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.

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.

24 August 2020

German naval deployments sit back and watch illegal deportations by the Greek authorities

In response to parliamentary questions, a German Defence Ministry official has admitted knowing that migrants and refugees have been pushed back to Turkey by the Greek authorities. Two incidents were observed by German naval vessels, but the fact that they did not intervene to halt the illegal deportations makes Germany equally culpable, says the MP who filed the questions. The admission comes after months of increased illegal deportations by Greece.

24 August 2020

Belarus: we stand in solidarity with the people

A statement in support of those protesting in Belarus signed by a number of civil society organisations, including Statewatch.

24 August 2020

Belarus: protests continue

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Minsk at the weekend to continue to protest against Alexander Lukashenko, the longstanding president who claimed victory in recent elections with 80% of the vote. Meanwhile, over 50,000 people in Lithuania formed a human chain to the Belarussian border in solidarity.

21 August 2020

Schizophrenic agendas in the EU's external actions in Mali

An academic article explaining the results of research into the EU's security activities in Mali.

21 August 2020

Press release: EU’s planned ‘deportation machine’: expensive, dangerous and lacking in transparency and accountability measures

Plans to increase the number of deportations from the EU will cost hundreds of millions of euros, create giant, opaque and unaccountable agencies and further undermine claims that the EU occupies the moral high ground in its treatment of migrants, argues a new report by the civil liberties organisation Statewatch.

19 August 2020

Appeal for the respect of the fundamental rights of exiles at the Franco-Italian and other borders

Translation of an appeal circulated by Roya Citoyenne on 17 August 2020, concerning the violation of peoples' rights at the Franco-Italian border through denial of access to the asylum procedure, refoulements, lack of proper accommodation and no access to health care.

19 August 2020

UK: Channel crossings - 100 groups demand safe and legal routes now

Civil society organisations, Windrush survivors, religious organisations and others are calling on the UK government to provide safe and legal routes to access the country as a way to halt the ongoing crossings of the Channel by people travelling in small boats. The death of 16-year-old boy, who drowned after trying to reach the UK, underscores the importance of the letter.

19 August 2020

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism: regulating expression online, without accountability?

An article in Slate looks at the workings of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), a global, informal body set up in 2017 by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in response to government pressure to 'do something' about hate speech and extremist content online. Are its methods for regulating online speech transparent, accountable and under democratic control?

19 August 2020

'Schrems II' fallout: talks begin on "an enhanced EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework"

Will the EU and USA find a new way to permit the transatlantic commercial transfer of personal data? On 10 August talks took place between the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce "to evaluate the potential for an enhanced EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework" following the invalidation of the former Privacy Shield by the Court of Justice (CJEU) in the 'Schrems II' case. Observers believe that a replacement is likely, but would also be struck down by the courts without significant reforms to the US legal system.


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