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.

30 October 2020

UAE police chief would be a disastrous choice to lead Interpol

Peter Oborne argues that Interpol should reject the candidacy of Major General Nasser Ahmed al-Raisi, a police chief in the United Arab Emirates, for the policing organisation's top job. Al-Raisi is responsible for managing the UAE's security forces, who stand accused of serious crimes, including the repression of dissent and torture. Interpol's general assembly is due to decide the organisation's new chief in December.

30 October 2020

Germany: More than 2,000 new authorities to gain access to the revamped Schengen Information System

The rules on the Schengen Information System (SIS) were revised in 2018 and provide the possibility for member states to connect new authorities, either directly or indirectly, to the database. The system holds data on tens of millions of wanted or missing persons and objects. In Germany, some 2,000 new authorities will gain access to data. Meanwhile in Switzerland, there is a political controversy over accepting the new rules - but if the country were to reject them, it would have to leave the Schengen area altogether.

30 October 2020

Recovering antiracism: Reflections on collectivity and solidarity in antiracist organising

A new paper published by the Transnational Institute (TNI).

30 October 2020

Deadliest Shipwreck of the Year Claims at Least 140 Lives

Some 140 people have died after a boat carrying 200 people heading towards the Canary Islands sank off the coast of Senegal.

30 October 2020

BLM UK gains legal status and renames as Black Liberation Movement UK

Black Lives Matter UK has renamed itself as Black Liberation Movement UK and legally registered as a community benefit society, and is set to start using some of the £1.2 million in donations it has received so far this year.

29 October 2020

EU: Tracking the Pact: The "full grotesquerie of Europe’s approach to forced migration is on display", say ECRE

ECRE's initial examination of the proposed Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management finds it to be complex, confusing, contradictory and conniving. The organisation argues that the proposal seeks to strengthen the role of DG HOME and internal security policies in relation to migration management.

29 October 2020

Who gets most of EU funding for military research and development?

The European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) has done the maths on the EU's military research and development funding, finding that over half the funding is distributed between four member states, and seven of the top ten companies receiving funds were members of the 'Group of Personalities' that advised the European Commission to start funding the development of arms and military technologies.

29 October 2020

EU: German Presidency: Documents on the future of legal migration and COVID-19: lessons learned regarding legal migration

Two discussion papers recently circulated by the German Presidency of the Council, on the future of legal migration to the EU and lessons learned for legal migration policy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

29 October 2020

ECHR-Belgium: Deportation of applicant to Sudan: violation of Convention

Belgium's deportation of an individual to Sudan violated the rights to an effective remedy and the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, the ECHR has ruled. The case concerns a deportation that took place in 2017, when the Belgian and Sudanese authorities were cooperating closely on forced removals.

29 October 2020

EU: Study demands new ways for Europol to access personal data from private parties

Current rules are "perceived to be insufficient by both Europol and the OSPs [online service providers]."

29 October 2020

Council of the EU: Germany proposes "joining forces with the tech industry" to undermine encryption

The German Presidency of the Council is pressing ahead with its efforts to undermine encryption in the name of law enforcement. Close cooperation with industry is the preferred means, but "there should be no single prescribed technical solution to provide access to the encrypted data." However, as experts have long pointed out, there is no way to give law enforcement agencies routine access to encrypted data without fundamentally undermining the security of all users of a given service or technology.

28 October 2020

UK: Channel migrants: Deaths should be 'a wake-up call' for those in power

Four people - two adults and two children - have died whilst attempting to cross the Channel in a small boat, which sank off the coast of France. There are calls for changes to the UK's asylum system and border control measures to prevent the same thing happening again in the future. This incident follows the drowning of a teenager earlier this year.

27 October 2020

EU: Frontex signs contract for "human intelligence training" with private security company

EU border agency Frontex has signed a €15,000 contract with a private security company based in Northern Ireland for the provision of "human intelligence training".

27 October 2020

Europol report: The challenges of countering human trafficking in the digital era

A brief Europol report looks at the changing landscape of human trafficking in light of new technologies, and sets out some of the new law enforcement activities and powers it perceives as required to deal with the issue.

27 October 2020

EU: Tracking the Pact: UNHCR "considerations for fair and fast border procedures and solidarity"

The UNHCR has issued a paper setting out certain "practical considerations for fair and fast border procedures and solidarity". A proposal for procedures to swiftly assess asylum claims whilst individuals are detained in facilities at the EU's border is a key feature of the EU's new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

27 October 2020

Italy: Government reverses some of Salvini's anti-asylum policies

On 5 October the Italian council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses a number of policies introduced by former interior minister Matteo Salvini. Residency permits will once again be available on humanitarian grounds, and asylum-seekers will have the right to access services offered through the country's reception system. However, the government has maintained fines for the crews of ships carrying out search and rescue activities, merely reducing the penalty from one million to €50,000. Parliamentary oversight may see changes to the new rules.

27 October 2020

Frontex to carry out "internal inquiry" into allegations of direct involvement in pushbacks

EU border agency Frontex has been accused of direct involvement in at least two pushback operations in the Aegean Sea, and of being in close proximity to four others, following an investigation by a number of media outlets.

27 October 2020

Bulk data interception/retention judgments of the CJEU – A victory and a defeat for privacy

Juraj Sajfert argues that a recent CJEU decision on national bulk data retention and collection practices is "a complex victory for the law enforcement community and a major step back in the Court’s data retention jurisprudence."

27 October 2020

Italy and Frontex now monitor the Mediterranean Sea with large drones

Large drones are heading to the skies above the Mediterranean, with both Italy and EU border agency Frontex recently agreeing multi-million euro contracts with private companies. The drones will be used for border surveillance, and in particular are like to assist with pull-backs to North Arican states.

26 October 2020

UK: West Midlands Police to stop prosecuting hundreds of drug users and offer help instead

The UK's second-largest police force is to stop prosecuting people caught with drugs intended for personal use, provided that they agree to participate in a drug education or treatment scheme.


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