstand intense scrutiny by
people who are potentially suspicious. For example, buying drugs
on the street.
An undercover advanced operative is trained to undertake
deployments involving higher-level infiltrations and they must
be able to withstand intense scrutiny from anyone who may be
suspicious. For example, counter terrorism work.
guidance sets out clearly the roles and responsibilities of police
officers from those who are deployed on operations, to those
who supervise and manage undercover officers and authorise operations."
policing: Authorised Professional Practice (80 pages, pdf)
Undercover police 'rulebook' published for first time (BBC News, link): "The
new rule book states: "It is never acceptable for an Undercover
Officer to form an intimate sexual relationship with those they
are employed to infiltrate and target or may encounter during
their deployment. "This conduct will never be authorised,
nor must it ever be used as a tactic of a deployment."" and No
sex for undercover cops, according to police draft guidance (link)
Police Research (link) and The
Pitchford Inquiry (link) and:
Spies Out of Lives have produced two new briefings on issues related
to secrecy and openness a the Pitchford Inquiry, which is due
to examine the undercover police work in England and Wales since
Parliament Study: The Reform
of the Dublin III Regulation (pdf):
the performance of Dublin and of relocation schemes, and assesses
the Commissions Dublin IV Proposal in this
light. It argues that by retaining the Dublin philosophy and
betting on more coercion, Dublin IV is unlikely to achieve its
objectives while raising human rights concerns. It advocates
re-centring EU responsibility allocation schemes on one key objective
quick access to asylum procedures. This requires taking
protection seekers preferences seriously and de-bureaucratising
the process. Such a reform would need to be accompanied by (a)
stepping up the enforcement of refugee rights across the EU,
(b) moving solidarity schemes from a logic of capacity-building
to one of compensation, and (c) granting protected persons real
BORDER CONTROLS INCREASE DEMAND FOR SMUGGLERS:
migrant smugglers arrested during Sirocco-2 Action Day along
Western-Balkan route (Press release, pdf)
management restrictions in the South East European region have
created demand for criminal networks to offer their services
to those migrants who are stranded in various phases of their
journey. Facilitators often appear in refugee camps and offer
their services to asylum seekers."
European Council: 28-29
(LIMITE doc no: 8471-16, pdf):
return of migrants to Turkey in full respect of the provisions
on inadmissibility under the Asylum Procedures Directive..."
problem with the Asylum Procedures Directive is that is based
on the lowest possible standards and does not requite third countries
to implement the 1951 Geneva Convention standards and protections.
Central Mediterranean, flows of predominantly economic migrants
remain at the same level as last year..."
arriving from north Africa are refugees.
and operational returns of irregular migrants, including by
applying temporary arrangements, pending the conclusion of
full-fledged readmission agreements." [emphasis added]
Comment: To be
based on the use of "leverage", that is, threats to
withdraw development aid and trade if not compliant to EU demands.
to use aid and trade to stop Africa migration (euobserver, link): "EU
leaders are likely to agree to use all means possible to keep
irregular migrants from leaving Africa to reach Europe when they
meet at a summit in Brussels later, according to leaked papers
seen by this website. The heads of state are set to back a master
plan to use development aid and trade as leverage against so-called
countries of origin in Africa."
EU-AFRICA: ARCI: Steps
in the process of externalisation of border controls to Africa
from the Valletta Summit to today (pdf)
the logic of externalisation of borders control to neighbouring
countries, has been an essential feature of EU strategy over
the last ten years, as evidenced first by Tony Blairs governments
proposal of 2003 to create asylum seekers camps in transit
countries, by the Italy-Libya agreement of 2008, by that between
Spain and Morocco of 2012, as well also as the EU-Turkey readmission
agreement of 2014, we are now witnessing an acceleration in the
agreements and in their effects.
This is also
due to the considerable funds it has been decided to invest in
the criminalisation of migration. Trust funds for Africa, established
at the Valletta Summit, have made cash available to facilitate
dealings with African countries. This monetisation of the relationship
with African countries opens up a trade logic that appears to
skate over questions of human rights and the fate of thousands
of people on the African continent."
Report in Italian (pdf) and French (pdf)
crisis: latest news from across Europe (27.6.16): NGOs call for EU migration plan rethink;
unaccompanied minors in hotspots; EU travel document and boder
guard deals; refugee centre on Lesvos closed down; Hungarian
referendum on relocation quotas to go ahead; and more.
Wave of hate crime and racial abuse reported after EU referendum (The Independent, link):
"More than a hundred incidents of racial abuse and hate
crime have been reported since the UK voted to leave the European
Many of the
alleged perpetrators cited the decision to leave the EU explicitly."
Incidents Have U.K. Worried What Referendum Wrought (Bloomberg, link) and Hate
Incidents After European Referendum Results: A Compilation (The Muslim Council of Britain, link)
Committee calls for prison reforms and an end to police drug
A report on a
visit to Switzerland in April 2015 by the Council's of Europe's
anti-torture Committee calls for the country to question the
use of life imprisonment, to improve conditions in a number of
prisons - particularly for remand prisoners in Champ-Dollon prison,
who spend "23 hours a day in their cell" - and for
an "in-depth and independent investigation" into the
work of the Geneva canton drugs task force. The Committee found
that the task force has been accused of violence including "punches,
kicks and even truncheon blows, sometimes to blindfolded persons."
of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly calls for more EU transparency
Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a resolution
calling for transparency in EU institutions to be improved in
a number of ways: ensuring full access to documents; joining
the Council of Europe's anti-corruption body; and better tracking
of lobbying efforts.
Court finds migrant workers not protected by discrimination laws (Free Movement, link):
"In short the court concludes that immigration status
as a domestic worker is not a protected characteristic under
the Equality Act 2010. The court suggests that the law should
be amended to remedy this protection gap and refers to the particular
vulnerability of migrants on tied visas and the review of the
type of visa in 2015"
Court press summary (pdf) and: Judgment: Taiwo
(Appellant) v Olaigbe and another (Respondents) - Onu (Appellant)
v Akwiwu and another (Respondents) (pdf)
Border and Coast Guard: Parliament and Council compromise position
On 22 June negotiators
from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached
an "informal agreement" on the text for a Regulation
establishing a European Border and Coast Guard, which will upgrade
the Frontex agency with an increased role in returns, greater
access to technical equipment, more powers for liaison officers
and new possibilities for the Council to reintroduce border controls
where states refuse to accept asssistance from the new agency.
A leaked copy
of the text (pdf, html) sets out the positions
of the institutions and the compromise text, which will be voted
on by the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on 27 June and,
if they agree to it, by the full Parliament in July.
for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
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 Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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