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statement of solidarity: Black lives matter
As an organisation that has sought
to report on, analyse and expose state and street racism for
almost 30 years, we wish to add our voice to the chorus of anger
and disgust at the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis,
This is the latest in a long
line of brutal police killings and nobody should be surprised
that it has provoked such widespread anger. It is an atrocity
in itself and representative of a social order that systematically
excludes, demeans and denigrates people because of the colour
of their skin.
We express our full support for
all those protesting against the ongoing blight of institutional
racism and structural discrimination in the USA, the UK and elsewhere.
not happy with UK's 'action plan' to fix unlawful use of Schengen
The European Commission has condemned
a UK action plan to remedy its mismanagement and misuse of the
Schengen Information System as "not adequate... mainly because
the implementation timelines of at least 10 of the recommendations
are very lengthy and cannot be considered acceptable."
more transit zones, now asylum seekers will have to apply abroad
(Hungarian Spectrum, link):
"...from here on, those
seeking asylum from the Hungarian government will have to present
their requests at one of the Hungarian diplomatic missions abroad."
analysis: reinforcement of Frontex runs into legal problems
An internal Frontex report published
today by Statewatch highlights a series of issues in implementing
the agencys new legislation, including uncertain legal
terminology and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right, old racism the battlefield of Covid-19 (IRR
News Service, link):
"As Public Health England
conducts its controversial rapid review into Covid-19 disparities,
lurking in the background is a new school of race realists
whose retrogressive biological arguments must be tackled head-on.(...)
Whether we be community activists
or health care professionals, NHS managers or trades unionists,
we need to harness that capacity for change to ensure that investigation
into Covid-19 disparities does not compromise with the race realists
and explicitly addresses the role of racism in the course of
the pandemic. If it does this, it will be likely to expose the
extent to which racism today is the hidden public health crisis."
biometric mass surveillance! (EDRi, link):
"Across Europe, highly
intrusive and rights-violating facial recognition and biometric
processing technologies are quietly becoming ubiquitous in our
public spaces. As the European Commission consults the public
on what to do, EDRi calls on the Commission and EU Member States
to ensure that such technologies are comprehensively banned in
both law and practice."
Syrians deported to Turkey through EU fund for refugees
At the end of April the European
Commission slipped out the 'Fourth Annual Report on the Facility
for Refugees in Turkey', which summarises how the 6 billion
committed by the EU and the member states to projects in Turkey,
as part of the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal, has been used. Amongst
other things, the funds have paid for the deportation of 369
Syrians from the EU to Turkey.
the virus: all 44 prosecutions under Coronavirus Act unlawful;
"postcode lottery" for fines
New powers given to UK police
forces as part of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic
are being unlawfully and unevenly applied.
will mean checks on goods crossing Irish Sea, government admits
- Ministers letter confirms border control posts at ports
of Belfast, Warrenpoint and Larne (Guardian, link):
"The government has privately
conceded there will be post-Brexit checks on goods crossing the
Irish Sea, months after Boris Johnson insisted there would be
no such trade barriers.
In a letter to the executive
office in Stormont the government confirmed there would be border
control posts in three ports, Belfast, Warrenpoint and Larne.
Declan Kearney, one of the
two junior ministers in the executive office, the regional equivalent
of the Cabinet Office in London, confirmed the details at a select
committee session in Belfast on Wednesday."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.4-11.5.20) including:
- Council considers action
on "non-removable" irregular migrants
- Analysis: Rights denied during
Greek asylum procedure suspension
- Refugees and European human
rights law: Expelled from Humanity
- Analysis: As the fiction
of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states
use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe
- Leaving people behind - Proposals
for the reorganisation of the Common European Asylum System
considers action on "non-removable" irregular migrants
The Croatian Presidency of the
Council has raised the prospect of EU measures to deal with "non-removable"
irregular migrants - people who for a variety of reasons "end
up in a situation of prolonged illegal stay, which can last for
a number of years."
briefing note on Migrant rescues in the Mediterranean (UNHCR, link):
"We are deeply concerned
about recent reports of failure to assist and coordinated pushbacks
of migrant boats in the central Mediterranean, which continues
to be one of the deadliest migration routes in the world. Reports
that Maltese authorities requested commercial ships to push boats
with migrants in distress back to the high seas are of particular
to blame hard Brexit on COVID-19, warns EU trade chief (euractiv, link):
"The United Kingdom is
preparing to walk away from trade talks with the EU and blame
the impasse on the coronavirus pandemic, EU Trade Commissioner
Phil Hogan said on Thursday (7 May)."
EU: Mejiers Committee report:
on steps to take towards the improvement of the transparency
of Council decision making during the upcoming EU Presidency
of the Federal Republic of Germany (pdf): Report calls
"1. Continue the experiment
with wider proactive disclosure of legislative documents
initiated by the 2019 Finnish Presidency
2. Lisbonise" Regulation 1049/2001
3. Finalise the one-stop shop legislative observatory
4. Further develop the Councils standing practice on the
proactive publication of contacts with lobbyists
5. Promote greater coherence of drafting, registration, and
disclosure of Council documents
6. Prepare the internal debate in the Council on the legal
definition of a document adapted to new modes
Statewatch Analysis: Mediterranean:
As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble,
EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves
Events in the last fortnight
provide further confirmation of the dishonesty and opportunism
with which EU immigration policy is being advanced at both the
national and EU levels, raising the need to pay close attention
to state efforts to use a public health emergency to assert pre-existing
strategies to subordinate human rights and the rule of law to
strategic policy goals.
Pushbacks from Centres on the Greek Mainland
In response to the recent spike
in pushbacks from Greece to Turkey, the Border Violence Monitoring
Network, with members Mobile Info Team and Wave Thessaloniki
, are releasing first hand testimony and photographic evidence
indicating the existence of violent collective expulsions. In
the space of six weeks, the teams received reports of 194 people
removed and pushed back into Turkey from the refugee camp in
Diavata and the Drama Paranesti Pre-removal Detention Centre.
Refugees and European
human rights law: Expelled
from Humanity (Verfassungsblog,
"The decision of the
European Court of Human Rights in M.N. and Others v. Belgium
will undoubtedly further propel the debate on the scope of extraterritorial
state jurisdiction. More importantly, however, it reveals the
necessity of addressing the systemic exclusion of refugees from
the international legal order."
Project: EU finances technology for undercover investigations (link):
"Police forces from 34
countries have been investigating criminal networks in South
Eastern Europe since 2017, money comes from the Internal Security
Fund of the European Union. In addition to all kinds of espionage
and wiretapping technology, they also pay informers."
financial complicity in Libyan migrant abuses (GLAN, link):
"The EU is financially
supporting Libyan and Italian authorities, who are responsible
for grave violations of migrant rights, with some 90 million
member states call for mandatory relocation in revamped asylum
Seven EU member states are in
favour of a mandatory relocation procedure as part of a revamped
'Common European Asylum System', according to two recent documents
obtained by Statewatch - the first, a letter to the European
Commission from the Italian, Spanish, French and German governments
and the second, a 'non-paper' drafted by Cyprus, Greece, Italy,
Spain and Malta.
Lockdown Restrictions Clarification or Confusion? (Blackstone Chambers, link);
"At 11am today, new Regulations
came into force that amend the lockdown law in England:
Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment)
Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/447).
These Amending Regulations
make various changes to SI. 2020/350, the law giving effect to
the lockdown in England. Some of the amendments are of a technical
nature and seek to clarify ambiguity in the wording of the Regulations
(for example, Amending Regulation 2(5)(a)).
However, without much fanfare
and with no Parliamentary scrutiny, Amending Regulation 2(4)(a)
has introduced a potentially significant change to Regulation
6, which now reads:
(1) During the emergency period,
no person may leave or be outside of the place where they
are living without reasonable excuse
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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