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    20 September 2017
 

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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (18-19.9.17) including: EU development aid in Africa "misused and diverted"

UK: Undercover policing: in open letter, women call on Home Secretary to recognise institutional sexism in the police

Today, 13 women who were deceived into intimate sexual relationships with undercover policeman, over a period spanning nearly 30 years, have written to the Home Secretary to raise their concerns about the progress and recent direction of the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing.

EU: More concerns over the Copyright Directive: Germany questions Council Legal Service on Article 13

The mandatory introduction of automated filters to detect copyright infringements online, as proposed by Article 13 of the EU's Copyright Directive, continues to raise legal concerns. Dubbed the "censorship machine" by the European Digital Rights Intiative, the proposed filters have long been opposd by civil society groups, academics and legal experts, and they were questioned two weeks ago by a group of Member States in a note published by Statewatch. Now the German authorities have submitted their own set of questions on Article 13 to the Council's Legal Service.

SPAIN: €12 million more for Ceuta's border fence to "fulfil its purpose"

The Spanish interior minister, Juan Iganacio Zoido, announced on 12 September that a further €12 million will go to the border fence in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in north Africa bordering Morocco, as the fence does not currently "fulfil its purpose".

UK: Undercover policing: legal wins in Scotland and England

  • Court grants permission for judicial review into Home Office's failure to extend inquiry to spycop activities in Scotland
  • Police give up on attempts to limit human rights case at Investigatory Powers Tribunal
  • Interview with woman deceived into a relationship by Andy Coles; report from European Parliament event

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (13-17.9.17)

Council of the European Union: European Criminal Records System and Third Country Nationals

"The question was asked whether the Commission, in setting out its time-table, had taken account of the fact that the Member States also have to adopt legislation and to set up systems locally in order to allow the ECRIS-TCN system to work properly. It was observed that it would be difficult to distinguish between EU-citizens and TCN. For this reason, inter alia, some delegations recommended it would be good to collect fingerprints for every conviction."

UK: The ABC secrecy trial: 40 years on (Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund, link): Friday 3rd November 2017, Arnolfini, Bristol 7.00 - 9.00pm (Networking & Drinks from 6.00pm)

"This event marks 40 years since the joint arrests of Crispin Aubrey, John Berry and Duncan Campbell. In the early seventies, Crispin Aubrey became a leading figure in the campaign to prevent the government deporting two Americans on national security grounds - former CIA case officer Philip Agee and Time Out journalist Mark Hosenball..."

Speakers: Panel Discussion One : Reflections from the trial and campaign: Chaired by Andrew Kelly, Bristol Festival of Ideas, ABC defendant, John Berry, ABC defence barrister Mike Mansfield QC, Sue Aubrey, wife of ABC defendant, Crispin Aubrey

Panel Discussion Two: Lessons from the trial and legacy today: ABC campaigner and Statewatch Director Tony Bunyan, Sarah Kavanagh, NUJ Senior Campaigns and communications officer and ABC defendant, Duncan Campbell. Click here to register (link)

EU: Massive biometric "smart borders" database may be illegal

A number of MEPs think CJEU opinion on EU-Canada air passenger surveillance scheme makes biometric border control database illegal and are demanding renegotiation

Council Legal Service: "substantial difficulty" for air passenger surveillance schemes in EU and with Australia, Canada and USA, as well as other EU databases\

Longstanding plans for an EU Entry/Exit System (EES) which would store the fingerprints, a facial image and other personal data on all travellers entering the Schengen area are running into serious problems as the implications of a recent court ruling on an EU-Canada air passenger surveillance scheme become clear.

Council of the European Union: Reception Directive & Resettlement Regulation

 Proposal for a Directive laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (LIMITE doc no: 1149417, 115 pages pdf): Including 190 Footnotes with Member State positions. Contains discussion on detention clauses. The Council developing its negotiating position.

 Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014) (pdf) Contains 115 Footnotes with Member State positions.The Council developing its negotiating position.

Privacy International launches international campaign for greater transparency around secretive intelligence sharing activities between governments (link):

"Privacy International, in partnership with 30+ national human rights organisations, has today written to national intelligence oversight bodies in over 40 countries seeking information on the intelligence sharing activities of their governments.

Countries may use secret intelligence sharing arrangements to circumvent international and domestic rules on direct surveillance. These arrangements can also lead to the exchange of information that can facilitate human rights abuses, particularly in countries with poor human rights records or weak rule of law.

National intelligence oversight bodies hold intelligence agencies accountable to the public by exercising scrutiny over the legality, propriety, effectiveness, and efficiency of the intelligence activities of their governments."

See: Briefing (pdf)

UPDATE: Final Press release (pdf)

EU: JHA Council, 14 September, Brussels: documentation including terrorism and migration discussion papers[ [Revised]

"Following recent terrorist attacks in Europe, ministers will discuss priority areas for action on counter-terrorism in the coming months.Ministers will discuss the state of play and next steps regarding migration policy. They are expected to cover several aspects including the response to the migratory flows in the Central Mediterranean, the return of irregular migrants, the continued implementation of the EU-Turkey statement, relocation and the ongoing work on the concept of 'safe third countries'."

See; "B" points agenda for discussion (pdf) and "A" points agenda adopted without discussion (pdf)

EU: Austria and Europol call for crackdown on "under the radar" informal money transfer services

The EU and its Member States should withdraw 500 and 200 euro banknotes from circulation and tightly regulate the informal hawala international money transfer system in order to help fight terrorism, irregular migration and money laundering, according to a note sent by Austria and Europol to the Council of the EU's internal security committee on 8 September.

LIBYA: See: Full text of UN Secretary-General report (pdf):

"The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about abuses and violations against such persons by the Libyan Coastguard during search and rescue operations, which, in some instances, further endanger the lives of people in distress at sea. Intercepted or rescued migrants are rarely provided with life jackets." Also: EU brushes off UN criticism of Libya policy (euobserver, link):

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (10-12.9.17)

CoE: Study on police oversight mechanisms in Council of Europe member states

"The following document sets out to provide an update to the main findings from a comprehensive review of policing oversight across the forty-seven Council of Europe States first set out in September 2015. The update reflects the position of police oversight mechanisms cross the forty-seven States as of 20 February 2017."

New report highlights need to improve data on dead and missing migrants to better inform policy and public awareness (University of Bristol, link):

"University of Bristol Senior Research Fellow, Ann Singleton, who co-edited Fatal Journeys Volume 3: Improving Data on Missing Migrants, said:

“Since 2014, more than 23,000 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded globally by the IOM, although the real number is likely to be significantly higher because many deaths are unrecorded. “Few bodies of missing migrants are formally identified leaving families in limbo, without perhaps ever knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead.

“The focus of this year’s report is how data on missing migrants can be improved, to inform policies that can prevent further deaths, to meet the needs of families and those left behind to learn more about the fate of their relatives, and to improve the chances of identifying bodies.”

See: Fatal Journeys, Volume 3 Part 1: Improving Data on Missing Migrants (pdf)

EU: Refugees: Council next steps

- finance and train Libyan Coast Guard to end arrivals to Italy
- expedite "return" operations from the EU
- create "reception" centres across Africa
- continue actions under the "dodgy" EU-Turkey Statement
- yet another call for "relocations" within the EU
- redefine "safe third countries"

UK: Review highlights discrimination in criminal justice system, but a missed opportunity to examine policing

The publication of the Lammy Review into the treatment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the English and Welsh criminal justice system has demonstrated the significant racial bias that many have long suspected. However, the remit of the review was drawn so narrowly that it was unable to examine the relationship between the police and BAME people - a regrettable missed opportunity according to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, whose director, Richard Garside, commented that: "The starting point of the disproportionate criminalisation and punishment of black and minority ethnic people is their disproportionate rates of arrest by the police."

European Commission reports on Partnership Framework, Relocations, EU-Turkey deal and European Border and Coast Guard

Includes in EU-Turkey deal report: "Additional Hellenic Police officers are needed to better control entry/exit points and for patrolling inside the hotspots. The Greek Reception and Identification Service, in cooperation with EASO, is looking into establishing electronic entry/exit control systems at all hotspots, starting with a pilot project in Moria [Lesvos]."

And: "The Hellenic Police to issue return decisions at the same time as the notification of negative first instance asylum decisions."

Greece: Lesvos: Saturday 9 September: SECOND POLICE RAID TO ARREST REFUGEES: NOW: Giant police operation at Moria's Hotspot to arrest immigrants for deportation (Translation from Lesvos News, link):

"A giant police operation at Hoto Spot in Moria, in order to capture immigrants for whom a rejection, final and irrevocable decision not to issue a political asylum, and a return to Turkey have been in progress since 6:00 am today.

The police drew up a plan and caught the migrants in Moria, because in previous such operations the migrants were uprooted and caused extensive damage.

After the entire encirclement encircled the entire area, HotSpot entered a large police force and police teams with their decisions, tapping the door on the container to proceed with the arrests.

More than 350 police officers are involved in the police operation, while a proactive force in the Hot Spot of Moria is a major force of the Fire Brigade and an ambulance of the EKAB for every eventuality."

FREE THE MORIA 35 (30 July 2017) Lesvos Legal Aid Centre, link) and SEE: Statewatch Observatory for rolling update


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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