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    ISSN 1756-851X
    23 October 2014
 

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Spain/Melilla: "Urine with ebola, fire and stones against the fence", or the most brutal media manipulation possible (Peio M. Aierbe, 16 October 2014): "Today, El Faro de Melilla [newspaper] offered us an example of the media manipulation that we have been complaining about for years. The headline could not have expressed this intention any better: presenting the migrants who want to cross the fence not just as violent, but as a threat to our society. And what could be more effective at the moment, than associating them to ebola?

The newspaper's account of the violent expulsion carried out yesterday by the Guardia Civil consists in showing the Guardia Civil officers as victims, and the migrants as violent and dangerous. Precisely the opposite of what happened, as can be seen from the videos recorded and circulated by Prodein."

EU: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation: Press release: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation (pdf) and Letter to Frontex: Own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2014/MHZ concerning the means through which Frontex ensures respect for fundamental rights in joint return operations (JRO) (pdf)

UK: South London Anti-Fascists present: Blacks Britannica (pdf): "Originally banned from television in 1977, Blacks Britannica exposes the structures & realities of racism in the UK. The hour long film has been rarely seen, so join SLAF for a very special screening. The film will be introduced by Colin Prescod, a contributor to the film and current chair of the Institute of Race Relations. at Goldsmiths University Cinema Thursday 30th October 2014 7pm Drinks and Nibbles included Suggested £2 donation towards SLAF."

Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Demonstration in Stockholm: Thursday (link) and Demonstration in Brussels: Wednesday (link). See also European Parliament: Resolutions on topical subject: Joint police operation "Mos Maiorum" (link) Debate today: afternoon/evening in plenary on Mos Maiorum (formally called "Council statement") but without resolution. You can follow the debate here:(link) An indicative timetable will be displayed from 15:00 on on the same page. See also: EU-wide "Mos Maiorum" police operation (Green/EFA Group, link)

EU: European Parliament: Civil liberties MEPs vote on their preferences for EU data protection watchdog (Press release, pdf):

"Mr Giovanni Buttarelli was voted top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday after three and a half hours of hearings on Monday evening. Top candidate for Assistant Supervisor is Mr Wojciech Wiewiorowski. The appointments still need to be agreed with the Council of Ministers."

EU: Meijers Committee: To the LIBE (Civil Liberties) Committee: Note on the state of negotiations on the proposal for the recast of the Students Directive and Researchers Directive (pdf): "The reports on the implementation of the two Directives pointed out certain inadequacies in the two instruments, mainly concerning the admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students’ access to the labor market, and intra-Union mobility."

EU: Migrants’ tales: ‘I feel for those who were with me. They got asylum in the sea’ (Guardian, link): "Who are the people who die in the Mediterranean on an almost daily basis? And why don’t we care? The Guardian has worked with a team of reporters from five other European newspapers to track a very 21st-century odyssey" and See: Death at sea: Syrian migrants film their perilous voyage to Europe – video (link)

ECHR Judgment: Indiscriminate collective expulsion by the Italian authorities of Afghan migrants, who were then deprived of access to the asylum procedure in Greece (pdf): "The case concerned 32 Afghan nationals, two Sudanese nationals and one Eritrean national, who alleged, in particular that they had entered Italy illegally from Greece and been returned to that country immediately, with the fear of subsequent deportation to their respective countries of origin, where they faced the risk of death, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment." and Judgment (pdf)

EU: Council of the European Union: Foreign fighters: follow-up on the Conclusions of the European Council of 30 August 2014 (LIMITE doc no: 14160-14, pdf) Including: "Invited the relevant working groups to explore the possibilities for sharing API data on internal EU flights and to reflect on the appropriate legal framework for this exchange."

EU: Council of the European Union: EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Effective criminal justice response to the phenomenon of foreign fighters (LIMITE doc no: 14188-14, pdf):

"To what extent the existing measures in your national legislation are compliant with the requirement of UNSCR 2178(2014) to criminalise certain types of behaviour linked to the foreign fighters phenomenon? Do you plan to amend your legislation and what type of measures do you consider to this effect?

How would you assess the adequacy of the Framework Decision on terrorism in the context of the problems posed by foreign fighters to ensure an effective common EU legal framework to address this phenomenon? Which aspects need to be reviewed in this respect? Would it be desirable to have a collective implementation of UNSCR 2178(2014)?"

And see: UN Resolution 2178-14 (pdf)

EU: Operation Mos Maiorum: Interim report: documenting racist controls with mapping software (linksunten.indymedia.org. link): "For the first time we have set up such a mapping-software to visualize and make public racist controls in the EU. It is an experiment which still has a lot of room for improvement. But already now we can envision the potential of such a tool, once it becomes a common media practice for thousands of activists." See: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch Summary News & Web coverage: (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), See also: (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage (pdf), 13.10.14: Media and Web coverage (pdf) and 13.10.14: second batch:: Web-media coverage (pdf) For country reports see: Refugees Welcome (221 reports so far, link)

Occupy London protesters start week long demonstration in Parliament Square (Evebing Standard, link): "Protesters from Occupy London have begun a week long demonstration in Parliament Square. The group have pitched tents and are displaying placards highlighting more action to be taken on a number of issues including the NHS, inequality and poverty." And: Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!! (Ecologist, link) See: Occupy Democracy camp (link)

Also: Westminster Council proposes banning "tents and similar structures" and "noise equipment" in crackdown on political protest (Statewatch database, link) and UN Special Rapporteur calls for a "judge-led public inquiry" into undercover police operations and condemns a number of other police practices (Statewatch database, link)

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 8: Council's explanation is "economical with the truth": Council Presidency says the operation is about the "collection of data on migration flow" when its stated purpose is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes." See: Council response to media coverage and widespread concern in civil society: What is "Mos Maiorum" joint operation? The collection of data on migration flows in EU countries has been launched (Official statement by Council Presidency, pdf)

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"This statement by the Council Presidency is "economical with the truth". The Council presents Joint Operation Mos Maiorum as a statistical exercise to gather data on migration flows when its first aim is quite different as stated in Full-text (p2, pdf) which is to: "apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes."

In the previous operation "Perkunas" 10,459 undocumented migrants were "intercepted", in Aphrodite 5,298 were "apprehended" and in Project FIMATHU (Europol-Austria and Hungary) 7,429 "illegal migrants" were "apprehended". In none of the reports on these three operations was any information given as to what happened to the migrants who were "intercepted" or "apprehended".

Did they ask for asylum, which they had the right to do? How many ended up in detention centres? How many were deported? Were these people afforded their rights or are EU fundamental rights, Treaties and the Charter simply not a consideration when it comes to Council-organised operations?"

Greece: Anti-torture report highlights “totally unacceptable” detention conditions (CoE, link) and Report to the Greek Government on the visit to Greece carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (pdf):

"A new anti-torture report highlights “systemic deficiencies” in Greece’s detention conditions affecting irregular migrants and prisoners. The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) reports today that “the problem of ill-treatment by the police appears to be growing and there is little evidence that allegations of ill-treatment are investigated promptly and thoroughly, leading to some police officers believing they can act with impunity.”

UK: London: Marc Karlin Archive with Open City Docs, supported by University College, London’s Institute of the Americas, presents: RETURN TO NICARAGUA The process of revolution through Marc Karlin's remarkable documentary series: (pdf): "Marc Karlin (1943-1999): On his death in 1999, Marc Karlin was described as Britain’s most significant, unknown film-maker. For three decades, he had been a key figure within Britain's independent film community; he was a founding member of the influential seventies collective, the Berwick Street Film Collective; a leading player in the Independent Filmmakers Association, which played a critical role in opening up television through Channel 4, and a founding member of the group that published the independent film journal, Vertigo, (1993 – 2010)."

USA-NSA (UK-GCHQ): iSpy: How the NSA Accesses Smartphone Data (Der Spiegel, link): "The mini-computers have become personal communication centers, digital assistants and life coaches, and they often know more about their users than most users suspect. For an agency like the NSA, the data storage units are a goldmine, combining in a single device almost all the information that would interest an intelligence agency: social contacts, details about the user's behavior and location, interests (through search terms, for example), photos and sometimes credit card numbers and passwords.... Smartphones, in short, are a wonderful technical innovation, but also a terrific opportunity to spy on people, opening doors that even such a powerful organization as the NSA couldn't look behind until now.... The NSA and its partner agency, Britain's GCHQ, focused with similar intensity on another electronic toy: the BlackBerry."

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 5: Media-Web coverage: update: (17.10.14, pdf)
For reports see:
Refugees Welcome (link) and EU-Wide Police Operation 'Mos Maiorum' - What You Can Do (PICUM, link)

Mos Maiorum », une opération européenne anti-migrants hors normes - Pilotée par la présidence italienne de l’Union européenne, l’opération « Mos Maiorum » vise à appréhender des migrants en situation irrégulière pour collecter des données sur les réseaux de passeurs.(La Croix, link)

Die fragwürdige Jagd auf Flüchtlinge (Zeit Online, link)

Sponti gegen Mos Maiorum (linksunten.indymedia.org. link): "there was a spontaneous demonstration in Vienna. About 50 Teilnehmerinnen gathered from 16h front of St. Stephens, to protest against racist control, especially against the police operation "MOS Maiorum"." [translation] and Spontane Demonstration im Görli gegen Mos Maiorum (link)

Background: Statewatch Analysis: EU: Joint police operations target irregular migrants (pdf) by Chris Jones: "The European Union is aiming to increase and formalise operational cooperation amongst law enforcement authorities. Significant effort is going into organising and carrying out joint police operations targeting irregular migrants."

EU: SMART BORDERS report: Technical Study on Smart Borders: Executive Summary (Summary, pdf) and Full-report (443 pages, 5MB, pdf):

"The “Smart Borders Package” was proposed by the Commission in February 2013. It follows the European Commission (EC) Communication of February 2008 suggesting the establishment of an Entry/Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP). The Smart Borders Package is constituted of three legislative proposals. It aims to improve the management of the external borders of the Schengen Member States (MS), fight against irregular immigration and provide information on overstayers, as well as facilitate border crossings for pre-vetted frequent third country national (TCN) travellers."

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Day 3: Media-Web coverage Day 3: (15.10.14, pdf) and Online:13.10.14: Media and web coverage (pdf) and 14.10.14: Web-media coverage (pdf)

Mos Maiorum’: an unacceptable blitzkrieg on migrants (European Alternatives, link): "The Statewatch website has done a considerable service in leaking a European Council document revealing the plans for a large-scale joint police surveillance of migrants between Monday 13th October and Sunday 26th October, and revealing that such surveillance raids happen every six months with the rotating presidency of the European Union. This latest operation, under the lead of the Italian Presidency, takes the name ‘Mos Maiorum’, referring to the traditional values of the Roman Republic: a reference which is not only a cynical euphemism for what is really a racist surveillance raid on anyone who looks like they might have been born outside the European Union, but also an alarming reference for a country with such a recent history of fascism."

Campaign in Spain: Operación Mos Maiorum La caza europea a los "sin papeles" (.quedalapalabra.com, link) and see: 37 Entidades del Estado Español:ANTE LA REDADA EUROPEA CONTRA PERSONAS MIGRANTES ‘MOS MAIORUM’ PREVISTA DEL 13 AL 26 DE OCTUBRE (pdf)

Campaign in Italy: Migranti: parte la maxi retata etnica e razzista Mos Maiorum (reported in Contropiano.org, link): Unione Sindacale di Base", a grassroots trade union is launching "Operation SOS Freedom of movement and of residence" throughout Italy."

REFUGEES WELCOME (link)

Crowdsourced map helps migrants evade European crackdown: "Mos Maiorum" operation checkpoints tracked online (Aljazeera, link): "As "irregular migrants" find themselves targeted by a European-wide crackdown, some online are helping them circumvent police check points. The operation (link is external), known as "Mos Maiorum", began Monday and will last two weeks. EU officials say the action will fight human trafficking, helping police document smuggling routes. But detractors, who worry the crackdown will lead to racial profiling, are fighting back online. One app (link is external) is crowdsourcing and then mapping checkpoints used by police. On its site, Map Mos Maiorum says it hopes it will make the crackdown's effects "visible to everyone"

EU: Meijers Committee: Letter to Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: A proposal for an EU directive on the identification of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons (pdf): "The vulnerable position of stateless persons is increasingly recognized as one of Europe’s major human rights issues. Over 400,000 stateless persons are believed to be living in the European Union."

JOINT OPERATION: MOS MAIORUM: Media coverage (14.10.14)

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOLLOWS FRONTEX AND DISTANCES ITSELF - AND EUROPOL - FROM COUNCIL'S JOINT OPERATION "MOS MAIORUM: News agency ANSA reports: "EU Commission denies involvement... the EU Commission has clearly stated that "it is a joint police operation, launched by the Italian six-month presidency of the EU Council. The coordinating authority is the Italian interior ministry and the European Commission is not involved in the operation, and nor has community funding been made available." It stressed that Europol is not involved either."

REFUGEES WELCOME (link): "Between October 13th and 26th a joint police operation called "mos maiorum" take place in nearly all European countries to identify, imprison and finally deport illegalized migrants. Thousands of people will be subject to so called "racial profiling" and will be harrased and criminalised upon those criteria. This site tries to document the actions that are part of "mos maiorum" and to make ist effects visible to everyone. Please contribute to document public police checkpoints or identity checks throughout the european union." [emphasis added]

EU ruft zu Großfahndung "Mos Maiorum" 25 Länder suchen illegale Einwanderer [The EU calls for large scale operation "Mos Maiorum" - 25 countries
search for illegal immigrants German TV: Chanel 5, Tagesschau, 13.10.2014 - watch the video]:

"Die Polizei in 25 Schengen-Staaten hat eine koordinierte Fahndung nach illegalen Einwanderern und Schlepperbanden aufgenommen. Im Zuge der Aktion "Mos Maiorum" werden zwei Wochen lang Bahn- und Flughäfen sowie Grenzübergänge intensiv kontrolliert. Flüchtlingsorganisationen kritisieren, Europa schotte sich immer mehr ab."

[Police in 25 Schengen countires has launched a coordinated search for illegal immigrants and traffickers. Under the head of operation "Mos
Maiorum", for two weeks train stations and airports as well as border crossings will be intensively checked. Refugee organisations criticise that Europe is continuing to seal itself off., Statewatch translation]

Sans Papiers Ni Frontières - Contre les frontières et leurs prisons - Opération Mos Maiorum, jour 1: 13 octobre 2014. Les contrôles dans le cadre de l’opération Mos Maiorum ont commencé. (link) See: JOINT OPERATION "MOS MAIORUM" Checks within the framework of operation "Mos Maiorum" have begun [Statewatch translation]

Police launch EU-wide crackdown on migrants (euobserver, link):

" A two-week massive EU-wide border control and police crackdown on irregular migrants was launched on Monday (13 October) by the Italian EU presidency. Thousands of police officers from the 26 countries in the EU’s Schengen border-free zone will be dispatched to border crossings, railway stations, bus depots, and elsewhere in a joint-police operation called Mos Maiorum.

The Schengen zone includes 22 member states as well as Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. But one unnamed Schengen country has refused to participate." [emphasis added]

EU states launch controversial police hunt for irregular migrants (Malta Today, link)

Media and web coverage (12.10.14,pdf) and SECOND batch of web-media coverage (13.10.14, pdf)


Top reports 2014

See: Resources for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing

SECILE Project: Taking stock of EU Counter-terrorism policy and review mechanisms: Summary of Statewatch’s findings for SECILE project (pdf)
-
Catalogue of EU Counter-Terrorism Measures Adopted since 11 September 2001 (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
-
Report on how the EU assesses the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of its counterterrorism laws (pdf) by Ben Hayes & Chris Jones
-
Data Retention in Europe: A Case Study (pdf) by Chris Jones & Ben Hayes :

EU: 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."

Statewatch's 20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch conference speeches

TNI - Statewatch: Counter-terrorism, 'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating civil society

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


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