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.

15 March 2019

Guide to International Law and Surveillance (2.0)

"This guide covers an array of topics, including the legality of mass surveillance operations, the law surrounding data retention, the extraterritorial application of human rights law and digital surveillance, and the international law on hacking for surveillance purposes. It is a handy reference tool not only for lawyers, but also for anyone engaging in campaigning, advocacy, and scholarly research..."

15 March 2019

Italy delivers 50 off-road vehicles to fight irregular migration in Tunisia

"The Italian government said it has delivered 50 off-road vehicles to the Tunisian National Guard, which it donated for use in operations to fight irregular migration in the North African country..."

15 March 2019

REVEALED: British Army deployed interrogators to Abu Ghraib despite abuse concerns

"Britain’s defence ministry covertly deployed a team of interrogators to Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison at the height of the scandal over the torture and humiliation of inmates, a parliamentary oversight body has found..."

15 March 2019

Bloody Sunday: One former British soldier to be charged over Northern Ireland massacre

"One former British soldier is to be charged with the murders of two men and the attempted murders of four others over the Bloody Sunday shootings in Londonderry.

15 March 2019

EU in talks with Egypt and other states over police data-sharing

"European Union officials have begun talks with counterparts in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Turkey, about proposed data-sharing deals that would allow Europol to exchange personal information about suspects with local law enforcement authorities..."

15 March 2019

Moroccan Navy Rescues 21 Migrants, 45 Die at Sea (Morocco World News, link)

"Rabat – The Royal Moroccan Navy has rescued 21 migrants, including 13 women, who were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. However, 45 migrants, all sub-Saharan Africans, died at sea..."

15 March 2019

EU-UK BREXIT: Extension and elections: We need to talk about Article 50

"Its 261-word text is now infamous. It is brief, at times laconic, and leaves many things unsaid or uncertain. So, what does - and doesn’t - Article 50 permit?"

15 March 2019

States should enable NGOs to access funding foreign funding, say Venice Commission experts

"In the wake of recent challenges to the independent functioning of associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Council of Europe's constitutional legal experts today adopted a report on standards with respect to foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Council of Europe member states."

14 March 2019

UK: London: activists take action against former Italian Minister of Interior

"On the 12th March 2019 students, activists and academics have taken action against the visit of the former Italian Minister of Interior, Marco Minniti, the architect of Italy’s policy to externalisation of the EU border to Libya and the sealing of the Mediterranean route..."

14 March 2019

EU: CCBE recommendations on the establishment of international rules for cross-border access to electronic evidence

"This paper is the CCBE’s [Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe] response to a number of recent developments concerning the establishment of international rules for cross-border access to electronic evidence for the purpose of criminal investigations, especially as regards so-called direct cooperation between law enforcement authorities and service providers..."

14 March 2019

EU: Biometrics, extended travel surveillance, internal-external "synergies": Presidency note outlines future counter-terrorism priorities

A note produced by the Romanian Presidency of the Council sets out the EU's response to terrorism since 2015, highlights the main measures adopted and calls for a "reflection process on the way forward" in a number of areas including: "interoperability and extended use of biometrics"; implementing the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive and possibly extending its scope beyond air travel; and "synergies" between internal and external policies, amongst other things.

14 March 2019

EU: Saving lives in the Mediterranean: human rights organisations propose plan for "a fair and predictable rescue system"

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have sent an action plan for "a fair and predictable rescue system in the Mediterranean Sea" to Carmen Daniela Dan, the internal affairs minister of Romania which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

14 March 2019

EU  Security Union: new measures agreed to introduce biometric identity cards and a new database for convicted non-EU nationals

MEPs approved this week new measures that will introduce mandatory fingerprinting for national identity cards and a controversial new database to make it easier for the authorities to find information on any previous criminal convictions handed down against non-EU nationals. The Parliament also agreed its position for a revamped Visa Information System that will permit the profiling of all short-stay Schengen visa applicants.

14 March 2019

ECHR: Three judgements: detention of and lack of care for unaccompanied minors in Greece and France violated rights; UK terrorism powers lacked safeguards

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently handed down three important judgements concerning the unacceptable detention of unaccompanied foreign minors in Greek police stations; the failure of the authorities to provide care for an unaccompanied foreign minor living in a camp in Calais; and a lack of safeguards in UK legislation that gave "immigration officers the power to stop, search and question passengers at ports, airports and international rail terminals."

13 March 2019

EU:  Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-12.3.19)

EU Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-12.3.19)

12 March 2019

Council Presidency: "progress" in migration cooperation with Libya should be repeated across North Africa

The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU has called for increased cooperation with North African countries on migration control, arguing that the "progress achieved in Libya" means "the EU should provide - on a much larger scale and over a longer period - targeted assistance" to other countries in the region.

12 March 2019

Commission's latest report on the Agenda on Migration praises "progress" and calls for further work

Last week the European Commission published its latest report on the European Agenda on Migration, praising work that has "brought irregular arrivals to Europe down to the lowest level recorded in 5 years." At the same time, it highlights the need for further work as part of the EU's "comprehensive approach", putting particular emphasis on cooperation with Morocco.

12 March 2019

UK: Chagos Islanders treatment leads to fears of new Windrush scandal

"Chagos Islanders are at risk of becoming the next Windrush scandal, lawyers have warned after third generation families were threatened with deportation..."

12 March 2019

Spain-Morocco: Criminal investigation against Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno closed

The Moroccan criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking by Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno has been closed. The Tangiers Court of Appeal last week confirmed that there is no evidence of criminal activity by Maleno, against whom the Moroccan authorities opened an investigation in December 2017. She was accused of trafficking in persons due to her alarm calls to the Spanish authorities concerning vessels in distress on the journey between Spain and Morocco.

12 March 2019

Western Mediterranean: Nearly Half of Recent Spain Migrant Arrivals Report Exploitation, Abuse

"Madrid – According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) flow monitoring survey of over 1,300 migrants and refugees in Spain last year, nearly half (48%) of those interviewed indicated having at least one direct experience related to human trafficking, exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route. Men – who outnumber women nine to one among those surveyed – reported a higher percentage (49%) of incidents than women (40%)..."


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