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 November 2021

EU: Artificial Intelligence Act: Council aims to simplify use of mass biometric surveillance by law enforcement

The Council of the EU wants to make it possible for private actors to operate mass biometric surveillance systems on behalf of police forces, and intends to extend the purposes for which such systems can be used under the EU's proposed Artificial Intelligence Act.

26 November 2021

EU: Deportations at record levels as Frontex foresees an “unprecedented number" of post-pandemic removals

Frontex supported EU member states in removing over 8,300 non-EU nationals to their countries of origin in the first half of 2021, the largest ever number for a six-month period. However, the number of operations with at least one human rights monitor on board decreased by 7%, according to a report recently circulated to EU member states by the border agency.

26 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Consolidated text of revised Asylum Procedure Regulation proposal

The Council has circulated an unofficial consolidated text of the revised proposal for an Asylum Procedure Regulation, which would replace a previous Directive on common procedures for international protection in the EU. Available here, it will aid understanding of the proposal for individuals and organisations working to protect individual rights.

25 November 2021

Press release: Turkey: Algorithmic persecution based on massive privacy violations used to justify human rights abuses, says new report

More than 13,000 Turkish military personnel have been dismissed since July 2016 on the basis of an algorithm used by the authorities to assess the alleged “terrorist” credentials or connections of military officers and their relatives in violation of multiple human rights, says a new report published today by Statewatch. [1]

24 November 2021

EU: Greek-led military exercise examined intervention in fictional country of "Seglia"

An EU military exercise led by Greece in June this year tested the procedures and activities for launching an intervention in the fictional country of "Seglia", where incursions by the "Newborn Extremist State" and political interference from the country "Kronen" were leading to a deteriorating security situation with an impact on the EU's political and strategic interests.

18 November 2021

EU ropes in intelligence agencies for enhanced border checks targeting Afghan nationals

Intensified border security checks targeting Afghan nationals have been agreed by the Council of the EU, with the procedures requiring the extraction of mobile phone data and significant coordination with national intelligence agencies – despite the EU having no competences in the realm of “national security”.

18 November 2021

Time theft as part of the state’s anti-migration arsenal: expansive harms and policy

A new book offers a broad geographic and inter-disciplinary analysis of how time is used to dehumanise, disenfranchise and disempower asylum-seekers, irregular migrants and people awaiting deportation.

17 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: High level diplomacy between Frontex and Western Balkan partners

A meeting on 16 November 2021, co-organised by Frontex and the Slovenian Council Presidency, covered joint operations, information exchange and capacity building in a region seen by the EU as a "buffer zone" to deflect arrivals to its borders.

16 November 2021

Interpol must change its practices to protect human rights

Civil society organisations, elected representatives and other prominent public figures are calling on Interpol to take steps to prevent the abuse of international policing databases and alert systems by authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. A resolution sent to the policing organisation a week before its 89th General Assembly calls for the protection of human rights by the full implementation of recommendations made by the Council of Europe and European Parliament. Statewatch is one of the signatories of the resolution.

11 November 2021

EU: Climate change and migration - Council Presidency discussion paper

The Slovenian Presidency of the Council has launched a discussion on climate change and migration, calling for "a multi-sectoral approach that works across silos to address root causes and consequences – in other words, an approach that not only responds to and mitigates crises but that is also forward looking and preventative."

11 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Council ponders new action on migrant smuggling and "secondary movements"

In reponse to the publication of the EU's new action plan on migrant smuggling and the ongoing discussions on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Council has begun discussing new ways to deal with migrant smuggling and "secondary movements," defined as "the journeys undertaken by third-country nationals and stateless persons from one EU/[Schengen state] to another without the prior consent of national authorities and with or without facilitation."

11 November 2021

Austria: Targeting of Muslims in country's largest-ever police raid analysed in new report

A new report examines how Operation Luxor, the largest ever peacetime police raid undertaken by the Austrian authorities, "was an unlawful and ideologically-driven targeting of Austrian Muslims," that has been followed by government attempts to "[leverage] its Islamophobic policies to position itself as leader in Europe on ‘counter-terror’ measures."

11 November 2021

Greece: New campaign against criminalization of migration – Free The #Samos2

After shipwreck, survivor faces more than 230 years for “boat driving” and father charged with the death of his 6-year-old child

11 November 2021

Council of Europe: new recommendation on automated profiling adopted

Press release published by the Council of Europe on 3 November 2021, along with the updated recommendation.

10 November 2021

EU: Special forces network seeks explosive drones for anti-terrorism operations

The EU-funded ATLAS network of special forces hopes to explore the possible use of drones fitted with explosives "as tactical support weapons and particularly to breach windows," according to its work programme for 2023, which has been obtained by Statewatch.

10 November 2021

EU: The ‘weaponised migration’ discourse dehumanises asylum-seekers

Following the arrival of a substantial number of people in Poland and Lithuania after having crossed the border from Belarus, the EU and its member states have accused the regime of Alexander Lukashenko of "weaponising migration" - a discourse that legitimises the treatment of asylum-seekers "as other than human".

09 November 2021

EU: New report: "Detection of vulnerabilities in the international protection procedure"

A report by the European Migration Network examines how and when EU member states detect "vulnerabilities" - for example relating to age, gender, family situation or medical conditions - of applicants for international protection.

08 November 2021

“Not alongside Frontex”: academics speak out against border collaboration

An academic at Turin Polytechnic University has denounced the institution's work for EU border agency Frontex. The campaign group LasciateCIEntrare has called on individuals and institutions "not to legitimate the violent, repressive, expelling and racialising of the European Union".

05 November 2021

UK: Arrival without an electronic travel authorization could mean up to four years in prison

The government has ramped up its attack on people arriving in the country without first seeking permission, with the addition of new powers that would make it possible for courts to hand down prison sentences of up to four years.

04 November 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Migration action plans on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria

Eight draft action plans for cooperation with non-EU states on migration and border control were approved by the European Council in October. Documents dealing with Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria, published here, show a chosen path of intensified externalisation of EU border management, and very little commitment to legal migration pathways.


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