Round-up of news stories from across the EU 15.7.16

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Council of Europe: Fourteen countries sign-up to new sports safety and security treaty (CoE, link): "Fourteen countries have now signed-up to the Council of Europe’s new sports safety and security treaty.


Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Ukraine have signed the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events.

The international sports treaty, designed to ensure stadia are safer, more secure and welcoming, was launched at the Stade de France in Paris on 3 July, at the UEFA European Football Championship quarter final match between France and Iceland."

EU: Scottish National Party could split from Catalan allies in European Parliament (EurActiv, link): "The Scottish National Party is distancing itself from separatist allies in the European Parliament – such as those pushing for Catalan independence – to strengthen its case for Scotland to remain in the EU.

Scotland strongly backed remaining in the EU in the 23 June referendum on the UK’s membership of the bloc, by 62% to 38%. All 32 of Scotland’s local authorities voted to remain but other UK member countries England and Wales voted for Brexit.

The SNP’s two members of the European Parliament are part of the Greens-European Free Alliance parliamentary group. The EFA has MEPs from pro-Catalan, Galician, Basque and Corsican independence parties.

But the SNP is considering splitting from the group – sacrificing funding and speaking time – so as not to become enmeshed in the question of Catalan secession from Spain."

RUSSIA: ‘Big Brother’ Law Harms Security, Rights "Russia’s new counterterrorism legislation would unjustifiably expand surveillance while undermining human rights and cybersecurity.

On July 7, 2016, President Vladimir Putin signed into law two sets of legislative amendments after they were rushed through parliament without adequate debate or scrutiny. The amendments are commonly referred to as the “Yarovaya Law,” after their key author, Irina Yarovaya, a leading member of the ruling “United Russia” party. They include numerous deeply disturbing provisions that severely undermine the right to privacy and are particularly detrimental to freedom of expression on the Internet. The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2018. Russia should repeal the new law, Human Rights Watch said."

UK-ITALY: Flagrant breach of fair trial rights bars extradition to Italy (Doughty Street Chambers, link): "The extradition of a terrorist suspect to Italy was barred since his trial amounted to a flagrant breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Represented by Malcolm Hawkes, VS was wanted to serve a 12-year prison sentence for multiple offences of armed robbery, murder and terrorism committed between 1980-1981. He was tried and convicted in his absence in 1989 on the sole basis of evidence from co-accused whose evidence could not be challenged. Under the Italian law in force at the time, the defence could not cross-examine prosecution witnesses, who did not even have to swear that their evidence was true. These witnesses were able to obtain discounted sentences in exchange for their testimony."

UK: Heartbroken family of Mzee Mohammed demand answers over death of teen detained in Liverpool ONE (Liverpool Echo, link): " The heartbroken family of a Liverpool teenager who died in police custody have called for answers over his death.

Mzee Mohammed became “unwell” after an incident in Liverpool ONE which saw him detained by security staff and police.

Questioning how he died, his mum Karla today revealed he had no pre-existing medical conditions as she paid tribute to her “gentle giant”."

UK: Liverpool lawyer unmasked as ex-leader of far right British Resistance party (Liverpool Echo, link): "A Liverpool lawyer is today unmasked as the ex-leader of a far right party called British Resistance.

The extreme group – once headed by Joe Chiffers from MSB Solicitors – vowed to “reclaim Britain from our oppressors”.

The employment lawyer is now facing a disciplinary hearing after bosses learnt about his far right activities.

Speaking to the ECHO, the 34-year-old insisted he is not a racist but said he would never apologise for his political beliefs."

UK: Student launches legal action against IPCC over CS spray incident (The Guardian, link): "A student who alleges he was assaulted by police during a tuition fees demonstration has launched legal action against the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Lawyers for Lawrence Green told the high court on Tuesday that an investigation by the IPCC – the police watchdog – that dismissed his allegations was illogical, hasty and flawed.

Green, 26, has alleged that police sprayed CS gas into his face at close range, causing him “excruciating pain” and temporarily blinding him, in contravention of national guidelines.

He is claiming that the IPCC failed to investigate his allegations independently and fairly."

USA: Will a Camera on Every Cop Make Everyone Safer? Taser Thinks So (Bloomberg, link): "Cop cams are inextricably tied to Taser, by far the dominant supplier, and the company will likely shape whatever the devices evolve into. For Taser, the cameras are more than just a new product category. Founded at one national moment of police angst, the company is using another such moment to transform from a manufacturer into a technology company. From a business perspective, body cameras are low-margin hunks of plastic designed to get police departments using the real moneymaker:, which provides the software and cloud services for managing all the footage the devices generate. Taser markets these tools under the Axon brand. About 4.6 petabytes of video have been uploaded to the platform, an amount comparable to Netflix’s entire streaming catalog. All of it must be preserved to an evidentiary standard. The company can sell a weapon or camera once, but cloud services are billed year after year."

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