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    ISSN 1756-851X
    01 November 2014

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EU: "Hot Returns": When the state acts outside the law - Legal Report (pdf) This Report was fostered by the I+D+i IUSMIGRANTE Project (DER 2011-26449): "Images, witnesses and other numerous sources with evidential value accredit the practices that have been coined as “hot returns” in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and the small islands under Spanish sovereignty. In this context, the concept of expulsions or “hot returns” by the law enforcement authorities is being formed, which consists of handing the foreign citizens who have been intercepted by such authorities in the area under Spanish sovereignty over to the Moroccan authorities on a de facto basis without carrying out the legally established procedures or meeting the internationally acknowledged guarantees."

See also: Spain: Abandon Abusive Migration Plan (HRW, link): "The Spanish government should immediately drop its plans to provide a legal basis for summary returns from its enclaves in North Africa, 13 human rights groups said today."

Islamophobia, loyalty and the treason debate (Institute of Race Relations, link) "As the coalition government considers a revival of treason laws, sections of the media are hunting for national traitors and their fellow-travellers." and see: Calendar of racism and resistance (17-30 October 2014): A fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe (IRR, link)

UN Rapporteur: 2nd Report: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (September 2014, pdf): "The present report addresses concerns about the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of multilateral institutions."

EU: AN EXAMPLE OF NEO-COLONIALISM? FRONTEX: Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community Joint Report (AFIC) - 2013 (4MB, pdf) Parts have been censored. Frontex, the EU Border Agency, under the hat of the external role of internal security, extends its role outside the EU. Is this an example of the EU Member States' post-colonial role in Africa?

UK: Tameside TUC's In-depth Report on Blacklisting (link): "OUT today is Tameside TUC's study of blacklisting in the British building trade. This unique 52-page A5 book concludes our research into blacklisting stretching back for over a decade of struggle by a group of Manchester contracting electricians. This book illustrates a special investigation by two officers of Tameside TUC focusing on cover-ups, collaboration, and complicity by major British construction companies affiliated to the now defunct Consulting Association." Copies of 'Boys on the Blacklist' available by postal subscription: £3.00 for one copy (post included). Make cheque payable to 'Tameside TUC' and send to: 46, Kingsland Road, Rochdale, Lancs. OL11 3HQ. Bundles of 5 copies - £14.60p a package (post included). Tel.: 01706 861793. e-mail:

UK: Edited spy policy papers released in Libyan rendition case - Lawyers representing two Libyan victims of rendition criticise edited way documents are to be released (Guardian, link):

"Edited versions of secret documents relating to the conditions under which lawyers’ or journalists’ phones and emails can be intercepted are to be released by the government in a case brought against the intelligence services by two Libyan victims of rendition.

See also: Libyan rendition victims’ case must be heard, Court of Appeal rules (Reprieve, link): "Britain’s Court of Appeal has today ruled that a husband and wife who were rendered to Gaddafi’s prisons, in a long-secret part of Tony Blair’s 2004 ‘deal in the desert,’ are to be allowed their day in court."

UK-GCHQ: Eyes Wide Shut: Secret policy reveals GCHQ can get warrantless access to bulk NSA data (PI, link):

"The “arrangements”, as they are called by Government, also suggest that intercept material received from foreign intelligence agencies is not subject to the already weak safeguards that are applied to communications that are intercepted by the UK's Tempora programme. On the face of the descriptions provided to the claimants, the British intelligence agencies can trawl through foreign intelligence material without meaningful restrictions and can keep such material, which includes both communications content and metadata, for up to two years.

Descriptions of the policies were disclosed to the parties after a secret hearing at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which is currently considering a challenge to GCHQ's surveillance practices that has been brought by human rights organisations including Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. A public hearing of the case was held in July, but these “arrangements" were revealed to the Tribunal in a closed hearing that the claimants were barred from attending. Some details about the policies are now disclosed in order for the claimants to provide comment."

GREECE-ECHR: Viewpoint: Sharifi et al. vs. Italy and Greece case: The Strasbourg Court finds Italy guilty. An appeal from below stops refoulements from the Adriatic sea ports (pdf) by Alessandra Sciurba (Melting Pot): "It amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, the prohibiton of collective refoulements and the right to an effective remedy were violated."

EU: Joint Police Operation: "Mos Maiorum": The EU Held Its Biggest Ever Anti-Immigrant Crackdown (VICE, link):

" Operations of this kind happen twice a year and are growing in size all the time, as the number of migrants in Europe increases. But this was the first time people knew it was going to happen in advance, thanks to some documents from the European Council published by the Statewatch website in July. The documents stated that border guards were ordered to reprimand immigrants and record information relating to ethnicity in a bid to better understand the flow of immigrants into and across Europe. Ultimately, to better oppose it.

The publication of the documents gave migrant solidarity activists time to develop a tool that enabled people to track the operation in real time. A group associated with Berlin-based anti-racism collective Nadir, created Map Mos Maiorum!"

UK-EU: UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation - Refugees and human rights organisations react with anger as minister says saving people encourages others to risk voyage (Guardian, link)

EU: Document sets out EU "concept" for military drone use: A document recently made public by Statewatch sets out how drones could contribute "to joint operations in EU-led military operations and military missions" and sets out "basic guidelines on tasks and the environment in which to use RPAS, characteristics, capabilities and initial views for preparation and training requirements (including potential military support to civilian missions...)." The document was produced in March by the European External Action Service - effectively the EU's foreign office - and is entitled "Concept for the Contribution of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems [RPAS] to EU-led Military Operations"

ECHR-BULGARIA: ECHR freezes all cases against Bulgaria concerning conditions of detention (Press release, pdf) and Statement of facts (pdf): "The European Court of Human Rights has decided to adjourn the examination of all pending applications against Bulgaria in which the applicants complain of poor conditions of detention, as well as all future applications raising the same issue, pending the potential adoption of a pilot judgment in the case.."

UK: Drone permits issued to UK operators increase by 80% - British Airline Pilots’ Association wants tougher rules governing unmanned aircraft, ahead of House of Lords hearing (Guardian, link): "The figures have been released ahead of a warning by mainstream pilot union representatives at a parliamentary hearing on Monday that there should be tougher rules governing larger remote aircraft in the future and enhanced security measures at ground level to protect against control of these aircraft being seized by force or by hacking into computer systems. Figures released by Britain’s aviation regulator reveal that it currently authorises 359 operators using drones weighing under 20kg for work purposes." See: Statewatch and Drone Wars UK: Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK and Statewatch & TNI: Eurodrones Inc (pdf)

EU: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum" (13-26 October 2014): Statewatch Summary of coverage: (24.10.14): Media and Web coverage no 6 (pdf). (20.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 5 (pdf), (17.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 4 (pdf), (15.10.14): Media and Web coverage: no 3 (pdf), 13.10.14: : Media and Web coverage: no 2 (pdf) and 13.10.14:same day Web-media coverage: no 1 (pdf) See also:  "Mos Maiorum": Images and photos of protests (pdf)

Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Statewatch can confirm that the UK is taking part in Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum". This is said to involve the exchange of information by the Border Force but there is no information as yet to the involvement of police action around the country..

The UK took part in Joint Operation PERKUNAS in 2013: Final report on operation PERKUNAS (LIMITE doc no: 16045-13, pdf): "The largest proportion (48,89%) of interceptions was reported by Italy, with 4,800 intercepted irregular migrants. The second (15,36%) and third (7,89%) largest proportions of interceptions were reported by Germany (1,606 intercepted irregular migrants) and the United Kingdom (825 intercepted irregular migrants) respectively."

and in 2012 in Joint Police Operation Aphrodite - final report (LIMITE doc no:6224-13, pdf) Interception of "irregular migrants": "Germany 1,510, United. Kingdom 728, Spain 468, Austria 387, Poland 365 and Switzerland 249 [emphasis added]

Joint Police Operation "Mos Maiorum": Document from Italian Interior Ministry giving instructions on how to treat migrants referred to during the debate in the European Parliament debate this week: Melting Pot (link) and street posters: Narbonne (jpg), Bordeaux (jpg) and Brussels (.jpg) and Web image used extensively: Mos Maiorum Warning (.jpg) Also check: 268 reports: Map: Refugees Welcome (link)

See also: Mos maiorum, a shortsighted and inhuman policy clashing with the humanitarian issues at the foundations of Europe (ASGI, link): "It is a short-sighted and inhumane policy that ignores the right of asylum under the Treaties establishing the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and national constitutions, as well as all other instances of humanitarian who founded Europe."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Met police to pay more than £400,000 to victim of undercover officer - Female activist who was traumatised after discovering that the father of her son was a spy is to receive compensation (Guardian, link): "The Metropolitan police are to pay more than £400,000 to a woman who has been profoundly traumatised after discovering by chance that the father of her son was an undercover police officer. It is the first time the police have made a payment to settle any of the legal claims brought by women who were deceived by undercover officers sent to spy on political and activist groups. The woman has been receiving psychiatric treatment and has contemplated suicide since she read a newspaper in 2012 and found out the true identity of the man who had fathered her son before abandoning her and the child 24 years previously."

SEARCH, RESCUE & RIGHTS: OHCHR Releases Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (Migrants at sea, link): "The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday issued Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders. OHCHR, along with multiple stakeholders, has been working on the principles and guidelines since 2012"

See: OHCHR: Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders (pdf):

"International borders are not zones of exclusion or exception for human rights obligations. States are entitled to exercise jurisdiction at their international borders, but they must do so in light of their human rights obligations. This means that the human rights of all persons at international borders must be respected in the pursuit of border control, law enforcement and other State objectives, regardless of which authorities perform border governance measures and where such measures take place. "

European Parliament: Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": MEPs ask for further details of EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants (pdf): "Concerns about how to reconcile the fundamental rights and non-discrimination of migrants with the need to gather information to dismantle criminal networks profiting from trafficking were the key points raised by MEPs in Wednesday evening’s debate with the Italian Presidency of the Council, represented by Benedetto Della Vedova on the EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants "Mos Maiorum".

Spain/Melilla: "Urine with ebola, fire and stones against the fence", or the most brutal media manipulation possible (Peio M. Aierbe, 16 October 2014): "Today, El Faro de Melilla [newspaper] offered us an example of the media manipulation that we have been complaining about for years. The headline could not have expressed this intention any better: presenting the migrants who want to cross the fence not just as violent, but as a threat to our society. And what could be more effective at the moment, than associating them to ebola?

The newspaper's account of the violent expulsion carried out yesterday by the Guardia Civil consists in showing the Guardia Civil officers as victims, and the migrants as violent and dangerous. Precisely the opposite of what happened, as can be seen from the videos recorded and circulated by Prodein."

EU: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation: Press release: Fundamental rights and forced returns of migrants: Ombudsman opens investigation (pdf) and Letter to Frontex: Own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2014/MHZ concerning the means through which Frontex ensures respect for fundamental rights in joint return operations (JRO) (pdf)

Joint Operation "Mos Maiorum": Demonstration in Stockholm: Thursday (link) and Demonstration in Brussels: Wednesday (link). See also European Parliament: Resolutions on topical subject: Joint police operation "Mos Maiorum" (link) Debate today: afternoon/evening in plenary on Mos Maiorum (formally called "Council statement") but without resolution. You can follow the debate here:(link) An indicative timetable will be displayed from 15:00 on on the same page. See also: EU-wide "Mos Maiorum" police operation (Green/EFA Group, link)

Top reports

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 (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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