EU: Spycops under the spotlight at European Parliament; Spycops under the spotlight at European Parliament; campaigner deceived into relationship refuses to pay police legal bill


EU 
Spycops under the spotlight at European Parliament; campaigner deceived into relationship refuses to pay police legal bill
31.8.17
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Press release via Police Spies Out of Lives, 31 August 2017: Police spies targeting campaign groups across Europe are the focus of a European Parliament event on 6th September, where MEPs will hear from activists directly affected by undercover police, along with experts on state surveillance.

Among those speaking is Kate Wilson, deceived into a relationship by undercover officer Mark Kennedy. The unmasking of Kennedy as a ‘spycop’ in 2010 triggered a spate of revelations about undercover police activity and behaviour, and Kennedy himself is known to have operated in at least a dozen European countries. “I have been the subject of systematic surveillance and violations of my intimacy, my right to privacy, and my bodily integrity, for at least the last 18 years by police forces that are cooperating across European borders,” Ms Wilson comments.

Speaker and spycop target Jason Kirkpatrick describes the lack of judicial oversight in undercover operations: “When the state wants to tap someone’s phone, usually a judge’s permission is needed. But police agencies across Europe have found a trick to avoid all oversight and accountability by requesting the use of foreign undercover police to cross borders to act as political police. The truth we have recently exposed is just the tip of the iceberg.”

A public inquiry into undercover policing in the UK is currently in progress, with campaign groups calling for its remit to be expanded to include UK undercover operations in continental Europe.
Event organisers, meanwhile, believe the coordination of undercover activities between European states requires a coordinated response to defend the right to protest as a requirement for healthy democracy.

The event is hosted by Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan, who said, “The organisations and activists targeted by these transnational undercover operations were peaceful protest movements. It is very worrying that European police forces feel that it is appropriate to waste police funds on targeting peaceful activist groups.”

Notes:

1. The event will be held from 3:00-6:30pm on the 6th of September in the European Parliament EP BXL room ASP 1G2 in Brussels

2. Confirmed speakers for this event include:

Darragh Macken (Solicitor representing victims of state surveillance)
Chris Jones (Statewatch)
Eveline Lubbers (researcher, author of Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark, Corporate and Police Spying on Activists
Britta Eder (Solicitor representing victims of state surveillance)
Jason Kirkpatrick (activist targeted by undercover operatives
Kate Wilson (activist targeted by undercover operatives)
Birgitta Jonsdottir (Icelandic MP and activist targeted by undercover operatives)

Background information:

Police Spies Out of Lives: representing women who have successfully taken legal action over Human Rights abuses by undercover police: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/

UK Undercover Policing Inquiry: https://www.ucpi.org.uk/

Spied Upon: a project with detailed list of background articles from mainstream press across Europe: http://spiedupon.com/press/

Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance: organization of police spying victims campaigning for justice internationally: http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/

See also: Press release from Lynn Boylan MEP(pdf):

"Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan will be hosting an event highlighting police spying on activist groups in Europe, the event will be held on the 6th of September in the European Parliament at 3pm, and will feature activists who have been directly targeted by undercover police operations as well as experts in the area of state surveillance."


And: UK: Woman deceived by police spy refuses to pay Met legal bill(The Guardian, link):

"An environmental campaigner who was deceived into forming a long-term intimate relationship with a police spy is refusing to pay Scotland Yard a £7,000 legal bill incurred during her quest for the truth.

Helen Steel fought a four-year legal battle against police chiefs who were eventually compelled to apologise unreservedly for the abuse and emotional trauma she suffered from the deception.

As part of the battle, she pursued a legal challenge to force the Metropolitan police to disclose that her former boyfriend, John Dines, had been an undercover officer.

She incurred the bill for the police’s legal costs after she withdrew the appeal. She says she was forced to withdraw to avoid the possibility of being landed with a much larger bill."

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