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News digest: 29 November 2012

Albania convicts former spy chief of murder (Balkan Insight): "A Tirana court has convicted a fugitive former intelligence chief of the torture and disappearance of a suspect, part of an alleged plot to kill late Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov in 1995"

Bulgarian investigation's effectiveness to be examined by ECHR (New Europe): "The case concerns the rape of a 14 year old girl who complained about the ineffectiveness of the investigation carried out into the rape of which she was the victim. In particular, relying on articles 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicant alleged that she had no effective remedy by which to protect her rights." See: Judgment (pdf, only available in French)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Four prison guards accused of theft, abuse of office (Prague Daily Monitor): "Four members of the Czech Prison Service, detained in a raid by the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS) in Ostrava's Hermanice prison, have been accused of theft, GIBS spokeswoman Radka Sandorova told CTK yesterday without elaborating"

CZECH REPUBLIC: More than 100 protest for release of Czechs arrested in Greece (Prague Daily Monitor): "Some 150 people attended a demonstration in support of two Czechs, Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta, detained in Greece over alleged spying outside the Greek embassy yesterday"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Poll: Czechs consider NATO membership more important than EU (Prague Daily Monitor): "More and more Czechs consider the Czech Republic's membership of NATO more important than being a member of the European Union (EU) and 30 percent share this view according to a STEM poll that was released to CTK yesterday"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague police ex-chief faces new allegations (Prague Daily Monitor): "Vladimir Kotrous, former head of the Prague police, accused of corruption, is suspected in another case, public Czech Television (CT) said yesterday, adding that detectives are investigating the purchase of knives for the municipal police for six million crowns"

East European war on drugs fails (Inter Press Service): "When the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which advocates an end to what it says has been a failed ‘war on drugs’, held its latest working meeting in Warsaw last month, the choice of venue was apt. Eastern Europe, with the notable exception of the Czech Republic where possession of some drugs was decriminalised in 2010, has some of Europe’s strictest drugs legislation. It also has some of the world’s worst drugs-related problems"

EU to complete UAV air traffic roadmap soon (Defense News): "A European Union roadmap setting out what needs to be done to enable remotely piloted aircraft systems to fly in the same airspace as general air traffic by 2016 is due out by the end of this year"

EU: How Europe courted Israel's arms industry on eve of Gaza attack (New Europe): "Haneen was 10-months-old; Omar 11 months; Ibrahim one year. For the offence of being reared in Gaza, these infants were killed with the aid of Israel's "precision-guided" missiles. A few days before their deaths, the European Commission sponsored the "second international homeland security conference" in Tel Aviv. More of a bazaar than a talking shop, the event featured exhibits by Israel's top weapons companies"

EU-IRELAND: European court shoots down TD's challenge to legality of European bailout fund (Independent.ie): "The EU's permanent bailout fund is lawful, the European Court of Justice has ruled, shooting down a challenge by TD Thomas Pringle." See: Judgment of the Court

FRANCE: Battle lines drawn over new airport for Nantes (BBC News): "In the fields and woods of southern Brittany, protesters are waging a protracted, dirty and occasionally violent campaign to halt France's latest "grand projet" - a new airport for the west of the country." See also: Interview with a ZAD resister (Schnews): "As the cops close in, SchNEWS talks to a ZAD occupier about building resistance, burning barricades, and fighting for the countryside 'til the bitter end"

GERMANY: Neo-Nazi fire attack still smolders 20 years on (Deutsche Welle): "Right-wing extremists in northern Germany murdered three Turks in a fire attack 20 years ago. The perpetrators were found guilty. Yet Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele thinks the state hasn’t done enough"

GREECE: Golden Dawn MPs praise junta, threaten violence at party meetings (Ekathimerini): "Far-right Golden Dawn has caused fresh controversy after a gathering of its supporters on Crete on Sunday saw one of the party’s MPs unfurl the flag of the1967-74 military dictatorship and another threaten to kill anti-fascist protesters." See also: Far-right MP in hot water over threats and Police ask Cretan prosecutors to look into Golden Dawn MP's actions (Ekathimerini)

GREECE: Greek Jews strategise on how to combat Golden Dawn's anti-Semitic streak (Greek Reporter)

GREECE: Immigrants riot in Greek detention protest (Greek Reporter): "As Greece resumed its round up of people suspected of being unlawful immigrants, some 400 who were already in detention in a center in Komotini in northeastern Greece took their mattresses out and set them on fire to protest the conditions in which they were being held. There are about 550 immigrants in the facility." See also: Migrants set fire to Greek detention centre (EUobserver)

GREECE: Prosecutor to probe claims of police violence (Ekathimerini): "The head the Athens prosecutor’s office on Monday ordered an investigation into claims published in Sunday’s Ethnos according to which police tortured immigrants"

GREECE: ROAR presents 'Utopia on the Horizon' (ROAR Magazine): "A documentary on the Greek debt crisis and anti-austerity movement, dedicated to those who chose to struggle." Also in Spanish and Greek.

Greeks protest racist attacks on immigrants (Greek Reporter): "Hundreds of Greeks joined a demonstration called by Leftist groups on Nov. 24 to protest a rise in racist attacks on migrants, some attributed to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that is now in Parliament"

Libya drone plans: protection or peeve? (Magharebia): "Though some see them as an unnecessary nuisance, many analysts admit that Libya drones play a crucial role in fending off security dangers"

MALTA: Denial of bail did not breach man’s rights (Times of Malta): "A court’s refusal to grant a murder suspect bail did not violate his fundamental human rights because there was a great risk of contamination of evidence, the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday"

MONTENEGRO: Konik refugees move into containers (Balkan Insight): "Refugees from Kosovo residing in Montenegro's capital, whose barracks were burnt down in July's fire, have been re-housed in more than 200 containers, until permanent homes for them are built"

NETHERLANDS: Inquiry into fatal police shooting of 17-year old at railway station (The Amsterdam Herald): "An investigation has begun into why police shot dead an unarmed 17-year-old youth on a railway station platform. Rishwa Chandrikasing died after being shot by a police marksman at Hollands Spoor station in The Hague on Saturday morning." See also: Youth shot dead by police at The Hague train station was unarmed (Dutch News)

NETHERLANDS: Justice ministry needs to be less repressive, say Labour MPs (Dutch News)

Norway police apologise for Oslo Jewish WWII deportations (The Foreigner): "532 Jews were taken to their deaths to Stettin and Auschwitz in November 1942. Only nine returned. In a historic move, Norwegian police issue a formal apology for their role exactly 70 years ago, Monday"

Romanian NGO issues blacklist of unfit politicians (Balkan Insight): "Report names politicians running in next month's parliamentary elections who once worked for the secret police, held senior positions in the former ruling Communist Party or have convictions for corruption"

Sweden Democrats send corpse pics to student (The Local): "A 15-year-old boy mailed the Sweden Democrats seeking the party's view on Islam for a school project and received a link to a website showing close up photos of mutilated, decapitated and burned bodies"

UK: Grayling ponders legal aid ban over prisoner votes (Law Society Gazette): "Prisoners may be refused legal aid to sue the government if parliament decides to defy the European Court of Human Rights over voting rights, the justice secretary said today"

UK: Human Rights Committee concerned new National Crime Agency will be exempt from FOI (UK Freedom of Information Blog): "The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published a Report on the Crime and Courts Bill which will be considered at Report stage in the House of Lords from Tuesday 27 November. In its Report the Committee expresses concern that the new National Crime Agency to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act." See: Joint Committee on Human Rights: Legislative Scrutiny: Crime and Courts Bill (pdf)

UK: IPCC 'will compel officers to attend interviews' (Police Oracle): "Senior Fed officials have voiced alarm at government plans to compel officers to attend face-to-face interviews with the IPCC in the wake of the Hillsborough Investigation"

UK: Judge considers his verdict in women's legal action over undercover officers (The Guardian): "Judge is considering whether the case of the women who say they were duped into forming long-lasting sexual relationships with undercover officers should be heard in High Court." See also: Former spy Mark Kennedy sues police for 'failing to stop him falling in love' (The Guardian): "Mark Kennedy, who infiltrated environmental movement until his cover was blown, demands up to £100,000 for 'personal injury'"

UK: Met's £3.5bn shopping list: Force under fire for wasting money on supplies everything from weapons to sandwiches (Mail Online): "The full scale of spending on private contractors by the UK’s biggest police force is laid bare today as the nation’s most senior officer is summoned by MPs to account for millions of pounds in wasted public money. A leaked list seen by The Mail on Sunday shows the Metropolitan Police has signed deals worth £3.5 billion with more than 300 companies, to supply everything from high-tech weaponry to sandwiches"

UK: UKBA attacked over 'inaccurate' data given to MPs (BBC News): "UK Border Agency officials (UKBA) have been accused of supplying inaccurate information to Parliament about the backlog of asylum cases." See: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: An inspection of the UK Border Agency's handling of legacy asylum and migration cases, March-July 2012 (pdf)

UK-KENYA: 'If we are going to sin, we must sin quietly' (The Justice Gap): "The degree of British Government complicity in atrocities in Kenya during its Mau Mau rebellion against colonial rule only came to light in the spring of 2011, writes Brian Williams – following the revelations that files likely to cause ‘embarrassment’ to Her Majesty’s Government had been withdrawn from Kenya prior to independence and deposited at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire"

UN accused of planning to grab control of the internet in December (Infosecurity): "In just over a week’s time (3 December) the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) will begin in Dubai; and it stands accused of planning a clandestine UN takeover of the internet"

US-EU counterfeit crackdown seizes 132 websites (EUbusiness): "US and European authorities said Monday they seized 132 websites in a transatlantic law enforcement crackdown on online sellers of counterfeit merchandise. The seizure was the latest in a string of efforts by US officials to shut down online forgers, but the first joint effort with EU officials"

USA: Obama 'drone-warfare rulebook' condemned by human rights groups (The Guardian): "President Barack Obama's administration is in the process of drawing up a formal rulebook that will set out the circumstances in which targeted assassination by unmanned drones is justified, according to reports"

USA: Pentagon: A human will always decide when a robot kills you (Wired): "The Pentagon wants to make perfectly clear that every time one of its flying robots releases its lethal payload, it’s the result of a decision made by an accountable human being in a lawful chain of command. Human rights groups and nervous citizens fear that technological advances in autonomy will slowly lead to the day when robots make that critical decision for themselves. But according to a new policy directive issued by a top Pentagon official, there shall be no SkyNet, thank you very much"

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