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    ISSN 1756-851X
    30 July 2014
 

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GREECE: FGM INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION:DECISION: Decision 419/2014 of the Administrative Court of Appeals, regarding international protection, on the grounds of fear of Female Genital Mutilation (pdf) by Eleni Koutroumpa – Evangelia Markaki Senior Investigators, Greek Ombudsman, Department of Human Rights:

"The Administrative Court of Appeals has temporarily suspended the decision of return of a Kenyan woman along with her three minor children in her homeland, based on the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, "consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity"...

The Administrative Court of Appeals stated that their return to Kenya contains the highly liked possibility of suffering irreparable harm, “consisting in exposure to risk their physical integrity”, thus temporarily suspended the decision of their return. Additionally, the Court ordered the state authorities to refrain from any action which would result in "forced return" of them back to their homeland.

Finally, the Court ordered the "particular asylum seeker's card" to be returned if it had been removed- and to be renewed, if it had been expired."

CoE: CIA RENDITION: The Council of Europe's investigation into illegal transfers and secret detentions in Europe: a chronology (pdf)

AUSTRIA: Riot police with water cannon evict squatters: Police in riot gear are currently attempting to evict a group of long-term squatters from a house in Vienna’s 2nd district (The Local, link) and see: 500,000 euro, 1,700 Cops, Helicopter, Tank, Water Cannon: The Eviction of Pizzeria Anarchia in Vienna (Revolution News, link)

ITALY: Italien plant zweiwöchige Polizeioperation gegen Migranten in der gesamten EU (Italy is planning a two-week, pan-EU police operation against migrants) (Telepolis, link): "From 16 to 23 October at railway stations, motorways and airports "focused search measures" will be carried out. Several thousand police officers will be deployed. The Italian government is preparing a large-scale police operation for the entire territory of the European Union, building upon earlier, similar measures organised by other countries during their EU presidencies. In this operation, police forces will be deployed at transport hubs to search for migrants without a residence permit. Such Joint Police Operations (JPOs) are usually organised by each of the six-month rotating presidencies." (translation) See also: EU joint police operations target irregular migrants (Statewatch database)

Norway: Reintroduction of border control at Norwegian internal border (pdf): "From Thursday 24 July 2014 until Monday 28 July 2014 border control measures will be carried out at the Norwegian internal borders along air-, land - and sea borders, as the situation requires in order to impede subjects/persons with deliberate intention to harm public policy and internal security." See also: Norway Police Requires Passports or ID Cards for Even Norwegian and Schengen Area Citizens - As a result of the measures for terrorist threat, all must have their passport or ID card upon entry to Norway (The Nordic Page, link)

Statewatch FRONTEX Observatory updated, including Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights: Annual Report 2013

CoE: A new Convention for combating domestic violence (link): “On 1 August 2014, a new stage will begin in the protection of human rights in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member States,” the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Anne Brasseur, said today." See: Links page (link) and Full-text Convention (pdf)

USA-NSA: Report by Human Rights Watch and ACLU: With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy (126 pages, link): "this report documents the effects of large-scale electronic surveillance on the practice of journalism and law, professions that enjoy special legal protections because they are integral to the safeguarding of rights and transparency in a democracy.": See also: Top Journalists and Lawyers: NSA Surveillance Threatens Press Freedom and Right to Counsel (The Intercept, link)

Information on nearly 71,000 people held in Europol Information System: The Europol Information System (EIS) contained information on 70,917 "suspected/convicted criminals" as of December 2013, an increase of 47% on 2012 and a near-100% increase since December 2010 when it held information on 35,585 people.

METADATA SURVEILLANCE: From Bits of Freedom, Netherlands: How your innocent Smartphone passes on almost your entire life to the secret service (pdf): "Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think."

EU WHISTLEBLOWING: European Ombudsman: Letter to the European Commission requesting an opinion in the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/1/2014/PMC concerning whistleblowing (pdf) and Ombudsman: Background (link)

USA-NSA-SAUDI ARABIA: The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police (The Intercept, link): "The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters." See document: NSA-SAUDI ARABIA Cooperation (pdf)

And see: Privacy watchdog’s next target: the least-known but biggest aspect of NSA surveillance (Washington Post, link): "An independent privacy watchdog agency announced Wednesday that it will turn its focus to the largest and most complex of U.S. electronic surveillance regimes: signals intelligence collection under Executive Order 12333. That highly technical name masks a constellation of complex surveillance activities carried out for foreign intelligence purposes by the National Security Agency under executive authority. But unlike two other major NSA collection programs that have been in the news lately, EO 12333 surveillance is conducted without court oversight and with comparatively little Congressional review." See document: SIGINT Decision Tree (.jpg)

UK: Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2013 (pdf): "The total number of warrants and authorisations approved across the intelligence services and the MOD in 2013 was 1887." This is said to cover warrants issued to: MI5, MI6 (SIS), GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence under RIPA 2000 and Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) - under the former the use of CHIS (Covert Human Information Sources) are included. And in addition the report says: "The total number of cases where the Consolidate Guidance was applied during 2013 was 418. It is important to understand what this means. It means that there were 418 cases where consideration had to be given as to whether there was a serious risk of an individual being subject to unacceptable conduct either because they were in the detention of a liaison service, or if intelligence was supplied to solicit detention and they were then detained."

After numerous complaints of UK agents being present or knowing of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects around the world the Government published in 2010 the following Guidelines: Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees (pdf) and according to the Commissioner's report this covers:

Cases where a detainee is interviewed by UK personnel whilst under the custody of a third party
Cases where information is sought by HMG from a detainee in the custody of a third party
Cases where information is passed from HMG to a liaison service in relation to a detainee held by a third party
Cases where unsolicited intelligence related to a detainee is received from the third party
Soliciting the detention of an individual by a third party

UPDATED: UK: HOW LOW CAN THE POLICE STOOP?

Police chiefs were aware six years ago that undercover unit 'had lost moral compass' (Guardian, link)
• SDS was regarded as out of control force within a force
• Intelligence 'hoovered up' on campaigning families

Full-text Herne Report: Operation Herne: Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns (pdf)

See: Undercover police spied on grieving families of De Menezes, Groce and Reel - Scotland Yard claims relatives were not the target of surveillance but that 'inappropriate' information about them was gathered (Guardian, link): "Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, Cherry Groce and Ricky Reel....Scotland Yard claimed that the families were not the target of the operations but information on them was gathered and wrongly retained as part of the covert infiltration of political groups." and: Met Police spied on families campaigning for justice (Channel 4 News, link): "Families of those campaigning for justice against the Metropolitan Police – such as the families of Cherry Groce, Ricky Reel and Jean Charles de Menezes – were spied on by undercover officers from the SDS (Special Demonstrations Squad)." See also: See: Operation Herne report website into undercover police activities

UK: Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security Strategy: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013–14: Government response to the First Report of the Committee, Session 2013–14 (pdf). See: First Report: The work of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in 2013-14 (pdf)

See also: Call for Evidence: Committee still pressing government for the next National Security Strategy to be radically different (pdf):

"The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy would welcome written submissions on the next National Security Strategy (NSS), which is expected to be published after the 2015 General Election. The Committee aims to publish a report at the end of the year in time for the Government to respond before the General Election."

CIA-POLAND: European Court of Human Rights: Secret rendition and detention by the CIA in Poland of two men suspected of terrorist acts (Press release, pdf):

"The cases Al Nashiri v. Poland (application no. 28761/11) and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland (no. 7511/13) concerned allegations of torture, ill-treatment and secret detention of two men suspected of terrorist acts. The applicants allege that they were held at a CIA “black site” in Poland. In today’s Chamber judgments, which are not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously: in both cases, that Poland had failed to comply with its obligation under Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights (obligation to furnish all necessary facilities for the effective conduct of an investigation);

in both cases, that there had been:
- a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the Convention, in both its substantive and procedural aspects;
- a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security);
- a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life);
- a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and,
- a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).

See: Judgments: Nashiri (pdf) and Husayn (pdf)

CIA ran secret torture jail in Poland, rules EU Court of Human Rights (euractiv, link)

EU: MANDATORY DATA RETENTION: European Commission sits on the fence: saying it is up to each of the 28 EU states to decide whether to change their national laws in the light of the CJEU judgment declaring the EU Directive on mandatory data retention "unlawful": European Parliament question (link) and Answer (link)

And see: Scrapped EU surveillance law throws doubt on US data agreements (euobserver, link): " A decision by the EU court earlier this year to scrap a controversial data retention directive may have implications for existing international data agreements and EU proposals under review. “We will have a debate on the question of the compatibility of these international agreements with EU law here in the parliament,” German Green Jan Phillip Albrecht said"

See: Green/EFA study: Data Retention after the Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (pdf)

EU Council of the European Union: eu-LISA Annual Activity Report 2013 (pdf)

"At the time of writing (January 2014), the Agency is mandated to provide operational management of SIS II (the largest information system for public security and law enforcement cooperation in Europe), VIS (a system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data relating to applications for short-stay visas to visit, or to transit through, the Schengen area) and Eurodac (a large-scale fingerprint database that assists primarily in the processing of asylum applications). It manages these systems on behalf of its stakeholder, the European public through member states and European institutions."

UK HOW LOW CAN THE POLICE STOOP? Undercover police spied on grieving families of De Menezes, Groce and Reel - Scotland Yard claims relatives were not the target of surveillance but that 'inappropriate' information about them was gathered (Guardian, link):

"Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, Cherry Groce and Ricky Reel....Scotland Yard claimed that the families were not the target of the operations but information on them was gathered and wrongly retained as part of the covert infiltration of political groups."

Met Police spied on families campaigning for justice (Channel 4 News, link): "Families of those campaigning for justice against the Metropolitan Police – such as the families of Cherry Groce, Ricky Reel and Jean Charles de Menezes – were spied on by undercover officers from the SDS (Special Demonstrations Squad)."

See: Operation Herne into undercover police activities

RUSSIA: DATA RETENTION: Putin signs data retention law - Summary: Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a new law requiring internet companies to retain the personal data of their Russian customers, or face being blocked from access in the country.(ZDnet, link). Russia is in good company and as we say in the UK "people in glass houses should not throw stones" - see UK DRIPA below..

UK: Terrorism definition 'should be narrower' (BBC News, link): "In his annual report, David Anderson QC is focusing on crimes which he says should no longer be classed as terrorist offences. Journalists and bloggers should not be convicted under terror laws, he said."

See: UK Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation criticises too-broad definition of terrorism (Press release, pdf) and Full report by David Anderson QC: Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (143 pages, pdf)

EU: Eurodrones: too politically loaded a venture for Europe? (euractiv, link):

"Remotely piloted aircraft equipped for spying and fighting are politically charged across Europe, in part by the civilian toll taken by America’s use of armed drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other conflict areas. The European Parliament wants member states to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in extrajudicial killings and to set up ethical standards for their use. In a non-binding resolution earlier this year, lawmakers also called for greater transparency in the use of EU funding for research and development of drone technology."

See also: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)

UK-EU: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) UK FAILS TO NOTIFY EU: NGO LETTER: Open Letter to Vice-President of the Commission Michel Barnier and Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom (pdf): "We, the undersigned organisations, would like to draw your attention to an infringement of EU law by the United Kingdom through its adoption on July 17 2014 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (“DRIP”)".

UK: DRIPA: David Davis and Tom Watson to sue government over new DRIP data laws (James Lansdale Tweet) and DRIP Bill legal challengeY(DODS Politics Home, link) EU and see: Liberty and MPs David Davis and Tom Watson launch urgent response to Government’s “emergency” surveillance law (Liberty link)

EU: MIGRATION & ASYLUM: European Parliament: For a European Strategy in the field of migration and asylum: Appeal to the European Parliament on occasion of the Italian Presidency Semester (pdf): Barbara Spinelli (MEP, GUE):

"Nowadays, refugees are the product, on an industrial scale, of that great war, immaterial and undeclared as it is, which is the war against the poor, with a stark border separating people who have a right to move from those who are denied that right. But a worldwide war, which sets apart subjects of the law from marginal bodies whose fate is at the mercy of events that are decided elsewhere, cannot turn Europe into a barbed wire fence. The Europe we want must be a place of welcome, of respect and of dignity."

GREECE: LESVOS DETENTION CENTRE: Welcome to the European Union: Visit to Moria First Reception Centre, Moria, nr. Mytilini, Lesvos, Greece 11th May 2014 (pdf): Report by Ann Singleton (University of Bristol), John Moore (University of the West of England) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) - (all Members of the European group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control):

"The site is still under construction, but presents a chilling taste of what is to come and the claustrophobic conditions for migrants to be held there. For people who have committed no criminal offence, nor been charged with any, it is impossible to see why barred windows, prison-style lighting and surveillance towers and barbed wire are necessary on this island camp. One can only wonder at the horror they will feel and experience on being taken to this place after their arduous journeys."


Top reports and services 2004-2014

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

EU: Major report from Statewatch and the Transnational Institute: NeoConOpticon - The EU Security-Industrial Complex by Ben Hayes (pdf): 700,000+ copies downloaded. Executive Summary (pdf) and NeoConOpticon blog

SPECIAL STATEWATCH REPORT: The Shape of Things to Come - the EU Future Group (Version.1.3) by Tony Bunyan: 67,134+ copies downloaded. The report calls for a “meaningful and wide-ranging debate” before it is “too late” for privacy and civil liberties. In the words of the EU Council presidency: "Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations, and create huge opportunities for more effective and productive public security efforts." See also ongoing: Statewatch Observatory: The Stockhom Programme

See: Tony Bunyan's column in the Guardian: View from the EU

Statewatch publication: Border wars and asylum crimes by Frances Webber (38 pages, pdf): "When the pamphlet ‘Crimes of Arrival’ was written, in 1995, the title was a metaphor for the way the British government, in common with other European governments, treated migrants and especially, asylum seekers. Now, a decade on, that title describes a literal truth.... There is a frightening continuity between the treatment of asylum claimants and that of terrorist suspects. In the name of the defence of our way of life and our enlightenment values from attack by terrorists or by poor migrants, that way of life is being destroyed by creeping authoritarianism, and those values – amongst which the most important is the universality of human rights – betrayed." See also: Crimes of arrival: immigrants and asylum-seekers in the new Europe (12 pages, 1995, pdf). To order hard-copy see: Statewatch Publications

EU: Statewatch Report: Arming Big Brother: new research reveals the true costs of Europe's security-industrial complex by Ben Hayes (pdf, April 2006). The European Union is preparing to spend hundreds of million on new research into surveillance and control technologies, according to Arming Big Brother, a new report by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Statewatch. Press release (English) Press release (Spanish, link) Copy of full report (English, pdf) Copy of full report (Spanish, pdf) Hard copies of Arming Big Brother can be obtained from: The Transnational Institute, please send an e-mail to: wilbert@tni.org with your request.

Europe: A collection of "Essays in defence of civil liberties and democracy" was published in 2005

Global surveillance: Global coalition launch report and international surveillance campaign: Statewatch, with partner organisations the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Focus on the Global South, Friends Committee (US) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (Canada) today publishes an in-depth report: "The emergence of a global infrastructure for registration and surveillance" (20 April, 2005).

Statewatch report: Journalism, civil liberties and the war on terrorism (full-report/request printed copy) - Special report by the International Federation of Journalists and Statewatch including an analysis of current policy developments as well as a survey of 20 selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin Amercia, the Middle East and the USA (published World press freedom day, 1 May 2005)

Statewatch "Scoreboard" on EU counter-terrorism plans (pdf) agreed in the wake of the Madrid bombings. Our analysis shows that 27 out of the 57 EU proposals have little or nothing to do with tackling terrorism - they deal with crime in general and surveillance: Analysis in Spanish (March 2004)


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