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.

25 November 2019

CoE: Commissioner publishes observations on alleged human rights violations of migrants returned from Italy to Libya

"Today, the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of S.S. and others v. Italy. This case concerns the interception and rescue operation of a boat in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, carrying around 150 persons who had left Libya, and the alleged human rights violations resulting from this operation."

25 November 2019

MEPs shut out of Hungary Council hearing as rule of law situation worsens

"MEPs are reeling after being shut out of a Council hearing under the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for systemic breaches to the rule of law, as the situation in the country further deteriorates."

24 November 2019

EU aid and development funding has provided €215 million for border security in Morocco since 2001

Since 2001, almost €215 million has been provided to Morocco by the EU to finance border security projects. Human rights abuses against migrants and refugees committed by Moroccan authorities call into question whether financial support from the EU to Moroccan border security should continue.

22 November 2019

Greece: Hundreds of refugees, migrants rescued from the sea in past 24 hours

"Greece’s Coast Guard said Friday it rescued 400 refugees and migrants in the last 24 hours in 10 different incidents in the sea area near the city Alexandroupolis and the islands of Lesvos and Chios."

21 November 2019

Why UK’s refusal to name new commissioner is headache for EU

"The European Union is due to relaunch its powerful executive arm under the new leadership of the German conservative Ursula von der Leyen from 1 December but faces legal risks after Britain refused to name its representative for the European Commission."

21 November 2019

Greece migrant crisis: 'Horrible' camps to shut amid influx

"Overcrowded, open camps that have become home to 33,000 asylum seekers on five Aegean islands are to be shut down and replaced with closed centres."

21 November 2019

Greece: Turkey needs to end ‘blackmail’ for migrant aid

"Greece’s migration minister said that Turkey needs to stop “blackmail” if it wants more EU aid, saying its loaded language had prompted a spike in movement toward Greek shores."

21 November 2019

UN: Experts of the Committee against Torture express concern about racially motivated police violence and detention conditions in dialogue with Portugal

"The Committee against Torture this afternoon concluded its consideration of the seventh periodic report of Portugal on measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Committee Members raised concerns about detention conditions, including the use of solitary confinement for juveniles. They also broached racially-motivated police violence. In that regard, the outcome of the Cova da Moura trial was flagged. "

21 November 2019

Italian Air Force MQ-9A Predator B Drone Allegedly Shot Down In Libya. Images Surface on Social Media

"One of the Italian UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) has crashed in Libya. It’s not clear whether it was shot down (as claimed by some Libyan reports) or crashed for other reasons."

21 November 2019

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee holds talks in Greece

"The main objective of the talks was to discuss the action being taken by the recently elected Greek Government to address the long-standing concerns of the Committee regarding prison, police and immigration detention issues."

21 November 2019

The hostile environment confuses unlawful with undocumented, with disastrous consequences

"If a policy that deprives residents of jobs, homes and money is going to be introduced, one would hope it would be targeted using the best available data with strong failsafe mechanisms in place to reverse any errors. It would, you would have thought, be a disaster if innocent individuals ended up being forced into penury and out of the country as a result of incorrect information."

20 November 2019

Sea rescue NGOs : a pull factor of irregular migration?

"The argument that maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations act as a ‘pull factor’ of irregular seaborne migration has become commonplace during the Mediterranean ‘refugee crisis’. This claim has frequently been used to criticize humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting SAR off the coast of Libya, which are considered to provide “an incentive for human smugglers to arrange departures” (Italian Senate 2017: 9)."

19 November 2019

UK: Deaths of people following release from prison

"In 2018/19, ten people died each week following release from prison. Every two days, someone took their own life. In the same year, one woman died every week, and half of these deaths were self-inflicted."

19 November 2019

Deportations: Council Presidency proposes systematic monitoring of readmission cooperation and sanctions for non-compliance

The Finnish Council Presidency wants EU member states to consider new methods for encouraging 'third countries' to accept their own nationals deported from the EU.

19 November 2019

New closed centres, 1,700 hirings to improve response to migration challenge

"As part of its plans to implement a stricter legal framework regarding asylum and border controls, the government aims to create between six and 10 closed pre-departure centers and is planning to recruit 400 border guards in the Evros region, 500 new asylum officers on the islands and mainland, as well 800 officers to guard sea borders and the centers."

19 November 2019

EU countries warned of 'lost generation' of young refugees

"Europe is in danger of creating a "lost generation" of young refugees who have fled war and persecution in their countries, the EU's rights agency says."

19 November 2019

Rule of Law in Hungary: Council to update the Civil Liberties Committee

"MEPs will discuss the Article 7(1) process, initiated by Parliament due to concerns about the rule of law in Hungary, on Thursday with the Council."

19 November 2019

UK to join police fingerprint database network, but other member states want broader data access (1)

EU member states have recommended that the UK join the 'Prüm' network of police fingerprint databases, but they are also demanding that the country "review its policy of excluding suspects' profiles from automated dactyloscopic [fingerprint] data exchange".


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