2016

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.


11 May 2017

Still privatised, still undervalued: new court interpreting contract from 31 October

"The government’s stated rationale for privatising court interpreting services is to improve efficiency and save money. Whether either of those has been achieved remains debatable. Unsubstantiated savings of £38 million under the first contract do not include the cost of rescheduling court cases, holding defendants on remand for extra time or the unquantifiable distress to parties. Changes to the publication of statistics on language services may also make it difficult to track significant differences between the two contracts."

14 November 2016

Ukraine's annexed territories: Council ponders mutual legal assistance problems

The EU is examining ways to undertake "mutual legal assistance cooperation with the illegally annexed territories in Ukraine, both with regard to civil and criminal matters," with some Member States in favour of "a common EU standard as regards their cooperation with the illegally annexed territories of Ukraine." A recent paper from the Dutch Presidency of the Council explores the options.

11 November 2016

Asylum in the EU: European Parliament briefing on renewed reception Directive

A new briefing by the European Parliamentary Research Service examines the "recast" Directive on reception conditions for applicants for international protection, setting out the context; the requirements of existing legislation; the changes that the new Directive would introduce; and the views of the Parliament, various NGOs and other "stakeholders".

11 November 2016

Theresa May must take action now to save Andy Tsege

An open letter to Theresa May calling on her to take action to save the live of Andy Tsege, a British man who has been detained on Ethiopia's death row since he was kidnapped and rendered by the Ethiopian government to face a death penalty against him that was handed down in absentia.

11 November 2016

Vintage secrecy: court withholds publication of century-old police informant files

"Is it plausible that information over a century old could be withheld under FOIA on the grounds of national security and/or endangerment of health and safety? The answer is evidently ‘yes’. That was the outcome of a request for information on informants in the Jack the Ripper investigations... A request for information on police informants involved in Irish secret societies over the period 1890-1910 has met the same outcome."

11 November 2016

Turkey vows to extend state of emergency ‘until threat is fully eradicated’

"The Turkish government has signaled a long-term implementation of the state of emergency, with EU Minister Ömer Çelik saying it will continue throughout the struggle against coup plotters and describing it as the only mechanism to “fully eradicate the threat posed by the Gülenists.”

11 November 2016

EU foreign policy chief speech at NATO-industry forum sets out military ambitions

A recent speech by the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini set out the EU's military ambitions in "this new phase of our global politics" in which there will be "a growing request for a principled global security provider." The speech was made the day it was announced that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States of America.

11 November 2016

UNDERCOVER POLICING: Spycops Stealing Dead Children’s Identities

"Parents who want to know if their dead child’s identity was stolen by undercover police officers have been invited to ask the Pitchford inquiry into undercover policing."

11 November 2016

Europe-wide survey shows "trend for deterioration in key civic space freedoms"

A Europe-wide survey of 300 civil society organisations has highlighted significant concern over a "trend for deterioration in key civic space freedoms", with respondents from central and eastern Europe keen to highlight limitations on the freedom of association and a general decline in respect for democratic principles.

11 November 2016

Undercover Policing Inquiry confirms that "Marco Jacobs" was a police officer

The Undercover Policing Inquiry set up in the wake of the scandal surrounding police infilitration and surveillance of activist and campaign groups has confirmed that "Marco Jacobs", who was involved in the anarchist movement in Bright and Cardiff, was a police officer. His real identity remains unknown.

11 November 2016

Europol press release: More than 100 arrests in major international migrant smuggling operation

"On 21 October 2016, the Spanish National Police, together with the Polish Border Police, joined forces with Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in Operation Kolso to dismantle a transnational criminal organisation implicated in the smuggling of Ukrainian citizens into the United Kingdom and Ireland."

10 November 2016

Institute of Race Relations interview with Against Borders for Children

The Against Borders for Children campaign started with two aims – to stop the Department for Education collecting country-of-birth and nationality data on 8 million school pupils aged between 2 and 19; and to encourage and assist tens of thousands of parents, teachers and schools to boycott the government data collection scheme... Read more

10 November 2016

In support of the Amnesty International report: Other stories of violence in the hotspot system

"When I read the “Hotspots Italy” report, which I knew was due to be published because I was part of one of the groups that was interviewed to produce it, I was speechless because I recognised exactly the same details which I knew so well, which I had not specifically spoken to Amnesty about and which, in general, I had not found the way to make known more widely." Read More...

10 November 2016

France: Paris opens migrant centre after clearing street camp

"Paris opened its first reception centre for migrants and refugees in Thursday, a month later than expected. Temporary shelter and basic services will be provided. The "humanitarian centre" is in a disused railway yard on a busy boulevard in northern Paris. It can lodge up to 400 people and take in 50-80 new arrivals each day....

10 November 2016

Can Greece Extradite the 8 Turkish Military Officers to Turkey?

"On the night of the failed coup in Turkey, eight Turkish military officers fled to Greece. They applied for political asylum, arguing that they were afraid for their lives, if returned to Turkey. They insist that they had no involvement in the attempted coup and they claim that they were transporting injured people in Istanbul when they came under fire by police.

10 November 2016

Italy trains Egyptian judges despite death sentences and torture

"The Italian government has been supporting the Egyptian justice system as part of an EU project that risks complicity in abuses such as mass trials and the death penalty..."

 

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