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.

03 September 2020

UN agencies sign new agreement on establishing worldwide travel surveillance systems

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have signed a new 'Memorandum of Agreement' that will extend their cooperation in implementing UN rules requiring that every member state set up systems for the surveillance and profiling of air passengers, in the name of combating terrorism and organised crime.

03 September 2020

UK: No criminal charges against five police officers over death of 'doting' dad following arrest caught on camera

Andre Moura was "found unresponsive in the back of a police van" after being arrested in July 2018 and declared dead at a hospital later that night. Five officers from Greater Manchester Police were investigated by the Independent Office of Police Conduct, which recommended that the Crowd Prosecution Service press various charges - but the CPS has decided otherwise.

03 September 2020

UK: Unmasking Facial Recognition: An exploration of the racial bias implications of facial recognition surveillance in the United Kingdom

A new report by WebRoots Democracy, a think tank focused on progressive and inclusive technology policy, looks at the implications of the police use of facial recognition technology for people of colour and Muslims - two social groups who are heavily monitored by the state.

03 September 2020

UK: JUSTICE calls for urgent reform of major inquests and inquiries

Press release published by JUSTICE on 24 August 2020 for the report 'When Things Go Wrong: the response of the justice system'.

03 September 2020

Beyond Bias: Why We Can’t Just “Fix” Facial Recognition

The Digital Freedom Fund argue that problems with facial recognition technology cannot simply be fixed by trying to remove "bias" or ensure "fairness", and that instead a more holistic approach to the development and use of new technologies is required.

03 September 2020

EU: German Presidency: how can Frontex help deport unaccompanied children?

The implementation of the new mandate of EU border agency Frontex is well under way, and the German Presidency of the Council has raised a question with other member states that is likely to spark controversy: how can the agency assist with the deportation of lone children?

01 September 2020

Malta: Prime Minister to spend €1m a month to detain migrants on ship

The Maltese government is to spend €1 million a month to charter a ferry that will host people rescued at sea offshore, according to reports. It is alleged that the move is driven to distract attention from the government's failing response to the pandemic.

01 September 2020

Germany: How Angela Merkel’s great migrant gamble paid off

Five years on from Angela Merkel's declaration that "we can manage this" in response to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees, what has happened?

01 September 2020

Cast away: the UK's rushed charter flights to deport Channel crossers

Following the recent uptick in people arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel in small boats, there have been a number of swift deportations to EU states. Corporate Watch and Calais Migrant Solidarity report that "these mass deportations have been particularly brutal, and may have involved serious legal irregularities." Meanwhile, the EU recently rejected a UK plan to allow the continuation of such removals following the end of the Brexit 'transition period' on 31 December.

29 August 2020

In Calais, Abdulfatah Hamdallah was the latest victim of European migration policies

Joint statement signed by 16 human rights organisations, including Statewatch.

27 August 2020

UK: Asylum: Brook House Protest: I’m still on a hunger strike, and I will continue the strike

A statement by a Yemeni citizen currently held in the Brook House detention centre and on hunger strike in protest at their pending deportation to Spain, under the 'Dublin' system of allocating state responsibility for asylum applications.

27 August 2020

UK: Attacks on the legal profession undermine the rule of law

Press release from The Law Society in response to the UK Home Office's attempt to disparage lawyers who provide legal advice to migrants and asylum-seekers.

27 August 2020

Greece has a deadly new migration policy – and all of Europe is to blame

Greece has come in for sharp criticism for its continued puhsbacks of migrants and refugees, in flagrant violation of European and international human rights law. However, its practices are the result of a continent-wide migration policy that seeks to pass the buck when it comes to providing protection to people in need, argues Daniel Trilling.

26 August 2020

Germany/Belgium: Video footage puts police violence in the spotlight

Two recent incidents of police violence in Germany and Belgium have been compared to the case of George Floyd in the USA. In the first, mobile phone footage circulated on social media showed a police officer placing his knee on an individual's neck. In the second, footage from inside a police station at Belgium's Charleroi airport, published by a newspaper, showed a police officer sitting on a detainee's rib cage for 18 minutes, whilst another officer performs what appears to be a Nazi salute. The detained man, Jozef Chovanec, subsequntly died in hospital.

26 August 2020

Italy: New project examines alternatives to immigration detention

A project launched by the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights (Coalizione Italiana per le Libertà e i Diritti Civili, CILD) and Progetto Diritti will examine and advocate for alternatives to immigration detention. The organisations highlight that detention, which is most frequently used in cases of pending deportation, doesn't work: "the ratio between the number of repatriated and detained people has always been around 50%, regardless of which maximum detention limits are in force. The data hence demonstrates that the 'effectiveness' of the immigration detention system is not directly correlated to the length of detention periods."

25 August 2020

UK: New tasers for the police - less accuracy, more pain

The UK Home Office has approved a new type of electroshock weapon for police forces in England and Wales, despite a scientific advisory committee conluding that it has a “consistently higher miss rate” (thus representing a greater risk to bystanders) and “may be more painful for the subject” than those currently in use. The news that English and Welsh police may now procure the 'Taser 7' comes a week after it was revealed that UK police forces disproportionately deploy the weapons against non-white children.

25 August 2020

Five years on from UK’s first drone targeted killing, increasing secrecy needs serious challenge

Five years after an RAF Reaper drone flying over Syria launched a missile that killed three people, including the Cardiff-born Reyaad Khan, Chris Cole of Drone Wars looks at the ways in which the government has been able to stymie transparency of the UK's drone warfare programme. Without public knowledge of the what the government is doing, Cole argues, "decisions that are hugely costly and damaging" will be made over and over again with no accountability.

24 August 2020

Brexit: What’s the price of a UK/EU security agreement?

A blog by Julian King, the British official who until recently served as the EU's 'Commissioner for the Security Union', looks at "what kind of cooperation, if any, are the two sides going to have in future on security issues".

24 August 2020

'Five Country Ministerial' - official "communiqué" short on substance

At the end of June, the UK Home Office quietly published a "communiqué" announcing the results of a 'Five Country Ministerial' meeting, in which officials from the 'Five Eyes' countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA) get together to discuss matters of common interest. On the agenda: law enforcement and security threats stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and encryption.

24 August 2020

Ireland: Internal surveys shows no frontline gardaí had favourable view of Travellers

Not a single frontline gardaí (police officer) questioned for a internal survey had a favourable view of Travellers, almost 75% of those questioned had a negative view of Roma, and significant proportions hold negative views on Indian, Pakistani, Arab and black African people.


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