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Round-up of news stories from across the EU
31.3.16
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BALKANS: Incomplete Analysis Hinders Anti-Extremism in the Balkans (Balkan Insight, link): "Balkan governments need to support efforts to properly measure the scale of radicalisation and violent Islamic extremism and implement comprehensive strategies to tackle the issue, regional experts have warned.

“If we don't have a complete analysis of the phenomenon, how can we adopt an effective strategy, conduct monitoring and coordinate a multi-agency response?” Uros Pena, deputy director of the Bosnian Directorate for the Coordination of Police Bodies said during a conference organised by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, on Wednesday.

In addition to problems with intelligence sharing between Bosnia’s 15 police agencies, Pena also identified gaps in monitoring associates of suspected and known extremists."

EU-TURKEY: Erdogan says European countries enabled terror threat to spread (CNN, link): "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he believes many European countries have failed to address the significance of the terror threat and have not done enough to fight it.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour in Washington, he criticized those countries for allowing ISIS to spread."

EU-UKRAINE: The expected impact of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (TNI, link): "On 6 April 2016, the Dutch electoracte will go to the polls to vote in a referendum on the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine. But what is the referendum about and why is the Transnational Institute campaigning for a No vote? Here we explain why the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will only benefit a number of Ukraine’s elite at a cost to the majority."

NETHERLANDS: Protests at proposals to shut prisons due to lack of criminals (Dutch News, link): "MPs have come out against proposals to shut prisons because of falling crime rates during a debate on Wednesday. Opposition parties and MPs from the ruling VVD and PvdA rejected cabinet plans to close prisons and other penal institutions during this parliamentary period. The government said last week closing prison cells is inevitable, as crime is expected to fall by 0.9% a year, and a third of cells are already empty – at great cost to the country."

NETHERLANDS: Terror suspect’s neighbourhood has problems, but is ‘no Molenbeek’ (Dutch News, link): "The area of Rotterdam where French terrorist suspect Anis B was arrested on Sunday is no Molenbeek, according to the city’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, in reference to the Brussel’s district where many of Belgium’s suicide bombers lived. ‘We are the least segregated city in the Netherlands, and people live together here,’ Aboutaleb said at a meeting with residents from the city’s Nieuw-West district earlier this week."

Romania Jails Former Gulag Boss For 20 Years (Balkan Insight, link): "A Romanian court on Wednesday sentenced former jail commander Ioan Ficior to 20 years in prison for the deaths of 103 political prisoners during the Communist regime.

He has 10 days to appeal.

This was the second trial of a head of a Communist-era lockup in Romania since dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was tried and executed in 1989.

Ficior, 87, was accused of involvement also in beating detainees, depriving them of medical treatment and forcing them to drink dirty water, which caused dysentery."

UK: Doreen Lawrence and John McDonnell to speak at conference on police spies (The Guardian, link): "Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell are scheduled to speak at a conference that will examine political policing and state racism.

They are among a number of speakers at the conference that is due to take place on April 16 and 17.

The conference will focus on the role of undercover policing and its impact on those who have been put under surveillance."

UK: London man admits sending tweets encouraging terrorism (The Guardian, link): "An east London man has admitted sending thousands of tweets to encourage terrorism and in support of jihadists fighting with Islamic State.

Mohammed Moshin Ameen, 23, posted thousands of tweets between May and October 2015, using various different accounts.

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Jessica Hart told the court that the posts “encourage and glorify acts of terrorism, in particular the actions of Isil [another name used for Isis], and invoke support for that group”.

Ameen pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to five counts of encouraging the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism on Twitter.

He admitted a further charge of inviting support for Isis, as a proscribed organisation, between 4 and 6 October 2015."

UK: My arrest – it could happen to you (Islam21C.com, link): "At 6 a.m. on that day, as I lay in bed, I heard the banging of feet and shouting in the corridor outside of the flat I live in, it was all very frantic and slightly surreal. I did not understand what was happening immediately so my neighbour was the first to run out and see what all the fuss was about. “WE WANT LAURA STUART” I heard and went to open the door. Imagine my shock as police in uniform and stab vests started pouring into my home."

UK-ECHR: Does Art 5 entail a right to legal representation when facing prison for contempt of court? (UK Human Rights Blog, link): "The European Court of Human Rights has held that the detention of an individual following his breach of a civil contact order, where he had no legal representation, did not violate his rights under Article 5, ECHR (Right to Liberty and Security of Person). However, the decision not to provide compensation to the individual following a failure to provide him with a lawyer during domestic proceedings resulted in a violation of Article 6 (Right to a Fair Trial)."

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