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.

04 August 2020

After six long years, no justice for border deaths and pushbacks to Morocco from Spain

Sixteen Guardia Civil officers have walked free from court in Cádiz following a ruling that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute them for their involvement in the deaths of 15 people who tried to reach Spanish territory by sea, and the ‘hot return’ (summary expulsion) of 23 other people to Morocco, in February 2014.

04 August 2020

EU: New Europol Regulation: what the agency wants, the agency gets?

Europol, the EU's policing agency, has circulated a document to member state delegations in the Council's Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP) setting out what it sees as the shortcomings in its current legal basis. The document is intended to inform discussion on a forthcoming legal proposal that will give Europol more extensive powers.

04 August 2020

UK: Threat of legal challenge forces Home Office to abandon "racist visa algorithm"

The UK Home Office has said that it will get rid of the "streaming algorithm" used to classify visa applications and will launch a review of the system, following an application for judicial review brought by the civil society organisations Foxglove and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).

03 August 2020

Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (14 July-3 August 2020)

Including: Court judgment confirms that Slovenia and Croatia committed "chain pushbacks" / Pull-backs by the Libyan Coast Guard: complaint filed with UN Human Rights Committee / Borders, budgets and beyond: LIBE report sheds light on Frontex’s priorities for implementing its new mandate / EU support for "migration management" in the Western Balkans squarely focused on control measures / Greece: New Legal Centre Lesvos report details collective expulsions in the Aegean Sea

03 August 2020

Libya: “They were shot and killed as they fled arbitrary detention”

Three people who were pulled back to Libya after trying to flee the country have been shot and killed and two others have been injured. According to MSF, they were part of a group of 73 people whose attempt at escaping Libya by sea was thwarted by the Libyan Coast Guard. All those killed or injured are between the ages of 15 and 18.

03 August 2020

Greece: EU to provide €130 million for detention centres on Aegean islands

Three new detention centres will be constructed with EU funds on the Aegean islands of Samos, Leros and Kos.

03 August 2020

Serbia: Documentary exposes the dangers of mass biometric surveillance

A new documentary sets out the dangers posed by the Serbian government's drive to blanket Belgrade with facial recognition cameras.

03 August 2020

Court judgment confirms that Slovenia and Croatia committed "chain pushbacks"

The latest newsletter from Inicijativa Dobrodošli!/Welcome! Initiative reports on a Slovenian court judgment confirming that both Slovenia and Croatia participated in the "chain pushback" of a man identified as J.D., who was illegally expelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

03 August 2020

UK: Local authorities must probe police use of data analytics to map communities

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) calls on local authorities to probe how the police are using data analytics software, following the news that London's Metropolitan Police have used software that its makers claim can be used “to profile perpetrators and victims”, raising concerns over the potential for unwarranted discrimination.

30 July 2020

Nigerians returned from Europe face stigma and growing hardship

The EU is aiming to prevent Nigerians from arriving in EU, and to deport many of those who have been living there irregularly. On their arrival back in Nigeria, those who are removed - whether by forced expulsion or through 'voluntary return' programmes - receive differing levels of support, but both face challenges that may lead them to re-emigrate.

30 July 2020

Ireland: Data protection watchdog questions airport checks over Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The Irish Department of Social Protection has been questioning passengers at airports to see whether they may have been contravening the terms of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Their approach has raised eyebrows at the country's data protection authority, which argues they may have been ignoring the legal requirement for reasonable suspicion as the basis for questioning.

30 July 2020

Serbia: Targeting of journalists and NGOs a blatant act of intimidation

Amnesty International condemns investigations launched by the Serbian state into the activities of NGOs and journalists. The investigations come in the wake of anti-government protests.

30 July 2020

UK: Former equalities chiefs: we were not reappointed because we were "too loud and vocal" on racism

A report in Newsweek publishes claims by two former members of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that they were not reappointed to their roles, despite being recommended to do so, because they were too vocal on issues of racism.

30 July 2020

New world disorder: digital attacks on freedom of assembly

A new report from Access Now examines how digital infrastructure can be blocked, shut down, or monitored to prevent people exercising their right to freedom of assembly.

30 July 2020

Spain: Huge funding increase for migration control in Africa challenged in court

Spain's government has massively stepped up funding for African states for migration control purposes in recent years. €30 million provided to Morocco is being challenged in court.

30 July 2020

UK: Increasing police use of Tasers poses "threat to life"

A new report aims "to inform members of the public of the threat to life posed by the increasing adoption of Tasers by police forces across England and Wales," and in particular by Greater Manchester Police, who have taken up use of the 'less-lethal' weapons with gusto.

29 July 2020

Ireland: 'Reunited refugees at risk of being homeless'

A new report by Nasc, a migrant and refugee rights organisation, explains "the many challenges faced by reunified [refugee] families, including significant barriers to accessing housing and a high risk of homelessness, as well as difficulties accessing other essential services. It highlights significant unmet support needs which are likely to hinder integration into Irish society."

28 July 2020

UK: MI6 apologise for asking court staff to withhold evidence from Judges

The UK's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, has apologised to human rights groups after pressuring court staff to withold evidence in a case concerning a policy that allows state agents to commit serious crimes.

28 July 2020

Mediterranean: Almost 100 people left adrift for 33 hours: non-assistance policies continue to put lives at risk

The New York Times reports on the latest case of non-assistance to people in distress in the Mediterranean, this time involving almost 100 people in a rubber dinghy who were only rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta following intense pressure from activists and civil society groups.

28 July 2020

Counter-terrorism and the Arts: How counter-terrorism policies restrict the right to freedom of expression

A new paper from TNI examines how counter-terrorism law and policy can impinge upon freedom of expression in the arts.

 

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