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.

20 May 2020

New Right, old racism – the battlefield of Covid-19

"As Public Health England conducts its controversial rapid review into Covid-19 disparities, lurking in the background is a new school of ‘race realists’ whose retrogressive biological arguments must be tackled head-on.(...)"

20 May 2020

UK: Artificial intelligence in the police force: a force for good?

This short paper explores how police forces in the UK are communicating their use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision systems (ADS).

20 May 2020

UK: Prison sentences for any serious crime to be increased for ‘terrorist connection’ under government plans

"Judges will be able to increase prison sentences for any serious crime by finding a “terrorist connection” under new government proposals.

19 May 2020

Risk of repression: New rules on civil society supporting refugees and migrants in Greece

"The operation of civil society in Greece has consistently contributed to strengthening the rule of law, accountability of the state, transparency and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of minorities and the most vulnerable.

19 May 2020

Syrian refugees in Cyprus pushed back to Turkey

"On 15 May 2020, the administration of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) forcibly sent 100 Syrian refugees, including unaccompanied children, to Mersin, Turkey. They have been transferred to Kilis, near the Syrian border, where they are now. Most of the 100 Syrian refugees – 56 – are children and women and girls are in the majority.

18 May 2020

EU data watchdog ‘very worried’ by Hungary’s GDPR suspension

"The European Data Protection Board, the EU’s umbrella organisation overseeing the application of EU data protection rules across the bloc, has voiced its concern over the suspension of EU data protection rights in Hungary.

18 May 2020

Hungarian Supreme Court: Romani children deserve financial compensation for school segregation

"The Hungarian Supreme Court has confirmed a lower court verdict according to which Romani children from the town of Gyöngyöspata are entitled to compensation for having been segregated in school. According to the judgment, the school in northern Hungary, the local authority and the local education department must pay a total of 100 million forints (EUR 282,105) to the families of 60 Romani children for separating them away from non-Romani pupils and delivering them a worse education.

18 May 2020

40 percent of LGBTI people suffer harassment, finds largest ever EU survey

The survey of 140K people finds little progress in attitudes and striking differences between countries.

18 May 2020

Lithuania’s response to COVID-19: Quarantine through the prism of Human Rights and the Rule of Law

"‘The decisions taken are not simple and require drastic, important measures, which are necessary to control the spread of the virus.’ The Quarantine Resolution is a secondary legislation issued on the basis of the Law on Civil Protection and the Law on the Prevention and Control of Contagious Diseases. The initial duration of quarantine was set for 16-30 March, but it has been extended until 31 May.

18 May 2020

EU: Ban biometric mass surveillance!

"Across Europe, highly intrusive and rights-violating facial recognition and biometric processing technologies are quietly becoming ubiquitous in our public spaces. As the European Commission consults the public on what to do, EDRi calls on the Commission and EU Member States to ensure that such technologies are comprehensively banned in both law and practice.

18 May 2020

EU-Turkey: 369 Syrians deported to Turkey through EU fund for refugees

At the end of April the European Commission slipped out the 'Fourth Annual Report on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey', which summarises how the €6 billion committed by the EU and the member states to projects in Turkey, as part of the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal, has been used. Amongst other things, the funds have paid for the deportation of 369 Syrians from the EU to Turkey.

18 May 2020

UK: Policing the virus: all 44 prosecutions under Coronavirus Act unlawful; "postcode lottery" for fines

New powers given to UK police forces as part of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic are being unlawfully and unevenly applied.

18 May 2020

EU: Border externalisation: European Parliament gives green light to Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro

The European Parliament has voted to approve two agreements allowing Frontex operations outside the EU: one between the EU and Serbia, and the other between the EU and Montenegro.

18 May 2020

UK turns to counterterror chief to run Covid-19 risk hub

"The UK’s new joint biosecurity centre, an independent body monitoring the coronavirus threat level, is to be set up by a senior counterterror official in the running to become the next chief of MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service.

18 May 2020

Swiss lawmakers should review draft legislation on police counterterrorism measures to ensure respect for human rights

"In a letter addressed to the Chair and members of the National Council Committee on Security Policy, made public today, the Commissioner invites parliamentarians to review the draft Federal Law on Police Counterterrorism Measures in order to ensure that all human rights standards are respected.

18 May 2020

Internal EU report: Far-right terrorist attacks rise

"The 12-page paper drafted by the EU presidency under Croatia provides a broad overview of terror threats emanating from returning foreign terrorist fighters, right-wing terrorists and - to a much lower extent - the far-left.

18 May 2020

Italy: Thousands of undocumented migrants to get Italian work permits

"Threatened by food shortages and health risks, Rome gives a six-month amnesty for thousands of undocumented migrants.

18 May 2020

The Netherlands: Of Rollercoasters and Elephants

"This double drive – expertise-based but with a visible concern for public opinion – seems to really guide the communication of the government, in which Mark Rutte constantly acts as explainer-in-chief of what he has dubbed an ‘intelligent lockdown’, taking his audience step-by-step through the rationales of measures taken."

18 May 2020

UK: It just got more difficult for Europeans to become British citizens

"The Home Office has decided to make it more difficult for European residents to become British citizens. EU citizens with settled status who apply for naturalisation now have to provide evidence that they have been living in the UK legally, according an update to government nationality policy released on 15 May.

15 May 2020

Fears mount over migrants dying ‘out of sight’ in Mediterranean

"More and more migrants are crossing, Europe is closing its ports and no humanitarian ships are carrying out rescues. As the coronavirus pandemic dominates headlines, activists fear the Mediterranean is the scene of an overlooked “tragedy”.


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