Statewatch journal
monitoring civil liberties in the European Union

vol 21 no 3


Criticism of UK Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures mounts as government retains power to forcibly relocate suspects by Max Rowlands
In another U-turn on civil liberties, the government is introducing emergency legislation that will allow it to impose on terrorism suspects many of the draconian restrictions they had promised to do away with.

The Arab Spring of “Security made in Germany” by Eric Töpfer
Investigative journalists have revealed a secret mission by the German Federal Police to train border guards in Saudi Arabia. The episode sheds light on the much broader engagement of the German security-industrial complex in arming authoritarian monarchies in the Gulf region.

Dresden “Handygate” scandal and the persecution of anti-fascist activists by Kees Hudig
In February 2011, anti-fascist groups prevented a right-wing demonstration from taking place in Dresden. It has since emerged that prior to the event, police used controversial ‘thought-crime’ legislation to launch an unprecedented operation to intercept all telecommunications data in certain parts of the city.

The EU’s self-interested response to unrest in north Africa: the meaning of treaties and readmission agreements between Italy and north African states by Yasha Maccanico
The Italian government and the EU are attempting to urgently re-establish readmission agreements with new regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with scant regard for the wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers. A ‘state of emergency’ has been declared in Italy which has allowed the government to derogate from certain laws and fast-track the application process.

Transparent social networks: investigations into digital social interactions by Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti
Police forces across Europe are increasingly using social media as an investigative tool to detect criminal activity, a technique that is already commonplace in the USA. The accuracy of this burgeoning practice is unclear, with the risk that innocent people will become embroiled in police investigations.

The Arab Spring and the death toll in the Mediterranean: the true face of Fortress Europe by Marie Martin
Throughout the uprisings in North Africa, the EU has maintained a discourse of double standards: supporting calls for freedom and democracy but greeting resulting population displacement with hostility. This has contributed to a record number of people dying at Europe’s borders during the first seven months of 2011.

* In addition, the bulletin carries a round-up of new books, reports and publications


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