Statewatch News online: Archive for year 2001

December 2001

Full-text of the UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act: Text

European Parliament allows more time for debating the European arrest warrant - vote postponed: Report

Australia: New ASIO powers threaten democratic rights: Report

MEPs demand arrest warrant vote to be postponed: Report

EU Joint investigation teams: scope changed from tacking terrorism, drugs and illegal immigration, to any criminal offence - "however minor": Report

EU definition of "terrorism" could still embrace protests (amended 13.12.01: full-text avialable): Report

Germany: "Terrorist" trial reveals lack of evidence after two years on remand: Report

A victory for civil society on the EU definition of terrorism? Report

European Ombudsman calls on the European Parliament to take action on the Council's failure to release documents to Statewatch: Report

European Commission publishes new security rules before its rules on the public's right of access to its documents: Report

EU plans to extend the Schengen Information System (SIS) to:

i) create EU database to target "suspected" protestors and bar them from entering a country where a protest is planned;
ii) create EU database of all "foreigners" to remove third country nationals who have not left within the "prescribed time frame"
: Special Statewatch report

European Appeal: "Democratic rights must not become the collateral damage caused by the war against terrorism" - Press conference, Brussels, on 3 December: Details

Commentaries on the effect on civil liberties of the "war against terrorism" in the EU, UK and US: Commentaries

Action against terrorism must not undermine human rights, say UN High Commissioner for human rights, Council of Europe and OSCE: Report

November 2001

Tragic death leads to call for halt to asylum seekers snatch squads in London: Report

Majority of EU governments want a wide definition of "terrorism", one that could include protests: Report

UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill would give the executive unprecedented powers to bring in EU measures on policing and sentencing without any parliamentary debate or amendments: Report

European Parliament and EU governments on a collision course over the retention of data (telecommunications surveillance), text of Council's position: Report

UK plans for the retention of data for 12 months: Report
- UK to introduce data retention for 12 months under "voluntary code"
- Power to introduce mandatory retention available too
- UK derogates from 1997 EU Directive on privacy and pre-empts EU decision on data surveillance

Council of the European Union maintains wider definition of "terrorism": Report

Immigration lawyers group (ILPA) report criticises UK anti-terrorism Bill: ILPA

Critical reports on proposed UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill by UK parliamentary committee and Liberty (updated 20.11.01): Reports

Italy: Immigrant group and associations oppose "law against immigrants": Report

Special: Text of US letter from Bush with demands for EU for cooperation:
- a sweeping agenda covering unregulated and unaccountable powers affecting criminal investigations, suspects' rights, the retention of telecommunications data, border controls and asylum policies

"The fragile superpower - US: no longer the land of the free", article from Le Monde diplomatique, November 2001: Article

UK Anti-terrorism, crime and security Bill published (updated 17.11.01): Full-text

European lawyers launch "Appeal": "Democratic rights must not become the collateral damage caused by the war against terrorism": Appeal

Statewatch's work recognised as "influential" in the EU: EV50

Statewatch editor, Tony Bunyan, has been selected by the European Voice newspaper as one of the fifty most influential people in the EU over the past year.

Interception of telecommunications in the EU: Update report

- US calls for EU data protection to be ditched
- Council Legal Services says governments already have powers to combat terrorism
- European Parliament committee re-affirms its report on new directive

October 2001

Statewatch analyses of post-11 September EU measures affecting civil liberties and accountability: Report

- new measures being rushed through are more concerned with law enforcement than terrorism
- the creation of informal ad hoc and unaccountable "operational" groups and data exchanges

European Parliament takes Council to court for failure to consult over new (NATO) classification code - the "Solana Two Decision": Report  Full-text: EU/NATO: Security Regulations (Word 97) Security Regulations (pdf)

"Open letter to the French Parliament" - Fifteen groups write on "Open letter" to protest at the dangers to civil liberties in proposed laws: France

UK anti-terrorism proposals include internment for terrorist "suspects" and data retention by communications providers: Report

The Council of the European Union proposes a wider definition of "terrorism" and extends it to those who aim to "seriously.. international organisation": Report

Amnesty International: Reports on the "backlash" in the aftermath of 11 September and "security and respect" for human rights in the EU: Reports

US: ACLU "Bitterly disappointed" in House-Senate Joint Passage of anti-terrorism legislation: Report

"Snatch squads" being set up in London to deport "failed asylum seekers": Report

EU Regulation forbidding financial transactions with certain persons and entities
- EU, US & UK lists of terrorist or proscribed groups:
(revised 12.10.01)

Proposal to create EU para-military police units to counter protests: Report

Race think-tank publishes damning indictment of government's record: IRR

UK Terrorism Act: 21 proscribed organisations: Report

September 2001

Ligue des droits de l'Homme (The Belgian League of Human Rights) press release:
"Deny terrorism a second victory"

EU governments want the retention of all telecommunications data for general use by law enforcement agencies under terrorism plan: Report

- governments want to use new terrorism measures to put all communications under surveillance
- governments demanding that EU data protection and privacy laws be "revised" to allow for retention
- Statewatch report on "Data protection and data retention in the EU?"
Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in the US has produced a detailed analysis of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act 2001: Analysis

EU to adopt new laws on terrorism: definition of "terrorism" to cover groups with the aim of "seriously altering... the political, economic or social structure" of one or more countries and their institutions and includes "urban violence": Report and documents

European NGOs concerned with privacy and civil liberties urge European leaders to defend citizens' freedoms: Letter to Summit

Data surveillance introduced in UK and USA: Report
EU: Civil liberties concerns over quick decisions on terrorism: Report

International meetings cancelled: Meetings

European Parliament discusses Echelon and Genoa: Reports

August 2001

Criminalising asylum: The EU adopts the French immigration proposals: Report
Civil society boycotts Hague police conference on public order: Hague
Special Statewatch report on: The "enemy within" - EU plans for the surveillance of protestors and the criminalisation of protests which will:

* create mechanisms for “operational” cooperation for which there are no legal powers
* legitimise the ongoing surveillance by “police and intelligence officers” (internal security services) of “persons or groups likely to pose a threat to public order and security
* create national databases of “troublemakers” based on suspicion and supposition without any legal standards or data protection and allow the unregulated exchange of this data

Report and full documentation

Northern Ireland: The Pat Finucane Centre press release on the British Government's police implementation plans: Press release
Gothenburg: Statement from Paul Robinson - Gothenberg prisoner: Statement
(Updated 17.8.01) Genoa: 20 of the PublixTheatreCaravan detainees freed & Germany to challenge Italian "expulsion orders"? Detainees freed
Genoa: Demand for the immediate release of members of the PublixTheatreCaravan. Protest against miscarriage of justice and for freedom of expression, 12.8.01: Appeal
Report by Annelie Buntenbach and Hans-Christian Ströbele, Members of the German Bundestag, on their trip to Genoa on 25 and 26 July 2001: Report
UK police force to deploy "taser" stun guns: taser technology

July 2001

Report from the Human Rights Association in Turkey on the 205 Africans dumped in the border zone between Turkey and Greece: Turkey

Genoa protests:

Statements by two British people arrested: Statements
Collection of reports on Genoa from urban75: Reports
Report from La Repubblica on police out of control, carried by Global Resistance: Report
Guardian report says (27.7.01) 220 people still being held: Report
2,093 people refused entry to Italy to attend Genoa protests: Entry denied
UK Genoa protestors released: Report and statement (Guardian) Statement
Belated call by UK government for inquiry into police violence: Report (Evening Standard)
Fair Trials Abroad press statement on Genoa arrests: Genoa arrests

Independent Media Center reports on police raids: Report (1)
Independent Media Center (IMC) on police raids: Report (2) (pdf file)
Amnesty International call for inquiry into policing: Amnesty

Genoa, midnight Saturday 21 July: Police raid on independent media centre and school - many injured (22.7.01): Report
Events leading up to the Genoa protests: raids on social centres and left groups and clashes at the Italian borders: Reports from the ground
French government stops train going to Genoa - G8 Summit -
update 19.7.01: French government bows to pressure and lets train go ahead: Genoa

Statewatch wins new complaints against the Council of the European Union: European Ombudsman decides access must be given to the agendas of the EU-US Senior Level Group and the EU-US Task Force: Decision

Statewatch launches Freedom of Information in the EU site with all the background news and documents on access to documents plus a new Observatory on case law: FOI

EU openness: Heidi Hautala MEP claims victory in secrecy court case: Opinion of the Advocate General

EU-FBI "Requirements" on interception of telecommunications come home to the UK through RIPA: UK

June 2001

New report on the emergence of 'xeno-racism' by the Institute of Race Relations launched at the "Statewatching the new Europe 2001" conference on 30 June: Press release Summary and details: xeno-racism

The "law and order" lobby win the first round on the retention of data: The Council of the European Union agrees on the retention of telecommunications data, the European Commission says the European Parliament must now reject the Council's position: Council

Exclusive: EU governments to decide on the retention of telecommunications data: the European Commission and the EU's Data Protection Working Party strongly oppose initiative led by the UK: Decision time on data retention

Gothenburg: Public order policing in Europe - policy backlash expected: Public order

NETHERLANDS - UK: Questions ask whether the death of 58 Chinese immigrants was a "controlled delivery"? Deaths

The first conference on the new Regulation on access to EU documents is being organised by the Academy of European Law in Trier, Germany and Statewatch: Programme (Word 97)  Programme(pdf file)

Europol corruption scandal: French Europol official arrested for alleged fraud and money-laundering: Europol revised 15.6.01

UK Terrorism Act: 21 new proscribed organisations: Proscription

Final version of the new EU code of access to documents: Netherlands court case withdrawn & European Parliament negotiating over access to classified documents: New Regulation

Echelon report by the European Parliament (from updated 4.6.01 with 18 May version: Echelon (html) Echelon (pdf)

May 2001

EU report shows UK, France and Belgium are planning for communications data to be retained for 12 months: Report

 G8 and ILETS discussed problems of "data retention and implications of data protection legislation" in 1999: G8/ILETS

EU governments to give law enforcement agencies access to all telecommunications data

* EU laws on data protection and privacy to be reviewed to meet demands of the "agencies" for access to all telecommunications content and traffic data

* The Council of the European Union to back retention and archiving of all phone-calls, e-mails, faxes, internet usage and websites for up to seven years

* "ENFOPOL 98" to go through EU Justice and Home Affairs Council at the end of May: extending surveillance to mobile phones, internet usage and websites

* access to documents refused because disclosure "could impede the efficiency of ongoing deliberations"

EXCLUSIVE Statewatch report updated 21.5.01

Echelon Committee suspicions grow: US agencies cancel appointments with European Parliament delegation: Echelon

Postcript to the vote on the new code of access to EU documents - "Call for an Open Europe" to continue: Postcript updated 16.5.01

European Parliament votes in favour of "deal" with the Council on access to EU documents - campaign for an open and democratic Europe to continue: EP vote revised 4.5.01.

Leading civil society groups send "Open letter" to all MEPs asking them to reject the "deal" on access to EU documents on 3 May: "Open letter"

"Call for an Open Europe": over two hundred sign up
Support for openness: from 72 individuals and organisations across the EU
April 2001

 "Brussels stitch-up" agreed
- Council, Commission and EP Committee agree "compromise/common text"
- Civil society groups reject "deal" between Council and European Parliament

- Green/EFA group press release:
European Parliament falls victim to "Stockholm Syndrome"

Press release: "OPEN LETTER from civil society on the new code of access to documents of the EU institutions" (23.4.01)

New code on access to EU documents:
 "Brussels stitch-up" on the cards UPDATED 23 April
- Council and EP rapporteurs agree "common text"
- Civil society groups reject "deal" between Council and European Parliament

Exclusive: Where now for accountability in the EU? - "sanitised" annual report on Europol - arbitrary decision discontinues Schengen annual reports - chair of EP Citizens' Freedoms and Rights Committee demands full report: Report

New Council draft code undermines current rights of access: New draft

Highly critical report on CoE draft cyber crime Convention by EU data protection advisers: Report

March 2001

European Federation of Journalists call for an end to secret negotiations and a "fresh start" on the new code of access to EU documents: "Fresh start"

Validity of secret "trilogue" meetings over new code of access to EU documents thrown into question: Report

Statewatch to get award for its work on EU openness: Award

Council Decisions: 1) gives EU member states a "veto" over access to documents 2) new Solana classification code will "contaminate" access: Decisions

Hautala v. Council: Partial access to documents: Press release

Statewatch wins two new complaints: European Ombudsman decision breaches "space to think": European Ombudsman

UK parliament report slams the "Solana Decision" on access to EU documents: Report

"Trilogue" starts again - call by civil society groups for an end to secret negotiations (revised 12.3.01): Trilogue II

February 2001

"Trilogue" discussions on new code of access to EU documents collapse with no agreement - 1st May deadline will not be met: Trilogue

January 2001

 Access to documents: New draft shows how far the EU is from real freedom of information: New draft

EU institutions to hold "trilogue" meetings to try and sort a "compromise" on their different versions of the new code of access: trilogue

Spain/Italy: sign agreement to pioneer a "common area of security and justice": Agreement

EU: Access to documents: new draft of Council's common position leaves the incoming Swedish Presidency with a difficult job: New draft

EU: Access to documents: Chair of EP Committee attacks Council's draft common position: Watson letter

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