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.

11 September 2020

Greece: Thousands left without shelter after Moria fire - what now?

Thousands of people who were living in the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesvos have been left without shelter after a huge fire that began on Tuesday night destroyed most of the tents and buildings. Other EU member states have agreed to take in unaccompanied children who were living in Moria. The Greek government has been accused of responding with "securitisation as opposed to the provision of urgent assistance."

11 September 2020

EU: Updates to Frontex complaints mechanism shrouded in secrecy

EU border agency Frontex is in the process of updating the rules governing its highly-criticised individual complaints mechanism. Attempts to ensure transparency over those updates - which have important implications for the protection of fundamental rights - have, so far, been unsuccesful.

10 September 2020

France: Six months undercover with the police: racism, violence, impunity

A new book by French journalist Valentin Gendrot chronicles the six months he spent working undercover as a police officer in Paris, where police violence "was so frequent it became almost banal".

09 September 2020

UK: Digital ID plans unveiled and condemned

The UK government has announced "plans to enable the use of digital identity across the UK," stating its intention to "update existing laws and a new set of guiding principles for policy development."

09 September 2020

EU: Study on the political economy of border control measures

An in-depth study conducted as part of an EU-funded research project picks apart the "political economy of entry governance" in the EU - in short, who is allowed to enter the EU and who is not. The report is "founded on the outlook that any careful analysis of EU entry governance needs to take into account the political economy of border control practices, and how they can be shaped by concerns other than about migration, and by other actors than the public bodies and institutions of the EU or its Member States."

09 September 2020

UK: New reports on immigration detention and the hostile environment

Two new reports, by the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Institute for Public Policy Research, expose some of the most harmful aspects of the UK's immigration and asylum system.

08 September 2020

UK: Police to stop referring to protesters as "domestic extremists"

Many years of campaigning by the Network for Police Monitoring and others has pushed the police to stop referring to protesters "domestic extremists". It remains to be seen what term will be adopted to replace it.

08 September 2020

Greece: Grassroots groups condemn government plans for closed detention centres

Under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, the migrant and refugee reception centres on Lesvos and Chios - already overcrowded, unsanitary and unable to provide people with their basic rights - are to be turned into closed detention centres, the Greek government has announced. The move has been condemned by grassroots organisations.

07 September 2020

ICS, UNHCR and IOM call on States to end humanitarian crisis onboard ship in the Mediterranean

In a joint press release, two UN agencies and a global industry body have called on the International Maritime Organization to take steps to ensure that the Maersk Etienne cargo ship is allocated a port of disembarkation. 27 rescued people have been trapped on board the ship for over a month.

07 September 2020

Controlling the use of personal data by intelligence agencies: Council of Europe officials call for action

In the wake of the Schrems II ruling at the Court of Justice of the EU, which annulled certain data transfers from the EU to the USA due to a lack of data protection safeguards, two high-ranking Council of Europe officials have called for all UN member states to accede to Council of Europe Convention 108 and its protocols, which cover the protection of personal data. They argue that wider implementation of the Convention will "address the question of the operation of intelligence services, under the aegis of a globally respected human rights organisation."

04 September 2020

European Arrest Warrant: Dutch court seeks answers from CJEU over extradition to Poland

Dutch courts have suspended extraditions to Poland, pending answers from the Court of Justice of the EU over whether the Polish judicial system can provide the necessary guarantees regarding the right to a fair trial. The move follows doubts expressed by courts in Germany, Ireland and Spain.

04 September 2020

Greece: Massive denials of entry, lockdown of migrant and refugee centres extended

ECRE provide an update on the situation in Greece, where the Shipping Minister has said that 10,000 people have been prevented from irregularly entering the country so far in 2020, the coronavirus lockdown on centres for migrants and refugees has been extended until 15 September, and the first instance recognition rate for asylum claims has risen to 69%.

03 September 2020

Search and rescue: EU states are demanding ships assist in rescues, then refusing permission to disembark

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders explain the case of SeaWatch 4, which was recently left at sea for 11 days with 353 rescued people on board, until it was finally allowed to disembark in Palermo. MSF explain the dirty tricks being played by EU member states that are putting people's lives at risk.


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