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News digest: 3 October 2012

Bulgaria prosecutes rapper Misho Shamara over flag (BBC News): "A Bulgarian rapper is being prosecuted for allegedly offending symbols of the state. The singer could face up to two years in jail if found guilty of ridiculing the white, green and red Bulgarian flag"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Far-right DSSS may enter regional assembly next month (Prague Daily Monitor): "The ultra-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS), successor to the Workers' Party that was banned as extremist and linked to neo-Nazis in 2010, has a chance to enter the Usti regional assembly in the upcoming elections, a fresh public opinion poll has shown"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Far-right radicals clash in Kralupy (Prague Daily Monitor): "A march that Czech radical nationalists held on the St Wenceslas holiday in Kralupy Friday resulted in a clash between them and their opponents"

DENMARK: Syrian asylum seekers protest outside Swedish Embassy (The Copenhagen Post): "Syrian asylum seekers in Denmark want the government to follow Sweden's lead and grant them three years residency due to the ongoing civil war"

EU urges Serbia to improve witness protection (Balkan Insight): "The EU has urged Serbia to transfer control of the witness protection unit from the police to the Ministry of Justice, as the witnesses are often threatened by those responsible for their safety"

EU: Electronic identification schemes should be governed by common data security requirements, EU privacy body says (Out-Law.com): "Third party organisations tasked with certifying that systems individuals use for inputting personally identifying information are genuine should have to abide by a "common set of security requirements," an EU privacy body has said." See: Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on trust and confidence in electronic transactions in the internal market (pdf)

EU: Southern storm hails the start of the European Fall (ROAR): "With storm clouds forming over Athens, Madrid and Lisbon, one thing is now clear: a new season of crisis and protest has begun. This time it’s serious"

German police monitors Skype, GoogleMail and Facebook chat (Annalist): "The German ministry for home affairs and thus the German police clearly state that they are monitoring Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat if deemed necessary"

GERMANY: New wave of anti-Semitism in Berlin (Deutsche Welle): "After an attack on a Berlin rabbi on month ago, the German capital has been rocked by two new antisemitic incidents. The Jewish community says society as a whole needs to combat anti-Semitism"

GERMANY: Probe into neo-Nazi murders hits more snags (Deutsche Welle): "Missing files, ignored clues, dubious police informants - German police have a lot to answer for over the NSU murders. An investigation committee is trying to shed light on the scandal, but time is running short"

GREECE: Angry scenes at disabled protest (Athens News): "There were angry scenes at a protest called by disability groups against spending cuts when MAT riot police prevented demonstrators from entering parliament to submit their demands"

GREECE: Migrant wave from the southeast (Athens News): "Concerns about the influx of refugees from war-torn Syria have prompted the government to shift its focus of stemming illegal immigration from the northeastern borders with Turkey to the northeast Aegean Sea"

GREECE: Tanzanian community condemns racist attacks (Athens News)

GREECE: Tension over immigrant reception centre in Drama (Ekathimerini): "Six people were arrested and police were seeking another nine on Tuesday following several days of vehement protests by residents and right-wing groups against a new detention center for immigrants in a town in the northern prefecture of Drama"

GREECE: Turkish patrol boat collides with coastguard (Athens News)

Greek police send crime victims to neo-Nazi 'protectors' (The Guardian): "Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say"

IRELAND: IBA 2012: public onion 'immune' to torture since 9/11: "People in liberal democracies have become 'immune' to the obscenity of torture since the US launched its 'war on terror', one of the world's great human rights champions told the International Bar Association conference today"

Irish data office struggling to cope with EU demands (EUobserver): "The data protection office (DPC) in crisis-hit Ireland might need to hire more staff to cope with the demands of an upcoming EU privacy law"

ITALY: Probe into Nazi massacre at Sant'Anna di Stazzema, Italy, dropped (BBC News)

Macedonian journalists shun libel reform (Balkan Insight): "Amendments to the criminal code decriminalizing libel may lead to direct censorship of journalists, the Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers, SSNM, says"

NORTH AFRICA-MIDDLE EAST: Arab security officials plead for cooperation (Magharebia): "Arab counter-terrorism officials on Thursday (September 27th) concluded a two-day conference in Tunis with calls for broader collaboration... Participants called for implementing programmes and providing technical means that would allow Arab states to counter and discover terrorist crimes and identify their perpetrators. They also insisted on establishing a joint system for border surveillance to prevent arms smuggling in the Arab world"

SPAIN: 25S-29S: Madrid on the brink - a short film (ROAR): "This short film chronicles the events of the past week in Spain, where hundreds of thousands took to the streets against austerity and police brutality"

SPAIN: Clashes at third day of Spain austerity protest (BBC News)

SPAIN: Government delegate in Madrid seeks to "modulate" right-to-protest law (El Pais): "On Tuesday, Cifuentes reiterated that the law governing the right to congregate and protest is “broad and permissive,” and has been abused by last year’s 15-M marches and camp-outs, besides the recent attempts to encircle Congress. Thus, Cifuentes has proposed “modulating” the law to “rationalize the use of public space.”"

SWEDEN: Roma refused rentals by Swedish garages: report (The Local): "One out of three petrol stations in Sweden refused to rent cars to people dressed in traditional Roma clothing in a test carried out by a Swedish broadcaster, a practice one former employee attributed to "deep-rooted xenophobia""

UK: Five arrested over far-right attack in Liverpool city centre (BBC News): "Four men and a teenager have been arrested after people attending a Liverpool anti-fascism event were attacked"

UK: Hi-tech CCTV can recognise faces from half a mile away (The Telegraph): "High–definition CCTV cameras that can identify and track faces from half–a–mile away could turn Britain into a Big Brother society if left unregulated, the first surveillance commissioner has warned." See also: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk (The Independent)

UK: Liverpool police Taser heart attack investigated (BBC News): "A full independent investigation has started after a man suffered a cardiac arrest after he was shot with a police Taser gun in Liverpool"

UK: Minister endorses use of drones by British police (Wired): "We should expect drones to become a common sight over the streets of Britain, according to the police minister, Damian Green. It was reported this morning that Green, speaking at the launch of a new National Police Air Service (NPAS), had called for drones to be treated "like any other piece of police kit" and used more frequently in situations that would normally call for helicopter backup"



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