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    ISSN 1756-851X
    21 April 2019
 

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SPAIN: Ethnic profiling in Catalonia: for every police identity check on a Spanish national, there are seven checks on foreigners

Black or ethnic minority individuals or those with a foreign nationality are stopped more frequently by Catalan police officers than those who are white and/or have Spanish nationality, according to a recent report by the organisation Pareu de Parar-me (Stop Stopping Me).

GERMANY: Investigation against activist artists dropped, but questions remain (DW, link):

"The 16-month criminal investigation against the artist collective Center for Political Beauty (Zentrum für Politische Schönheit, ZPS) has been suspended, Thuringian State Premier Bodo Ramelow announced on Monday."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (9-15.4.19) including:

  • Safe harbours: the cities defying the EU to welcome migrant
  • Joint Statement – the case of Alan Kurd
  • Switzerland: Authorities must drop absurd charges against priest who showed compassion to asylum-seeker

EU: French anti-terrorist unit demands removal of adverts, books, US-government produced reports from web archives

France's Internet Referral Unit has been busy sending requests to the Internet Archive for the removal of hundreds of web pages, but the Archive has said there is a serious problem - none of the URLs in question contain terrorist propaganda.

The pages that the French unit wants the Internet Archive to remove include works from the American Libraries collection, old television adverts and programmes, the Smithsonian Libraries, television broadcasts of the US House of Representatives and even an academic paper entitled 'Spectrum Sharing in Cognitive Radio with Quantized Channel Information'.

EU: Council wants a "comprehensive study" on data retention that considers "a future legislative initiative"

The Council of the EU is set to ask the European Commission to "prepare a comprehensive study" on the legal possibilities for retention of telecommunications data for law enforcement purposes, to be ready by the end of 2019. That study should include "the consideration of a future legislative initiative," according to a set of draft conclusions due to be discussed in a Council working party tomorrow.

EU: Terrorist content online: Civil Liberties Committees makes improvements but proposal still dangerous

The European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) has agreed its position on a proposal to prevent the "dissemination of terrorist content online". Digital rights groups say that while LIBE's position is an improvement on the Commission's proposal, the text is still a danger to freedom of speech online.

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (2-8.4.19) including:

  • Analysis: Italy's redefinition of sea rescue as a crime draws on EU policy for inspiration
  • IOM: 356 deaths in the Mediterranean so far in 2019
  • Overhaul of Spanish coastguard agency sparks fears for search and rescue operations

CoE: European states must demonstrate resolve for lasting and concrete change for Roma people (link):

"On 8 April, we will celebrate International Roma Day. This is a day to celebrate Roma culture and Roma contributions to European societies, and the cultural diversity of Europe. The 8th of April, which commemorates the first World Romani Congress held in London in April 1971, should also be a reminder of the urgent need to better protect the human rights of Roma.

Across Europe, the continuation of human rights abuses targeting Roma goes against all efforts otherwise made to improve their access to education, health care and employment and prevents them from fully participating in society."

And see House of Commons - Women and Equalities Committee: Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Travellercommunities (pdf)

EU: MEPs make last-ditch attempt to halt mandatory fingerprinting of all ID holders

Last-ditch amendments are being proposed by MEPs to try to prevent the mandatory fingerprinting of every national identity card holder in the EU and the potential construction of national fingerprint databases, before a final vote on a proposed new law in the European Parliament due this Thursday (4 April).

EU: New 'Charter of Commitments' demands parliamentary candidates uphold migrant rights and stand against racism

A 'Charter of Commitments' calls on candidates in May's European Parliament elections to commit to upholding migrants' rights, promoting a culture of reception and opposing racism and intolerance.

European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) to adopt new Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard

Today the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee will be adopting the final text coming out of trilogue meetings on a new: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (240 pages, pdf)

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.3-1.4.19) including:

  • New roles for Frontex agreed by Council and Parliament - but externalised deportations excluded
  • UK: Majority of immigration removals called of
  • Study: Sexual torture widespread for migrants seeking Europe

EU cooperation instruments with North African states: promoting or restricting migrants’ and refugee rights?

Two new briefings by the EuroMediterranean Human Rights Network look at the implications for migrants and refugees of EU policies and financial aid to North African states. The first examines the main cooperation agreements aimed at realising the rights of migrants and refugees, while the second looks at policies and projects dedicated to border management "and their often negative consequences on the rights of persons migrating."

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (19-25.3.18) including:

  • Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees
  • UK: “Utter failure” of Home Office has led to serious problems with every part of the immigration detention system
  • Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks

EU: "Policing in a Connected World": Council looks to help police deal with "Novel Actionable Information"

A recent document produced by the Romanian Presidency of the Council takes up the issue of "Policing in a Connected World" and calls for the establishment of new networks and tools so that police forces across the EU can better make use of the "Novel Actionable Information" generated by the "explosion in the number of digital devices used, each generating more data, more diverse and complex types of data, and connections between data."

UK: House of Commons Library briefing: Brexit: contingency planning and powers (pdf):

"This briefing looks at emergency planning in the UK and specifically at the how emergencies are defined, how the Government may deploy its emergency powers to deal with them, and how this relates to no-deal planning."

Brexit and Extending EU Membership: The Legal Issues (EU Law Analysis, link) by Professor Steve Peers:

"This blog post was updated following the approval of the official decision extending EU membership. (...)

Apart from the legal issues directly related to the extension, next week is likely to see a number of crucial votes relating to the UK’s imminent and future relationship with the EU. Time will tell what indirect effect they may have on the length and circumstances of the UK’s extended EU membership – and in particular whether the UK government and parliament is able to agree upon a way forward in the event that the withdrawal agreement is not approved."

EU: Names of national authorities that drafted "interoperability" plans published following Statewatch complaint

The names of the authorities that made up the EU high-level expert group on information systems and interoperability, which was responsible for outlining the plans that have led to the interconnection of EU policing and migration databases, have been published by the European Commission following a successful complaint by Statewatch.

Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees (Doctors Wiithout Borders, link):

"Thousands of people remain trapped in overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary Greek island camps three years after the implementation of the European Union-Turkey deal, said Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today, calling on European leaders to immediately evacuate children and other vulnerable people from these locations.

The European Union (EU) and Turkey deal, signed three years ago today, is a set of policies aimed at preventing refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers from crossing irregularly from Turkey to Greece. These policies now trap about 12,000 men, women, and children in unsafe and degrading conditions in five Greek island camps, where they have little access to basic health services and suffer widespread misery."

Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks, warn trade union and human rights group

Andalusia, 16 March 2019 - The General Work Confederation (Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT) and the Andalusian Association for Human Rights (Asociación Pro-derechos Humanos de Andalucía, APDHA) have said in a press conference that the consequences of the recent agreements between Spain and Morocco on migration will have serious consequences for the human beings risking their lives in the Mediterranean.


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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