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JUNE 2016, London: STATEWATCHING
EUROPE: European conference marking Statewatch's 25th anniversary
Statewatch Observatory: Refugee
crisis in the Med and inside the EU - a humanitarian emergency
crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.5.16)
inc Outrageous and disturbing reports from the Idomena "clear-out"
Electra reports (link) Idomeni
clear-out: volunteers denied access to their equipment, tents
is OUTRAGEOUS! I guess that's the Greek Government's way of saying
'thanks' to volunteers... By destroying the humanitarian material
and belongings thousands fundraised for... Volunteers in Idomeni,
who were told that if they approach the camp during the - priorly
unanounced - eviction they would be arrested, return to the field,
just to find all their tents, belongings and humanitarian material
smashed under the bulldozers: "Despite liaising with authorities
to recover resources all of our resources and the ngo resources
have been destroyed by the authorities. This includes thousands
of euros of medical equipment all the NGO tents and hundreds
of thousands of euros other infrastructure."
on Facebook posted this report today (26.5.16):: "This post was put on by Phoebe
Ramsey a must to read. This what has happened in the last 36
hours, summarized to the best of my ability in my present exhausted,
sad, and angry state.
At present, there are only a
couple of hundred people left in Idomeni. There has been no major
resistance or violence. It seems everyone was resigned and complied
in the face of the enormous presence of riot police. As the tents
have been emptied, bulldozers have come in to flatten them. Just
over 2,000 people were moved yesterday, and about 1,000 today.
Given that there were at least 7,000 people in Idomeni two days
ago, this means that about 4,000 people are 'unaccounted' for.
They have either tried to go to the major cities, or made a panicked
rush for the border-hundreds and hundreds of people headed west
into the woods last night. This is in convenient conjunction
with today's reported announcement by police that from now on,
anyone caught and returned by FYROM (pushbacks) from an illegal
border crossing will be arrested in Greece, and have any existing
asylum claims canceled.......
and Eritrea crackdown on migrants amid reports of EU incentives (IRIN, link):
in Sudan have launched a crackdown on Eritrean migrants - arresting
those living in the capital, Khartoum, and intercepting hundreds
travelling north through the country towards Libya, the launching
point for smugglers boats heading for Europe.
900 Eritreans were rounded up in Khartoum on Monday and that
a further 400 arrested en route to Libya have been deported to
Eritrea, come amid recent revelations in the British and German
media that the EU is planning to deepen its cooperation with
a number of African countries, including Sudan and Eritrea, to
stem migration towards Europe."
European Parliament Study: Cross-border
placement of children in the European Union (pdf):
study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights
and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee,
explores the range and nature of problems linked to the cross-border
placement of children and to the application of article 56 of
the Brussels IIa Regulation. Based on an analysis of the practice
in 12 Member States and European case law, it identifies a number
of shortcomings in the current legislative framework. Looking
ahead to the recast of Brussels IIa, the study sets out recommendations
to remedy some of the weaknesses, such as clarifying the respective
tasks of the Member States involved in cross-border placement
cases and facilitating the recognition and enforcement of cross-border
with the Gag Law for carrying a bag with the face of a cat and
the abbreviation A.C.A.B.
was returning to her house in Madrid last Sunday when she was
stopped by two police officers who asked for her documentation
and subsequently said they were going to fine her. The motive:
a black fabric shoulder bag bearing the face of a cat and the
abbreviation A.C.A.B, along with the words "All Cats Are
Beautiful". The police's report stated that the abbreviation
signifies "All Cops Are Bastards".
EU-USA: DATA PROTECTION:
Model clauses in jeopardy with Irish DPA referral to CJEU (The Privacy Adviser,
data flows between the U.S. and EU may have taken yet another
hit late Tuesday with news that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner
is planning to refer a case to the Court of Justice of the European
Union to determine whether Facebook can use standard contractual
clauses, also often called model clauses, to transfer data out
of the EU....
to a press release from Europe-v-Facebook the Max Schrems-led
group that brought both the Safe Harbor and current complaint
to the Irish DPA, Under current CJEU case law, it is highly
unlikely that Facebook Ireland could
data with the U.S. authorities.
See: Press Release:
& NSA-Surveillance: Following Safe Harbor decision,
Irish Data Protection Commissioner to bring EU-US data flows
before CJEU again (pdf): "Yesterday night, we were informed
that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is planning
to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
to determine if Facebook can continue to transfer data from the
EU to the US after the invalidation of the Safe Harbor
system by the Court on October 6th 2015 and given continues application
of US mass surveillance laws."
latest news from across Europe (25.5.16) including:
Is the EU-Turkey deal dead or will the EU, in desparation, simply
how one academic kept the truth from being hidden (bellacaledonia.org.uk,
link) by Margaret Malloch and Bill Munro:
can academics put their research at the service of correcting
great injustices? Phil Scraton and his work for the Hillsborough
campaign offers a powerful example, write Margaret Malloch and
been a justifiable amount of attention on the recent outcome
of the inquests into the 96 men, women and children who lost
their lives as a direct result of events at Hillsborough Football
Ground on 15 April 1989. However, claims that at last,
the truth is out leave us somewhat troubled.
of what happened on that day has always been known not
least by the bereaved families, the survivors and many more besides.
That truth, until now, has been officially erased,
or at least hidden and replaced by a carefully constructed and
long maintained lie."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (24.5.16)
including EU navies to help Libyan coastguards stop refugees
Moving Europe: Updates
from the eviction in Idomeni (link): "Moving Europe is writing
live updates on the situation in Idomeni and on the unacceptable
conditions in the camps where people are being brought to. As
journalists and indepedent observers are not allowed into the
area around Idomeni, the updates are based on observations and
information from people in the camp. The page will be updated
constantly, please spread!
and independent observers are not let into the area of the camp
in Idomeni, on this site we are constantly collecting observations
and information which residents of the camp send to us. Follow
us as well on Twitter
authorities begin evacuation of Idomeni refugee camp (ekathimerini.com, link):
authorities began an operation at dawn Tuesday to gradually evacuate
the countrys largest informal refugee camp of Idomeni on
the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),
blocking access to the area and sending in more than 400 riot
Journalists were barred from the camp during the evacuation
operation, stopped at a police roadblock a few kilometers (miles)
away. Twenty buses carrying various riot police units were
seen heading to the area while a police helicopter observed from
above. An estimated 700 police were participating in the operation." [emphasis added]
EU: Counter Terrorism: Council of the European Union: Strengthening
cooperation on counter-terrorism threat analysis (LIMITE doc no: 8409-16,
pdf): There is concern about the legal basis for sharing intelligence:
discussion showed divergences between Member States as to which
role to give the EU in view of national positions and Article
4(2) TEU, in particular in relation to the sharing of intelligence
information. Many delegations were positive towards the idea,
whereas a number of delegations requested additional information
and more details on a number of issues, such as the legal basis
for such a joint threat assessment, methodology and which personal
data would be exchanged. Others underlined the importance of
avoiding duplication. The EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (CTC)
supported the idea of a joint threat assessment."
and also where
to draw the line between intelligence-gathering, analyses and
operational roles: See EU INTCEN (pdf):
is the exclusive civilian intelligence analysis function of the
European Union... EU INTCEN is not an operational agency and
does not have any collection capability. The operational
level of intelligence is the Member States responsibility.
EU INTCEN deals only with strategic analysis...".
at the same time
EU INTCEN "compliments" Member States' input by monitoring
deals only with strategic analysis. Its analytical products are
mostly based on information provided by Member States
security and intelligence services, but can also be complemented
by open sources (media, websites, blogs etc.), diplomatic reporting,
consular warden networks, international organisations, NGOs,
CSDP missions and operations, the EU Satellite Centre, visits
and field trips." [emphasis added]
See also: EU
to enhance terrorism "threat assessments" as Counter
Terrorist Group moves towards "real time information exchange"
navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrants (euobserver, link):
"EU navies are to start training the Libyan coastguard
amid concern that the summer could see huge numbers of migrants
try to cross the Mediterranean. Foreign ministers in Brussels
on Monday (23 May) agreed the new task for Sophia, the EU's anti
migrant-smuggling naval operation."
aspects of migration - Council Conclusions (23 May 2016) (pdf) : "Regarding
the Central Mediterranean route, the Council highlights the need
to use the broad range of tools available to manage flows in
cooperation with third countries of origin and transit as part
of an EU regional approach to migration, including via CSDP instruments.
In particular, it highlights the importance of the work to be
undertaken at the request of and in partnership with the Libyan
Government of National Accord on a comprehensive approach to
manage migration, which includes the fight against smugglers
and traffickers, as well as capacity building and training of
Libyan coastguard and Navy as one of the two further supporting
tasks to be implemented by EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. Work
will be carried forward to this end to amend the mandate of EUNAVFOR
MED Operation Sophia as well as the possible setting up of an
increased civilian CSDP presence in Libya, including on border
management assistance, in addition to existing EU funded capacity
European Parliament: MEPs
assess refugee camps in Greece and call for smoother implementation
of EU-Turkey deal (Press release, pdf): "A delegation from
the civil liberties committee visited Greece last week to assess
refugees' situation at the EU's external borders and the implementation
of the EUTurkey deal to manage the influx of migrants and refugees.
The delegation was led by Hungarian S&D member Péter
Niedermüller. Members also met with representatives from
the Greek authorities, international organisations and nongovernmental
According to Frontex, 1.83 million illegal crossings were detected
at the EU's external borders last year. Southern European countries
were responsible for dealing with most of these migrants, but
the sharp increase has proved challenging. The delegation aimed
to see how Greece was coping."
Unfortunately the Press release cites Frontex (in January) stating:
"In all of 2015, there were 1.83 million illegal border
crossings detected at EUs external borders." By
its own admission Frontex figures are inflated by the double-counting
of refugees. UNHCR states: "UNHCRs
latest figures show that some 1,000,573 people had reached
Europe across the Mediterranean, mainly to Greece and Italy,
EU: European Data Protection Supervisor
protection for the digital generation: the countdown to the GDPR
(Press release, pdf): "Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said:
"The GDPR is one of the EU's greatest achievements in recent
years and a document of which it should be proud. However, our
job is not yet complete. We must ensure that the GDPR is fully
and effectively implemented and that we close the package with
equally effective agreements on Regulation 45/2001 and the ePrivacy
Directive. Only then will we be able to ensure that the EU upholds
its promise of effective data protection for the digital age."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (23.5.16): supporting Sudan's post-Valletta
Summit projects; condemnation of Germany's parliamentary voting
for Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria as safe countries; ongoing ramifications
of the EU-Turkey deal; and more.
Europol report on the work of the European Counter Terrorism
A report on the
"state of play" of the European Counter Terrorism Centre,
which started work in January this year. The report highlights
the political background and context and moves on to the activities
of the ECTC: a "continuous" increase of information
on "foreign fighters" being inserted into FP Travellers
and into the Europol Information System (EIS), along with an
increased number of users (MI5 and the FBI are both highlighted
as new users of the EIS); and 15,572 leads stemming from the
EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme between 2015 up to
The report also
discusses: operational support activities (Taskforce Fraternité,
EU Internal Referral Unit (IRU), Joint Liaison Team, secondary
security checks in the migration hotspots in Greece); and "key
See: NOTE from:
Europol to: Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on
Internal Security: Enhancing
Europol's counter terrorism capabilities: European Counter Terrorism
Centre at Europol (8881/16, 13 May 2016, pdf)
and border security top INTERPOL European meeting agenda (INTERPOL press release,
link): "Addressing the border security challenges posed
by an unprecedented number of migrants travelling to Europe is
a key issue for senior law enforcement officials gathered at
the 44th INTERPOL European Regional Conference."
SMUGGLING NETWORKS Joint Europol-INTERPOL Report (pdf) and speeches from
the conference: Opening
address by Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General (pdf) and Closing
speech by Mr Alexander PROKOPCHUK, INTERPOL Executive Committee
Delegate for Europe (pdf)
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee: Report: Police
and radical action needed to tackle police services consistent
failure on diversity .
In a report
published today, Saturday 21 May 2016, the Home Affairs Select
Committee (HASC) says urgent and radical action is
needed to tackle the gross under-representation of black and
minority ethnic people in the police forces of England and Wales,
which police have consistently failed to address
over several decades."
refugee wins appeal against forced return to Turkey (Guardian, link): "Decision
by Greek independent asylum service to overturn deportation order
throws EU-Turkey migration deal into chaos
The EU-Turkey migration deal has been thrown further into chaos
after an independent authority examining appeals claims in Greece
ruled against sending a Syrian refugee back to Turkey, potentially
creating a precedent for thousands of other similar cases. In
a landmark case, the appeals Committee upheld the appeal of an
asylum seeker who had been one of the first Syrians listed for
deportation under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal.
In a document
seen by the Guardian, a three-person appeals tribunal in Lesbos
said Turkey would not give Syrian refugees the rights they were
owed under international treaties and therefore overturned the
applicants deportation order by a verdict of two to one.
The case will now be re-assessed from scratch.
conclusion stated: The committee has judged that the temporary
protection which could be offered by Turkey to the applicant,
as a Syrian citizen, does not offer him rights equivalent to
those required by the Geneva convention."
and see: Migrant
deal at risk as Turkey deemed unsafe by Greek court (ekathimerini.com, link):
committee of judges on Lesvos refused to reject an asylum application
by a Syrian refugee and send him back to Turkey, because it ruled
it unsafe and said that the case should be examined further
meaning the implementation of the deal will face even further
delays as it will take more time to process thousands of applications
of stranded migrants.
could form a precedent and deal a devastating blow to the agreement
signed in late March, as it could put on hold the return of Syrian
refugees to Turkey and, essentially, render the agreement toothless.
The asylum court on Lesvos has so far examined 174 applications
by Syrians, of whom 100 have been granted asylum. The remaining
applicants, who were rejected, have lodged appeals requesting
the re-examination of their cases."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (20.5.16)
Civil Society condemns the hunt for migrants on the continent (pdf):
"African civil society
condemns these hunting policies for migrants that grow everywhere
on the African continent with the support of the European institutions
under the guise of the fight against "irregular" migration.
The current situation in Libya is a sad illustration with anti-immigration
brigade heavily armed, with the support of the European Union,
which tracks day and night the sub-Saharan migrant workers cram
in detention centers instead of effectively combating traffickers
and Libyan smugglers...
The lure of European financial
aid to fight against migration transforms the African political
authorities in real persecutors of their brothers and sisters
who are looking for work to live and feed their families. This
could recall the time of slavery abolished there only two centuries.
The European Union, at the expense of its humanist values, and
shamelessly, in African countries outsources its security migration
African civil society calls
for the African Union commission, the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) and all African heads of state to listen
to the voice of their people and engage resolutely in a real
regional integration process. Only a true African integration
could prevent our countries to always be the instrument of European
policy and will prevent brave young hope of tomorrow's Africa,
being killed in other countries on the continent seeking win
their daily bread."
Signed by: The
West African Observatory on Migrations (WAOM), The Pan African
Network for the Defense of Migrants' Rights (PANiDMR), Caritas
- Migration and Development Network (MADE) Africa, Moroccan
Transnational Network on Migration and Development (RMTMD), Samir
ABI, Visions Solidaires.
Greece: Campaign for Access to Asylum: Open
Letter to the Asylum Service (pdf)
great difficulty in access to the asylum procedure was the reason
why our campaign was founded in 2012. Today, four years later,
not only hasnt this problem been solved but it has greatly
has now reached alarming levels, given that:
- the refugee population is a much-afflicted population (because
of the sufferings from the war and persecutions, the difficult
journey towards our country and also the severe deficiencies
of our country regarding their reception) which is in a state
of great uncertainty.
- a great number of those people belong to particularly vulnerable
groups (40% chlidren, a great number of sick people and people
- the documents of a large number of those people have already
expired and as a result they are in risk of arrest, detention
and deportation, as they are in state of legal uncertainty."
EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council,
20 May 2016: Final
expressed support for Greece's designation of Turkey as a safe
country for return of irregular migrants"
"B" Points Agenda (for discussion, pdf),
(legislative, adopted without discussion) and "A"
(non-legislative, adopted without discussion). See Background
Among the "non-legislative"
items to be adopted without discussion are: the EU-USA data protection
"Umbrella Agreement" on the exchange of personal data
- the Scope (Art 1): covers: "The purpose of this Agreement
is to ensure a high level of protection of personal information
and enhance cooperation between the United States and the European
Union and its Member States, in relation to the prevention, investigation,
detection or prosecution of criminal offenses, including
Scope covers all crimes however, minor.
between the United States of America and the European Union on
the protection of personal information relating to the prevention,
investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offenses (Full-text, pdf) - Draft
Council Decision - Adoption (pdf) - Council
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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