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    30 July 2015
 

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SPAIN: Statewatch Analysis: ECtHR: Spain guilty of not investigating allegations of torture in incommunicado detention by Yasha Maccanico:

On 5 May 2015, the third section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg unanimously found Spain guilty of violating the procedural aspects of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Arratibel Garciandia applied to the ECtHR on 6 September 2013, complaining about the failure by Spain’s internal jurisdiction to effectively investigate allegations that he was subjected to ill-treatment following his arrest at 3 a.m. on 18 January 2011 in his home in Etxarri Aranatz (Navarre). He was placed in incommunicado detention until 22 January and transferred to the Guardia Civil’s general directorate in Madrid, after his fingerprints and a DNA sample were taken in the Pamplona audiencia provincial (province court) in the Navarre region.

And see :Statewatch Analyses: Resources for researchers (from 1999 - ongoing)

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: Council of the European Union: Latest state of play in secret trilogue meetings at summer break: Chapter II, preparation of trilogue (LIMITE doc no 10790-15, pdf): Developing the Council's position: "With a view to preparing the next trilogue, the Presidency invites delegations to discuss Chapter II . Principles (Articles 5-10).... While underlining that the General Approach reached by Council on 15th June 2015 constitutes the basis of the Presidency’s negotiation mandate, and taking into account the position of the European Parliament on Chapter II, the Presidency invites delegations to share their views on the different questions and suggestions listed below (points 7 and 8)." [emphasis added]

and Presidency debriefing on the outcome of the trilogue on 14 July 2015 (LIMITE doc no: 10680-15, pdf): 93 pages with multi-column positions. Summary of discussions including: "discussed in a trilogue on the General Data Protection Regulation the provisions related to Chapter V on transfer of personal data to third countries or international organisations and on the territorial scope of the Regulation." (emphasis added)

EU: DATA PROTECTION REGULATION: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): Opening a new Chapter for Data Protection (Press release, pdf): "Today, as the European Data Protection Supervisor sent his recommendations to the EU co-legislators negotiating the final text of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), he launched a mobile app to compare the latest texts from the Commission, the Parliament and the Council more easily on tablets and smartphones.

Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: “Privacy and data protection matter more than ever to people. For the first time in a generation the EU has an opportunity to modernise, harmonise and simplify the rules on how personal information is handled. These rules must be relevant for the next generation of technologies. As part of my remit to be proactive and constructive, my recommendations aim to support the co-legislators to get a better deal for the individual, to make safeguards more effective in practice and enable them to benefit from technological innovation."

And see: EDPS Opinion on the new Regulation (32 pages, pdf) and Annex to Opinion 3/2015: Comparative table of GDPR texts with EDPS recommendations (520 pages, pdf) Multi-column document.

EU PASSENGER NAME RECORD (PNR): Council of the European Union: Preparation for internal trilogues (LIMITE doc no 11105-15: pdf): Mulri-column document, 507 pages: For full background and documentation see Statewatch Observatory: EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record: 2011: ongoing

UK: Scotland Yard shut down undercover police unit because it broke rules - A secret review found that the Special Demonstration Squad ignored ethical issues and gathered information that had no crime-fighting value (Guardian, link): "The SDS was run by the Met and collected what the review called “high-grade intelligence” on protesters during “deep infiltration operations”. Established in 1968, the unit planted more than 100 undercover officers in more than 460 political groups, until it was wound up in 2008. The undercover officers adopted intricate fake personas and pretended to be campaigners for spells of usually five years. The SDS spies were deployed to gather information about protests organised by campaigns including those of grieving families seeking the truth about police misconduct, environmentalists and anti-racist groups."

Background: Investigation into links between Special Demonstration Squad and Home Office (pdf) and Mark Ellison QC and Allison Morgan’s: Review of possible miscarriages of justice: Impact of Undisclosed Undercover Police Activity on the Safety of Convictions Report (57 pages, pdf) plus: Special Demonstration Squad: Tradecraft Manual (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: Council of the European Union: Adopted text: Proposal for a Council Decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece - General approach (pdf): "Delegations will find attached a document on the above issue as agreed by the JHA Council on 20 July 2015." and see:

Frontex´ Annual Report on the implementation on the EU Regulation 656/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders (pdf)

UK-USA-GCHQ-NSA: Speech by Tony Bunyan Statewatch Director, Cardiff University, 18 June 2015: Surveillance and democracy: the EU and civil liberties (YouTube, link). Tony talks about surveillance with respect to the European Union and the effect the EU has on our civil liberties. He details that what has happen in terms of mass surveillance is nothing new, but what is new is the political and legal framework which allows it to happen. And gives an overview of the relationships between each of the following: 1) Gatherers of data (NSA, GCHQ), 2) Users of data (CIA, FBI), 3) Suppliers of data (Corporations) and 4) Targets of surveillance (Suspected terrorists, protests and dissenters, refugees and asylum seekers, migrant communities, general public)

This talk was given as part of the plenary session entitled State-Media-Citizen Relations in the Surveillance Society. It was part of the 2015 Surveillance and Citizenship Conference held at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

ITALY: Strage di piazza della Loggia, ergastolo per Maggi e Tramonte 41 anni dopo [Life sentences for Maggi and Tramonte, 41 years after the piazza della Loggia massacre]: 41 years after an attack using explosives against a trade union antifascist demonstration in Brescia in which eight people were killed and more than 100 people were injured on 28 May 1974, Carlo Maria Maggi of the far-right Ordine Nuovo group, and Maurizio Tramonte, a former intelligence service source, were convicted and received life sentences.

EU-USA: ECCHR and CCR: Former Detainees and Human Rights Groups Appeal Spain’s Decision to Discontinue Guantánamo Investigation (pdf):"The Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York, together with their cooperating lawyer in Madrid, Gonzalo Boye, have lodged an appeal against the Spanish National Court’s decision to halt the long-running investigation into torture at the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo."

UK: Independent Review into Deaths and Serious Incidents in Custody must be effective and lead to real change (INQUEST, link): "Responding to the announcement, Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST, said: “For the review to be effective bereaved families, their lawyers and INQUEST will need to play an integral role in the review, and the Reviewer will need to take full account of their views and experiences. It must also address why so many previous recommendations from reviews, inquiries and inquests have not been acted upon. It is too early to tell if this is more about a public relations exercise than a real attempt to bring about effective systemic change and the necessary accountability of police officers."

EU: SURVEILLANCE: European Parliament: Amendments 1-125 to Draft motion (pdf) and Draft Motion for a Resolution: On the Follow up to the European Parliament Resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens: Claude Moraes (pdf)

See Statewatch Observatory (June 2013 - ongoing): EU-UK-GCHQ-USA-NSA: Data surveillance

EU: MED-CRISIS: COMPULSORY FINGER PRINTING OF MIGRANTS including: "fingerprinting [with] the use of a proportionate degree of coercion" including on "vulnerable persons, such as minors or pregnant women" AGREED WITHOUT DISCUSSION at: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 20 July 2015, Brussels:

Not released until 21.7.15: "A" Points agenda: Non-legislative activities - Implementation of the Eurodac Regulation as regards the obligation to take fingerprints 11013/15 ASIM 60 EURODAC 8 (adopted without discussion, pdf)

See: Implementation of the Eurodac Regulation as regards the obligation to take fingerprints (EU doc no: 11013-15, pdf) agreed at the Council::

"On 16 June 2015, the Commission held an ad-hoc technical meeting with Member States and Associated Countries. The main focus of the meeting was to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges Member States face when taking fingerprints and to agree on a common best practice approach to taking fingerprints in circumstances where the migrant refuses to cooperate. At that meeting, participating Member States reiterated their different practices when fingerprinting asylum seekers and irregular migrants and talked about different ways to deal with non-cooperation and damaged fingertips. The meeting concluded with the unanimous agreement of all Member States present that the best practices put forward in the above Commission document should be followed...

All delegations welcomed the [Commission] document, which, based on existing EU law, provides useful guidance to facilitate the systematic taking of fingerprints in full respect of fundamental rights and more specifically of the right to data protection... Coreper is therefore requested to recommend that the Council, at its meeting on 20 July 2015, invite the Member States to follow the mentioned 10-step approach." [emphasis added]

There is no reference to the "fingerprinting [with] the use of a proportionate degree of coercion" on "vulnerable persons, such as minors or pregnant women" in the Commission proposal (below)

See: European Commission: Staff Working Document “on Implementation of the Eurodac Regulation as regards the obligation to take fingerprints”(pdf)

See: Fingerprinting by force: secret discussions on "systematic identification" of migrants and asylum seekers - Including "fingerprinting [with] the use of a proportionate degree of coercion" on "vulnerable persons, such as minors or pregnant women" (Statewatch) and Official reports on EU databases show massive increases in "discreet surveillance" and asylum seeker fingerprinting (Statewatch)

UPDATED 21-7-15: EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 20 July 2015, Brussels: Asylum, Agreements on relocation, resettlement and safe countries of origin: Final press release (pdf) - Background Note (pdf) The "non-legislative": Agenda (pdf) is sole concerned with::

Resettling 20 000 displaced persons from outside the EU in clear need of international protection
Relocating from Greece and Italy 40 000 persons in clear need of international protection
Provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece
Designation of certain third countries as safe countries of origin

See: Statewatch: Migration crisis: EU discussing common list of "safe countries of origin" and resettlement programmes Documents under discussion:

See also Working Documents from the European Parliament: Developing safe and lawful routes for asylum seekers and refugees into the EU, including the Union resettlement policy and corresponding integration policies (INI report on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration) (pdf) and On Article 80 TFEU – Solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including search and rescue obligations (INI report on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration) (pdf)

EU: "FREE MOVEMENT OF [LEA] DATA": Council of the European Union developing its negotiating position on the: Proposed Directive on the exchange of personal data between law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the EU:

- Proposal for a Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (LIMITE doc no: 10335-15, pdf) 149 pages with 629 Member State position/amendments: "All changes made to the original Commission proposal are underlined text, or, where text has been deleted, indicated by (…). Where existing text has been moved, this text is indicated in italics. The most recent changes are marked in bold underlining."

- Chapters I, II and V (LIMITE doc no: 10133-15, 63 pages, pdf) Chapter 1: General, Chapter II: Principles and Chapter V: Transferring of personal data to third countries or international organisations. With 219 very detailed Member State positions/amendments including:

"DE, supported by FI, wanted it to be possible to transfer data to private bodies/entities, for cybercrime this was important. NL, SE and SI agreed with DE on the need for a solution on transfer to private parties in third countries...."

- Discussion on questions suggested by the Presidency (LIMITE doc no: 10208-15, pdf)

See Statewatch Observatory: Observatory on data protection and law enforcement agencies - the protection of personal data in police and judicial matters (2005-2008) and new proposals 2011 ongoing with full-text documentation on all the secret discussions in the Council - Last updated 19 July 2015

UK: Public order broadcasting: ‘The Met’ and the press (IRR News Service, link): "Embedded journalism and police power: This programme shows how far the gains of the landmark 1999 Macpherson report have been rolled back. The media now considers racism something to be consigned to Britain’s past; it has been ‘dealt with’.[7] As community anger continues – in case after case – the media, faced with interpreting this dissent, proves incapable of scrutinising the actions that cause it. Left with effect without cause, it has turned to the same institutions that generate anger to fill the gap in the narrative."

FRANCE: Report on detention centres for 2014 - Increased use of detention, including of children and EU nationals: The fifth report on French detention centres, published jointly by the associations ASSFAM, Forum Réfugiés - Cosi, France terre d'asile, La Cimade and Ordre de Malta France, provides a wealth of official data, statistics and critical analysis concerning detention centres and places of detention for migrants on the French mainland and overseas territories for 2014.... [and] a practice initially introduced to target third-country nationals was later extended to Romanians and Bulgarians, and is now being used to deal with citizens of several EU member states..

UK: Universities will be allowed to host extremist speakers – within limits: External speakers at campuses must share platform with opponents under compromise on government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy (Guardian, link) and see new: Prevent Duty Guidance:for further education institutions in England and Wales (pdf)

EU: MED-CRISIS: European Commission's positions: "safe countries of origin", "Hotspot pre-removal centres" & Frontex as a "removal Agency

- Information note on “safe countries of origin” (18 pages, pdf): Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex comments:

"The CJEU ruled back in 2006 that the Council could not give itself special power to adopt a common list of supposed safe countries of origin, but had to follow the full EU legislative process. When EU law on asylum procedure was revised in 2013, the power to adopt such a common list was deliberately left out. But the Council now plans to draw up a de facto common list, with no democratic accountability whatsoever, in clear contempt for the rule of law."

- Explanatory note on the “Hotspot” approach (pdf): "structured border zones" are now referred to as "first reception facilities".or "pre-removal centres"

- Support to be provided by Frontex to frontline Member States on the return of irregular migrants (pdf) emphasises Frontex's role as a "returns" Agency rather that a Border Agency: "The Commission has announced its intention to propose to amend the Frontex Regulation to strengthen the role of Frontex, notably so that it can initiate return missions." [emphasis added]

- Letter from Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS to Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (pdf):

"The aim of the "Hotspot" approach is to provide comprehensive and targeted support by the EU Agencies to frontline Member States which are faced with disproportionate migratory pressures at the external borders.... Frontex will provide prompt support for the identification of irregular migrants, the acquisition of travel document for their return, as well as carrying out return operations to bring them back to their home countries... . establishment of a common EU list of "safe countries of origin" [emphasis added]

See below documents on the Council's positions

EU: MED-CRISIS: Council of the European Union: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 20 July 2015: Background Note (pdf) This will be a Mixed Committee (with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland attending) meeting discussing: "Home affairs ministers will discuss the implementation package of the European Agenda on Migration as regards the resettlement and relocation of 60 000 persons in clear need of protection in the member states. Ministers are also expected to adopt conclusions on the designation of certain third countries as safe countries of origin within the meaning of the Asylum Procedures directive." Statement from Informal JHA meeting on 9 July (pdf)

See: Statewatch: Migration crisis: EU discussing common list of "safe countries of origin" and resettlement programmes Documents under discussion:

Draft Conclusions of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council on resettling through multilateral and national schemes 20 000 displaced persons in clear need of international protection (LIMITE doc no: 10595/1/15, pdf) - Draft Resolution of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council on relocating from Greece and Italy 40 000 persons in clear need of international protection (LIMITE doc no: 10849/15, pdf) - Draft Council Conclusions on safe countries of origin (LIMITE doc no: 10687/15, pdf)


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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