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21st year reporting on civil liberties and the state in the European Union (updated 20.10.19)  Editor: Tony Bunyan  Bookmark and Share

October 2019

21 Thoughts and Questions about the UK-US CLOUD Act Agreement: (and an Explanation of How it Works – with Charts) (europeanlawblog.eu, link):

"The Need to Unpack the Long-Awaited UK-US Data Sharing Agreement (pdf)

After four years of negotiations surrounded by secrecy, the United Kingdom and the United States finally released on October 7, 2019, the text of their Data-sharing agreement aiming to facilitate the cross-border access to electronic data for the purpose of countering serious crime. This long-awaited agreement is the first of the executive agreements envisioned by the CLOUD Act."

European Parliament Study: European Council conclusions: A rolling check-list of commitments to date (pdf): A very useful summary.

"This latest edition of the overview of European Council conclusions to date, presented in the form of a rolling check-list, is produced by the European Council Oversight Unit of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank. Since 2014, the Unit has been monitoring and analysing the delivery on commitments made by the European Council in the conclusions of its meetings, as well as its various responsibilities, either in law or on the basis of intergovernmental agreements."

Council Conclusions are non-binding but provide a legal basis when two or more Member States decide to cooperate.

EU: Meijers Committee: Response to a Note from the Presidency on ‘The future of EU substantive criminal law – Policy debate’ (pdf):

"it believes that the fundamental interests that are at stake in criminal policy, deserve to be reconsidered time and again – especially in the EU context where substantive criminal law competences are limited, either through institutional principles (such as the principle of subsidiarity), or through values-based principles rooted in criminal law theory (such as the last resort principle). The Meijers Committee therefore wishes to express its appreciation for the initiative to launch such a debate.(...)

the Meijers Committee concludes that the discussion has focused on criminalisation, with less or no attention for the (further) harmonization of sanctions."

:London: Police ban climate protests: MET Police statement: Extinction Rebellion protests (link)

Extinction Rebellion: Response to Metropolitan Police outlawing Extinction Rebellion protests in London - October 14, 2019 (link):

"The Climate and Ecological Emergency isn’t going away and we remain resolute in facing it.

We urge the Government and the authorities to join us in doing the same. We cannot do it alone.

This is bigger than all of us."

Also: Police ban Extinction Rebellion protests from whole of London - City-wide Met police operation begins to clear Trafalgar Square and other protest sites (Guardian, link)

EU: Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM): Council of the European Union: Commission services: GAMM (LIMITE doc no: 11539-19,47 pages, pdf):

"This document provides an updated overview of the main external migration dialogues and processes implemented in the framework of the EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). The document is compiled for the information of the EU High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration by the responsible European Commission services, in association with the EEAS."

See previous: Update report - May 2019 (Statewatch News) and March 2019 (Statewatch News)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (1-14.10.19) including:

UK: Hate crime surged during Brexit ‘surrender’ bill debates in parliament, police reveal (The Independent, link):

"Hate crime spiked during parliamentary debates around what Boris Johnson labelled a “surrender bill” aiming to prevent a no-deal Brexit, police have revealed.

Senior officers would not be drawn on the specific impact of the prime minister’s language but repeated appeals for moderation from public figures.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for operations said the increases “seemed to coincide with some of the debates” in parliament."

Hungary's opposition wins Budapest election, makes gains in other cities (Reuters, link):

"Hungary’s opposition scored its biggest election victory in a decade on Sunday when liberal challenger Gergely Karacsony ousted ruling-party incumbent Istvan Tarlos as mayor of Budapest and opposition parties made gains in other major cities as well.

The result will not affect Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s grip on national power as his Cabinet is buoyed by a strong economy, fierce anti-immigration rhetoric and hefty wage rises. His ruling Fidesz party remains wildly popular in rural areas.

No general election is due until 2022 and Orban, who rose to power in 2010, holds a huge majority in parliament."

Conservatives sweep Polish vote, put EU rule of law to the test (EurActiv, link):

"Right-wing ruling Law and Justice (PiS/ECR) won the parliamentary elections in Poland by a large margin, obtaining 43.6% of the votes, while the main opposition bloc – centre-left Civic Platform (KO) – obtained 27.4%, according to latest numbers published by the National Electoral Commission (PKW).

During the campaign, PiS has mixed nationalist rhetoric with a vast welfare programme financed by an economic boom and drawn support from poorer Poles who feel they have missed out on prosperity in the past decades."

Security Union: Commission calls on 4 Member States to respect EU exclusive competence in the area of automated DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data exchange (Prüm Decisions) (Commission press release, link):

"The Commission decided today to launch infringement procedure by sending letters of formal notice to Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania for signing an agreement with 5 Western Balkan countries on the automated exchange of DNA data, dactyloscopic data and vehicle registration on 13 September 2018. The Commission considers the agreement is in breach of EU exclusive competence in the area, especially since the exchange of such data between Member States is covered by the Prüm Council Decisions (Council Decisions 2008/615/JHA and 2008/616/JHA). The Member States concerned have two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion."

Catalonia leaders jailed for sedition by Spanish court

"Spain's Supreme Court has sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in an independence referendum in 2017."

EU: Reform of Council transparency in stalemate (CEO, link):

"EU member states have recently been discussing how to open up their decision-making to more public scrutiny, especially in their legislative forum, the Council of the EU. The Council plays a crucial and powerful role in agreeing new EU rules and regulations, but has been compared to a “black box” by the EU’s own Ombudsman when it comes to transparency. Our Captured states report shows how this opacity provides a major advantage to corporate lobbyists who typically have the significant capacity and resources required to unravel, understand, and influence member states to push for new EU regulations in their favour. This is a deep-seated and long-standing problem with governance in the EU, and tackling it would require a revolution in how the Council operates. Sadly the current reform proposal is far too unambitious, and with the whole process now on hold due to a lack of agreement between member states, real progress seems far off."

UK: Implications of Brexit for asylum policy highlighted in new report (Irish Legal News, link):

"The most significant implication of UK withdrawal from the EU’s Dublin System – which determines responsibility for asylum applications – would be the loss of a safe, legal route for the reunion of separated refugee families in Europe, the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Committee’s report Brexit: refugee protection and asylum policy [pdf] has found.

In a no-deal Brexit scenario, refugees could be left in legal limbo, facing months of delays and additional distress, while a new framework to allow them to reunite with their families is negotiated.

The committee urges the UK and the EU to honour the right of refugees to family reunion by agreeing a temporary extension of current family unification arrangements in the event of no-deal."

See the report: Brexit: refugee protection and asylum policy (pdf)

CoE-CPT: Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on the United Kingdom, focusing on police and prisons in Scotland (link):

"The purpose of the visit was to examine the situation in police and prison establishments in Scotland and to assess the progress made since the CPT’s previous visit in 2012; specific attention was paid to inmates in segregation, in remand, women prisoners generally and to overall healthcare issues. In addition, the delegation examined the treatment of persons in police custody and carried out visits to several police custody facilities across Scotland. The main conclusions of the CPT are set out in the executive summary of the report."

See: Report (pdf), Executive Summary (pdf) and: Government response (pdf)

EP: Briefing: Role of Advocates General at the CJEU (pdf):

"Today, there are 11 Advocates General, six of these posts are permanently assigned to the larger Member States. Advocates General are Members of the Court of Justice of the EU, and are appointed under the same procedure as judges. They enjoy the same privileges as judges (immunity), and cannot be removed from office before the end of their six-year term of office. They may be re-elected. Unlike judges, however, they only have an advisory role and do not take part in the decision-making on cases."

EU Copyright crackdown risks ‘automated censorship’ – Stihler (EU Reporter, link):

"Former MEP Catherine Stihler (pictured) spoke out against “the blind faith many will put in automated technology or systems to oversee enforcement of new copyright rules”. Stihler delivered a public lecture at CREATe, the UK Copyright & Creative Economy Centre based at the University of Glasgow."

Brexit: EU citizens who miss registration deadline face deportation - minister (BBC News, link):

"The UK will deport EU citizens after Brexit if they do not apply for the right to remain in time, Home Office minister Brandon Lewis says.

He told a German newspaper they would have to leave even if they met all the criteria for a residency permit. Campaign group the3million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, said this was "no way to treat people".

Brexit: Travel, trade, new EU migrants and Irish border law: no-deal Brexit plan explained (Guardian, link):

"From employing EU citizens to driving in Ireland, plan aims to show UK ready for crashing out."

The CJEU rules on consent to cookies under data protection law (EU Law Analysis, link):

"Last week’s CJEU ruling in in Planet 49 is an important Grand Chamber decision concerning the use of cookies and the meaning of consent under the e-Privacy Directive in the light of the Data Protection Directive but also the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation 2016/679)(GDPR). The judgment is therefore relevant for understanding the cookie obligations in the new regime as well as the old."

EU agency kept in dark on forced flight abuse (euobserver, link):

"Witnesses of abuse during a forced-return flight to Afghanistan last year preferred telling national authorities rather than informing the EU's border agency, Frontex.

The returns, on a flight from Munich to the war-torn country on 14 August 2018, had been coordinated by the EU agency, but were marked by reports of severe violations inflicted by German escort officers on a terrified Afghan man."

EU: Joint press release of the Palermo Charter Platform Process on the results of the EU Summit of Home Affairs Ministers on 23 September in Malta and the consequent negotiations on 8 October in Luxembourg (pdf):

"The Malta Agreement ("agreement on temporary reception and distribution mechanism") is not a hard-won solution, but nothing more than a partial emergency relief. We, European civil society initiatives and networks, mayors of European cities and search and rescue non-governmental organizations, demand a real solution that is adequate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.

Over 15.000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea in the last five years. “Every single person is one too many,'' says Alessandra Sciurba from Mediterranea. "When we receive distress calls from people on boats, they fear both to drown and to be returned to Libya. The outsourcing of EU border control to Libyan forces and mass interceptions at sea have to stop,“ demands Maurice Stierl from WatchTheMed Alarm Phone. “ The establishment of an operational and sustainable European rescue mission is absolutely necessary in order to prevent deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. Sadly, it is still missing in the Malta agreement”, adds Sciurba."

See: Outcome of the Council meeting here and: The "temporary solidarity mechanism" on relocation of people rescued at sea - what does it say?

EU: New Frontex Regulation: corrected version of the text

The European Parliament is due to approve a corrected version of the new Frontex Regulation, which was originally agreed between the Council and Parliament but has been undergoing revision by legal and linguistic specialists.

See: REGULATION (EU) 2019/... OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of ... on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (pdf)

France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program (Bloomberg, link):

"France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a secure digital identity -- whether they want it or not.

Saying it wants to make the state more efficient, President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November, earlier than an initial Christmas target. The country’s data regulator says the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court. It took a hacker just over an hour to break into a “secure” government messaging app this year, raising concerns about the state’s security standards.

None of that is deterring the French interior ministry."

A Threat from Within? Exploring the Link between the Extreme Right and the Military (ICCT, link):

"Right-wing violence and terrorism have slowly gained more academic and public attention in recent years, with an increase in anti-immigration and anti-government organised violence from the extreme right in most Western countries. Some evidence exists that right-wing extremists have attempted to infiltrate the military in their home countries to gain access to tactical training, weapons, and to recruit highly skilled new members.

...This Policy Brief will discuss available knowledge about extreme right-wing links to the military in Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. It will conclude by formulating concrete recommendations for handling this potential threat."

UK: The Government’s Prevent database isn’t about keeping us safe, it’s about control (Metro, link):

"The human rights group, Liberty, has just revealed that the Government is operating a secret database of every referral ever made to the anti-radicalisation programme, Prevent.

...This database isn’t about keeping us safe. It’s about keeping tabs on and controlling people, particularly minority communities and political activists.

...The majority of information on the database is gathered by public servants who have been co-opted by the Home Office under Prevent and encouraged to view even very young children as potential future criminals."

IRELAND: Why We Need Independent Inspection of Garda Cells (Dublin InQuirer, link):

"Imagine if, for reasons you’re unsure of, you’re arrested and taken into custody. Now ask yourself: would you feel safe if the doors of a police cell slammed behind you?

The worst deeds happen behind closed doors. Detention of any type, whether in prisons, police cells or hospitals, is a dangerous situation for anyone. That’s recognised the world over – hence why human rights principles lay out special safeguards to prevent abuse of people who are detained, and accountability mechanisms so that mistreatment is detected and punished.

But one bulwark against mistreatment while in Garda custody – a system of independent inspections – is absent in Ireland."

UK: The Immigration Industrial Complex: A global perspective on ‘unfree labour’ in immigration detention (Futures of Work, link):

"Labour within immigration detention is not a widely acknowledged phenomenon, yet thousands of hours of work are being undertaken in detention centres throughout the world. In 2014, for example, over 495,000 hours-worth of work were undertaken by detainees in immigration detention centres in the UK alone. In 2015, this rose to over 923,000 hours-worth of work, and in 2016 over 537,000 hours-worth of work were undertaken between January and July 2016 (FOI request).

Taking a global perspective on this type of work is important as common colonial histories and global transfers in capital help to make sense of why detention practices are growing in popularity, and why migrants from particular countries of origin continue to be subjected to exploitative and ‘unfree’ labour at the hands of state parties and private corporations."

Commission starts negotiations with the USA on exchange of e-evidence

- talks start even though EU legislation not yet adopted
- CJEU questions the legality of proposed EU measure
- Commission says deal must include content and non-content data

On 25 September 2019 the Commission started negotiations with the USA on: E-evidence - Negotiations for EU-U.S. Agreement on cross-border access to evidence - report on state-of-play (RESTRICTED doc no: 12318-19, pdf)

The document also covers: in Annex II: Report on the state-of-play of Commission's participation, on behalf of the Union, in the negotiations for the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

EU: JHA Council, 7-8 October: documents on EU-USA e-evidence negotiations; EU accession to the ECHR; right-wing extremism; and problems for plans to interconnect policing and migration databases

The Justice and Home Affairs Council is meeting in Luxembourg on 7 and 8 October. Issues under discussion include e-evidence negotiations between the EU and the USA; EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights; right-wing extremism and terrorism; and the implementation of the EU's plans to interconnect its migration and policing databases. Council documents published here indicate that this latter project is running into trouble.

UK: Counter-terror police running secret Prevent database (The Guardian, link):

"Counter-terror police across the UK have been running a secret database containing details of thousands of individuals referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, the Guardian can reveal.

The National Police Prevent Case Management (PCM) database is managed centrally by national counter-terrorism policing headquarters. It is accessible to all police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Home Office are able to request data from it, according to documents sent to the human rights group Liberty and seen by the Guardian."

See: Liberty uncovers secret Prevent database (link)

EU: Case C-93/18 Bajratari – Unlawful Employment and the Right to Free Movement (European Law Blog, link):

"On 2 October 2019, the CJEU delivered an important decision, which clarifies the ‘sufficient resources’ condition of Article 7(1)(b) Directive 2004/38 and simultaneously reinforces the right to free movement of Union citizens.

The case concerned the right of a third-country national mother of two minor Union citizens to reside in Northern Ireland in her capacity as their primary carer. The UK authorities had found that the mother could not claim a derived right of residence as the children did not fulfil the requirements set out in Article 7(1)(b) of Directive 2004/38. This provision sets out two conditions for the Union citizen’s right of residence in a host Member State for a period longer than three months: having (i) sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the host state’s social assistance system, and (ii) comprehensive sickness insurance cover."

Judgment: Case C-93/18 (pdf)

The Best and Brightest? Not Always for E.U. Leadership Jobs (New York Times, link):

"BRUSSELS — One official wore blackface. Another could not answer basic questions about his portfolio. A third has been accused of misusing public funds while in office, and is still being investigated.

Disgraced politicians? Hardly. All three are likely to be in charge of major policy areas across Europe for the next half-decade, potentially directing thousands of civil servants for the world’s richest and biggest single market."

UK: Deaths in custody: Saturday 26 October 2019 assemble at 12:00 @ Trafalgar Square: NO MORE STATE KILLINGS (pdf):

"The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) was set up in 1997 by families who had lost loved ones at the hands of the state to challenge the injustice in the system. It began as a network of black families because disproportionate numbers of black people were dying in police custody. It is now grown as a group that supports all families of the victims of custodial deaths at the hands of police officer, prison officers or in secure medical units.

Join us for this years annual remembrance procession which takes place on Saturday 26 October 2019 Assemble at 12pm at Trafalgar Square for a march on Downing Street."

UK: IOPC publishes figures on deaths during or following police contact for 2018/19 (IOPC, link):

"There were 16 deaths in or following police custody, a decrease of seven from a ten-year high in 2017/18, and in line with the average figure for over the last decade. No deaths took place within a police custody suite. Six people died in hospital after becoming unwell in a police cell, and six people were taken ill at the scene of arrest and died in hospital.

There were three fatal police shootings, compared to four fatalities last year.

There were 42 road traffic fatalities, an increase of 13 on last year and the highest figure in the past decade; 30 of the deaths were from police pursuit-related incidents, an increase of 13 from last year; five fatalities resulted from emergency response incidents, a decrease of three from last year.

There were 63 apparent suicides following police custody, a small increase on the previous year."

Report: Deaths during or following police contact: Statistics for England and Wales 2018/19 (pdf)

Data access blow for EU nationals with UK immigration cases (euractiv, link):

"EU nationals will be unable to access their personal records held by the UK government in immigration cases, following a high court ruling on Thursday (3 October) that said “immigration exemption” introduced last year was not unlawful.

The 3million organisation, one of the civil society groups campaigning for the rights of EU citizens in the UK, had argued that the immigration exemption introduced in the country’s Data Protection Act (DPA), which came into force in May last year, denies people access to their personal records in immigration cases."

Judgment: Open Rights Group and the3million v Secretary of State for the Home Department ([2019]EWHC 2562 (Admin), 3 October 2019, pdf) and see: Open Rights Group and the3million seek to appeal immigration exemption judgment (ORG, link)

FIVE EYES: US, allies seek access to Facebook encrypted messaging apps (DW, link):

"US, UK and Australian officials want Facebook to give authorities a way to read encrypted messages sent by ordinary users. Law enforcement has long sought access despite pushback from tech giants and privacy advocates.

US Attorney General William Barr and his British and Australian counterparts are pressing Facebook to create a so-called backdoor to give authorities access to encrypted messages on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms."

EU states given right to police Facebook worldwide (euobserver, link):

"National courts in EU states can order Facebook to delete content "worldwide", Europe's top tribunal has ruled, in what the US social media giant called an attack on free speech.

If content was deemed "illegal" by a national court, then Facebook could be ordered to "remove information covered by the injunction or to block access to that information worldwide", the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in Luxembourg on Thursday (3 October).."

CJEU: Press release: EU law does not preclude a host provider such as Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal (pdf) and judgment: Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek v Facebook Ireland Limited (Case C-18/18, pdf)

UK: Is the prime minister’s defence of free speech ‘humbug’? (IRR News, link):

"If we are not vigilant, the government’s attempts to deny the links between speech that inflames and actual acts of physical violence could be extended to deny or excuse incitement to racial hatred."

Interpol requests from Turkey: Sloppiness of German police puts own citizens into prison (link):

"Two Germans are in extradition custody in Slovenia and Italy at the request of Turkish authorities. Both come from Turkey and were granted asylum in Germany for political persecution and later citizenship. Interpol should have withdrawn the request. The BKA, however, concealed the asylum status of the two."

Bulgaria: Human Rights Group Under Threat - Halt Attacks on Bulgarian Helsinki Committee; Dismiss Bogus Request (HRW, link):

"Bulgaria’s prosecutor general should reject a call from a political party in the country’s governing coalition to disband the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Human Rights Watch said today. The party has been in legal battles for years with the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee over its stance on anti-discrimination issues."

UK-BREXIT: Parliament to be prorogued next Tuesday (BBC News, link):

"The government has confirmed it plans to prorogue Parliament next Tuesday and hold a Queen's Speech on 14 October.(...)

Already, however, opposition parties have raised concerns.

A source told the BBC that Boris Johnson was trying to avoid Prime Minister's Questions and Parliamentary scrutiny."

EU: 'Moria is hell': asylum seekers protest conditions at Greek camp (Reuters, link):

"Hundreds of asylum seekers protested conditions at Greece’s biggest migrant camp on Lesbos on Tuesday after a woman was killed in a fire there, marching towards the island’s capital before being halted by police.

More than 12,000 people - mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq - live in Moria camp, which has grown to become the island’s second largest town in just three years.

The woman’s death on Sunday was the third there in two months. An Afghan teenager was killed in a fight in August and a five-year-old Afghan boy was accidentally run over by a truck while playing in a cardboard box outside the camp in September."

Guns and glory: Criminality, imprisonment and jihadist extremism in Europe (EPC, link):

"Throughout Europe and beyond, terrorist groups, in particular the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), are increasingly recruiting individuals with backgrounds in crime and using their skills, connections in the criminal world, and experience with law enforcement bodies to finance, plan, prepare and execute their attacks. This recruitment takes place both outside and inside prisons. At the same time, jihadism has provided a specious morality for certain delinquents to rationalise and even justify their criminal activities.

...in the following publication... experts from both organisations carry out an independent assessment of these urgent challenges as they occur in ten European countries (Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). Drawing on this, they have proposed a number of bold recommendations to European governments and EU institutions to counter the ongoing threat of the crime-terror nexus."

EU: European Commission: report on use of the European Arrest Warrant in 2017

In 2017, European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) were most commonly used for offences falling within the categories of theft and criminal damage (2,649 EAws); fraud and corruption (1,538); and drugs (1,535), although not all member states provided the European Commission with the requested information.

Hungary Denies Claim It Backs Linking EU Budget to Rule-of-Law (Bloomberg, link):

"Hungary rejected a claim by the European Union’s rotating presidency that all member states have agreed to tie the bloc’s funding to rule-of-law conditions.

“No way, this is a misunderstanding,” Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said by phone on Monday, reacting to a statement by Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose government holds the EU’s rotating presidency. Hungary would be ready to veto the EU budget if payouts were linked to new rule-of-law criteria, Kovacs said.

Hungary and Poland, which are already at odds with the EU over alleged rule-of-law violations, have opposed linking billions of euros of aid from the EU to democratic standards, a conditionality currently discussed as part of the next seven-year EU budget from 2021."

See: Finnish PM says EU ready to tie funding to rule-of-law criteria (Reuters, link)

USA: Do DNA Databases Make Would-Be Criminals Think Twice? (Undark, link):

"...what if instead of just bringing more perpetrators to justice, the widespread perception of law enforcement’s genetic omniscience was also preventing crimes from happening in the first place? Or to put it slightly differently, what if the fear of being done in by DNA is actually holding potential offenders back from criminal behavior? This would seem like an extremely difficult effect to measure, but some researchers are using sophisticated analysis of crime data to argue that it is real, and that it results in lower recidivism rates.

Just how strong the deterrent effect is, or whether it’s any better at discouraging would-be criminals than, say, incarceration — which studies suggest is at best a weak deterrent — remain open questions. And even if it is more effective, some civil liberties advocates argue that this sort of biosurveillance is likely to weigh more heavily on some segments of the population than others, raising genuine civil rights concerns."

EU: MEPs concerned with peace should worry about the new ‘Defence Industry & Space’ unit (EurActiv, link) by Laetitia Sedou:

"On 2 October, the European Parliament committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) will hear the French Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard, whose Internal Market portfolio will include a new Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space... the creation of a DG for the Defence Industry will open the door even wider for corporate interests of the arms industry to dominate the EU agenda. The arms industry has long been calling for such a DG to be created, and the recent set-up of an EU Defence Fund was heavily influenced by it.

...MEPs should all the more be alarmed that the EU is engaged in an ideological, political, industrial and material preparation for war, whatever form conflicts will take in the future; in other words it is undergoing a rampant but characterised militarisation process (something more complex than whether or not to have an ‘EU army’). Elected representatives should ask themselves and Sylvie Goulard if this is really what EU citizens are expecting from the EU."

See also: Open letter to Members of the European Parliament: The EU peace project is under threat (pdf)

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: 'Large increase in anti-Bosnian, anti-Muslim bigotry': Report (Al Jazeera, link):

"Islamophobic rhetoric at the political level, which at its peak in the 1990s Bosnian War played a significant role in the massacre of thousands of Bosniak Muslims, is once again being used by Serbian and Croatian politicians - including those of Bosnian background - with dangerous aims, according to a new report.

Prior to and during the 1992 -1995 conflict, divisive and dehumanising language was used with the hope of splitting the country into "Greater Croatia" and "Greater Serbia".

According to the European Islamophobia Report 2018, which was published by the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research think tank on Friday, politicians and some sections of the media are today attempting to falsely present Bosnia as a "radical Muslim haven" in order to undermine the country - again with the aim of dividing it territorially."

See: European Islamophobia Report 2018 (link): "This report investigates in detail the underlying dynamics that directly or indirectly support the rise of anti-Muslim racism in Europe in 2018."


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