Launched in 1999 and updated regularly, Statewatch News includes our own reporting and writing as well as articles, announcements, documents and analyses from elsewhere on civil liberties, EU policies and state practices. You can receive updates in your inbox by signing up to our mailing list, or use an RSS feed to get instant alerts.

30 July 2020

Nigerians returned from Europe face stigma and growing hardship

The EU is aiming to prevent Nigerians from arriving in EU, and to deport many of those who have been living there irregularly. On their arrival back in Nigeria, those who are removed - whether by forced expulsion or through 'voluntary return' programmes - receive differing levels of support, but both face challenges that may lead them to re-emigrate.

30 July 2020

Ireland: Data protection watchdog questions airport checks over Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The Irish Department of Social Protection has been questioning passengers at airports to see whether they may have been contravening the terms of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Their approach has raised eyebrows at the country's data protection authority, which argues they may have been ignoring the legal requirement for reasonable suspicion as the basis for questioning.

30 July 2020

Serbia: Targeting of journalists and NGOs a blatant act of intimidation

Amnesty International condemns investigations launched by the Serbian state into the activities of NGOs and journalists. The investigations come in the wake of anti-government protests.

30 July 2020

UK: Former equalities chiefs: we were not reappointed because we were "too loud and vocal" on racism

A report in Newsweek publishes claims by two former members of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that they were not reappointed to their roles, despite being recommended to do so, because they were too vocal on issues of racism.

30 July 2020

New world disorder: digital attacks on freedom of assembly

A new report from Access Now examines how digital infrastructure can be blocked, shut down, or monitored to prevent people exercising their right to freedom of assembly.

30 July 2020

Spain: Huge funding increase for migration control in Africa challenged in court

Spain's government has massively stepped up funding for African states for migration control purposes in recent years. €30 million provided to Morocco is being challenged in court.

30 July 2020

UK: Increasing police use of Tasers poses "threat to life"

A new report aims "to inform members of the public of the threat to life posed by the increasing adoption of Tasers by police forces across England and Wales," and in particular by Greater Manchester Police, who have taken up use of the 'less-lethal' weapons with gusto.

29 July 2020

Ireland: 'Reunited refugees at risk of being homeless'

A new report by Nasc, a migrant and refugee rights organisation, explains "the many challenges faced by reunified [refugee] families, including significant barriers to accessing housing and a high risk of homelessness, as well as difficulties accessing other essential services. It highlights significant unmet support needs which are likely to hinder integration into Irish society."

28 July 2020

UK: MI6 apologise for asking court staff to withhold evidence from Judges

The UK's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, has apologised to human rights groups after pressuring court staff to withold evidence in a case concerning a policy that allows state agents to commit serious crimes.

28 July 2020

Mediterranean: Almost 100 people left adrift for 33 hours: non-assistance policies continue to put lives at risk

The New York Times reports on the latest case of non-assistance to people in distress in the Mediterranean, this time involving almost 100 people in a rubber dinghy who were only rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta following intense pressure from activists and civil society groups.

28 July 2020

Counter-terrorism and the Arts: How counter-terrorism policies restrict the right to freedom of expression

A new paper from TNI examines how counter-terrorism law and policy can impinge upon freedom of expression in the arts.

28 July 2020

EU: New 'Security Union Strategy' - all the documents

The European Commission has published a new 'Security Union Strategy' for the 2021-25 period, replacing the previous 'European Agenda on Security' (2015-20) and further extending the scope of EU action on security issues.

28 July 2020

Masks cause "great difficulty" for pre-pandemic facial recognition algorithms

A study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found that facial recognition algorithms developed before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic have "great difficulty" in accurately identifying people.

27 July 2020

UK: Policing the pandemic: figures show ongoing racial discrimination

A series of reports in The Guardian show how the policing of the pandemic has further exacerbated racial inequalities in law enforcement.

27 July 2020

UK: Borders after Brexit: government consultation launched

The UK government has launched a '2025 UK Border Strategy Public Consultation', which seeks to "ensure that the government and industry are able to work in partnership together to deliver a world class border." According to the government, its ambition is to "create the world’s most effective border by 2025, to ensure the UK becomes an even more attractive place to travel to and do business with. It will ensure the UK is better protected against crime, terrorism and environmental and biosecurity threats."

27 July 2020

UK: Hear Us: the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women during the pandemic

A new report by the Sisters Not Strangers coalition examines the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown. The authors argue that their findings confirm what they already knew - that refugee and asylum-seeking women have been some of those hardest hit by the pandemic and the measures introduced to contain it. Existing inequalities and disadvantages have been exacerbated, and those interviewed for the report "have experienced hunger, homelessness, mental health has deteriorated and women with pre-existing health conditions have struggled to access healthcare."

27 July 2020

Pull-backs by the Libyan Coast Guard: complaint filed with UN Human Rights Committee

A press release from the Association for Juridical Studies on Migration (ASGI, Italy) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, published on 24 July in advance of a press conference on 28 July.

23 July 2020

Montenegro: Frontex launches second operation on non-EU territory

Frontex has launched its second executive operation in a state outside the EU, deploying officers in Montenegro on 15 July.

21 July 2020

Surveillance and data-driven discrimination: 10 threats to migrants and refugees

Privacy International set out ten threats to the rights of migrants and refugees stemming from "surveillance practices and data-driven immigration policies".

20 July 2020

Borders, budgets and beyond: LIBE report sheds light on Frontex’s priorities for implementing its new mandate

In February, three MEPs visited the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex, the EU’s border agency, to assess implementation of its new mandate, which entered into force in December last year. A report on their mission presents a snapshot of Frontex’s current operations, work on deportations and relations with non-EU states, research activities and fundamental rights issues.


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