2020

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.

24 September 2020

Tony Bunyan retires as Director of Statewatch after 30 years

A personal message from Tony Bunyan.

23 September 2020

EU: The new "pact" on migration and asylum - documentation, context and reactions

The Commission has published its long-awaited 'Pact on Migration and Asylum', along with a host of legislative proposals, guidance and other texts. Parts of the proposals will "abolish the rule of law at the external borders," according to one human rights group.

23 September 2020

Deportations from Europe: individual stories told in new publication

The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) has published a booklet of stories of people in Lagos and Benin City, Nigeria, and Bamako, Mali, who have been deported from Europe.

22 September 2020

Council of the EU: German Presidency seeking common position on encryption and law enforcement

Efforts are ongoing to establish a common EU position on finding ways around encrypted communications for the purpose of law enforcement. A document circulated by the German Presidency says "the weakening of encryption by any means (including backdoors) is not a desirable option." Instead, the intention is to find "legal and technical solutions" through a dialogue with technology service providers, member states, academic experts and others.

22 September 2020

IOM: Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean: Trends, risks, development and governance

A new 500-page collection of studies published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) examines new developments in migration within North and West Africa, and from there across the Mediterranean.

22 September 2020

Greece: Lesvos-Moria nightmare for thousands of refugees

Over a week after the fire that gutted the Moria camp on Lesvos, formerly housing some 13,000 refugees, little had been done to address the problem.

22 September 2020

France: Legal action against police facial recognition technology

La Quadrature du Net are taking the French state to court for allowing the use of facial recognition technology on a database containing more than eight million individual images.

21 September 2020

UK: Home Office 'has no idea how many people are in the UK illegally'

A report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has condemned the Home Office's immigration enforcement activities, saying that the body bases its work on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice” rather than evidence.

21 September 2020

Call for the immediate evacuation of Moria

In support for exiles living on the island of Lesbos, Migreurop is a signatory of a Tribune initiated by European personalities published in Libération’s newspaper of 11 September 2020.

17 September 2020

Webinar: Deportation Union: revamped return policies and reckless forced removals

Join Statewatch and TNI on 28 September for the first webinar of a three-part series accompanying the publication of the report 'Deportation Union: Rights, accountability and the EU's push to increased forced removals'.

17 September 2020

UK: David Davis MP demands access to secret hearings on torture

The British Conservative MP David Davis is taking legal action to gain access to proposed secret court hearings on the UK's involvement in torture.

17 September 2020

Internal Frontex report: agency moves forward with "standing corps" recruitment despite COVID-19 delays

The Council Working Party on Frontiers met last week, on Wednesday 9 September, in part to review a Frontex report outlining the “current state of play of the main activities related to the establishment of the standing corps and description of the plans for the future”. The report covers the recruitment of permanent staff, the secondment of member state border guards, training, uniforms, and equipment of the new standing corps, who will have executive powers - for example, to permit or refuse entry - at the EU's borders.

16 September 2020

Council of the EU: Impact of COVID-19 on law enforcement cooperation

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact upon cross-border law enforcement cooperation in the EU, according to recent documents circulated to the member states by the German Presidency of the Council. However, the situation appears to be providing an impetus for a reassessment of existing laws, policies and procedures, with the aim of stepping up cross-border operational action.

16 September 2020

EU: Moria refugees need relocation, the member states send tents

With 13,000 refugees left without shelter following the fire that destroyed the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, there were immediate calls for people to be relocated to other EU member states. Notwithstanding the promised relocation of some 400 children and 1,500 other people, mainly by Germany, the member states have largely responded by sending tents, blankets and toiletries - suggesting that they are quite happy to leave people trapped on the island.

15 September 2020

EU: 25 organisations call on MEPs to protect journalists, doctors, lawyers, social services in e-evidence rules

A coalition of 25 organisations has called on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) to ensure that forthcoming legislation on "e-evidence" contains protections for journalists, doctors, lawyers and others - in particular by requiring that cross-border orders for electronic data always require judicial approval.

14 September 2020

UK: New regulations extend fingerprint retention rules for a further six months

A second set of retention regulations made under powers conferred by section 24 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 was put before Parliament 10 September 2020, to come into force 1 October 2020.

11 September 2020

UN Special Rapporteur: Ending immigration detention of children

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, has produced a report in which he "concludes that the immigration detention of children is effectively avoidable," and that states should focus on "human rights-based alternative care and reception for all migrant children and their families."

11 September 2020

Belgium to hand over remains of Congo’s murdered prime minister

Following a court judgment, the Belgian government will hand back remains of murdered post-independence Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba to his family. Two of Lumumba's teeth were kept by a Belgian police officer after he destroyed Lumumba's body. One tooth will be given back to his family; the other is currently being held by the authorities as part of an investigation.

 

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