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 our RSS feed to get instant alerts.

07 September 2021

Germany: "Like a prison": Kiel University study examines everyday life in refugee shelters during the Corona pandemic

Press release issued by Pro Asylum on 2 September 2021, concerning a study by Kiel University into conditions in refugee shelters during the pandemic.

07 September 2021

France: Judgment in the appeal of the 'Briançon Seven': see you on 9 September in Grenoble

Press release issued by Amnesty International, Medecins du Monde, Anafé, La Cimade, Tous Migrants and the Briançon 3+4 Support Committee on 7 September concerning the case of the Briançon Seven, who are appealing against prison sentences handed down against them for migrant smuggling, after they took part in a demonstration in solidarity with migrants and against the far-right group Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity).

06 September 2021

EU member states: mixed views on proposed restrictive visa measures to encourage deportation cooperation

Earlier this year the European Commission proposed the possibility of taking measures to restrict the issuance of visas to nationals of three countries - Iraq, The Gambia and Bangladesh - in order to encourage compliance with deportations from the EU. Member states have mixed views on the proposals, a Council document shows.

06 September 2021

Council of Europe: Greece's Parliament should align the deportations and return bill with human rights standards

A strong statement from the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights condemns legislation currently before the Greek parliament that would "seriously hinder the life-saving work carried out at sea by NGOs, and their human rights monitoring capacities in the Aegean”.

06 September 2021

Council of the EU to intervene in Irish case questioning post-Brexit extradition arrangements

The Council of the EU will submit written comments to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in a case referred from the Supreme Court of Ireland, which has asked the CJEU to clarify whether the extradition arrangements set out in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement are valid, given that Ireland did not exercise an 'opt-in' to the Agreement.

06 September 2021

EU: New rules on Europol and the Schengen Information System: latest Council text

The rules would create a new type of "information alert in the interest of the Union," to be entered in the Schengen Information System following a proposal from Europol, with the aim of discreetly gathering information on third-country nationals.

02 September 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Member states seek to increase detention periods in the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation

In July, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council circulated a number of compromise amendments to the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation following "detailed examination of proposals and concerns expressed by Member States," including a proposal to increase the time limit for detaining people subject to transfer proceedings from four to five weeks.

01 September 2021

Hungary: Attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights raised with UN special rapporteurs

A letter to a number of UN special rapporteurs signed by 23 civil society organisations, including Statewatch, raises serious concerns over the Hungarian government's attacks on the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. The letter calls on the UN special rapporteurs to put pressure on the Hungarian government to change track, and to call on the EU to launch further infringement proceedings against the country.

01 September 2021

The war in Afghanistan is over, the "war on terror" continues

US president Joe Biden made a speech yesterday to mark the end of the war in Afghanistan, two decades after the invasion by the US and its allies in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks. Biden was clear that while he is not keen on any further major military interventions, other methods (drones, missile strikes and special forces operations - will be used to hunt down "those who wish America harm" and make them "pay the ultimate price".

31 August 2021

Council of the EU: Draft statement on the situation in Afghanistan

Statement due to be adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council today.

25 August 2021

UK: Live facial recognition technology should not be used in public spaces

Over 30 human rights organisations, including Statewatch, are calling on the UK parliament and other relevant agencies and bodies to take action to ban the public deployment of live facial recognition technology. An open letter condemns the adoption of guidance for the police that sidesteps many requirements set out by court jurisprudence, and calls for urgent democratic debate on a technology that introduces "a huge shift in the relationship between the individual and the State."

25 August 2021

EU: €5 million for new wiretapping technologies

The European Commission has made €5 million available for research projects that aim to help law enforcement authorities maintain the ability to intercept telecommunications – something which is threatened by the adoption of new technologies such as 5G networks and “edge computing”.

24 August 2021

Belarussian government's "hybrid attack" on European borders: statement from Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish and Estonian prime ministers

A declaration signed by four EU member state prime ministers reasserts the argument that the arrival of people at their borders from Belarus is a "hybrid attack... planned and systemically organized by the regime of Alexander Lukashenka," and calls for a coordinated EU and UN response.

23 August 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Migration plans for Afghanistan before the fall of the government

Two internal EU documents on Afghanistan - a European Commission "draft action plan" for a "comprehensive migration partnership" from July, and a Council discussion paper from May - make clear the level of EU and member state engagement with Afghanistan on migration prior to the fall of the government to the Taliban.

05 August 2021

EU Military Committee advice on Libya: extend aerial surveillance, increase "attractiveness" of EU support to coast guard

Two documents concerning possible options for ongoing EU engagement with authorities in Libya.

05 August 2021

EU: New report on reception, detention and restriction of movement at EU external borders

Asylum proposals currently under discussion are likely introduce mandatory detention for many people arriving at the external borders of the EU and deemed to have no right to enter. A new report from the European Council on Refugees and Exiles critiques existing practice and the new proposals through the lens of international law and human rights standards.

05 August 2021

Frontex: Beleaguered border agency seeks to expand standing corps

EU border agency Frontex announced on Tuesday that it will be renewing recruitment to swell its all-new standing corps of border guards, the “EU’s first uniformed service”.

03 August 2021

African Union condemns Danish asylum externalisation law "in the strongest terms possible"

The African Union (AU) has roundly condemned new Danish legislation that allows asylum claims filed with the country to be processed elsewhere - a move the AU says is an abdication of responsibility that will pave the way for other rich countries to try to make poor states host even more of the world's refugees.

03 August 2021

France: Revolts in detention centres: the government throws oil on the fire

The Observatory on Detention of Foreigners (Observatoire de l'enfermement des étrangers, OEE) has condemned the French government's ongoing use of administrative detention for non-citizens, in the wake of revolts that broke out in the Mesnil Amelot detention centre last week. Forced PCR tests - which are contrary to the law - have made a tense situation even worse, says the group.

29 July 2021

UK: Home Office data strategy: digital infrastructure for 'law and order'

The UK Home Office plans to maximise the gathering, matching and processing of personal and other data, making it possible to deploy "automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence" for the purposes of law enforcement, border control, customs and various other activities.


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