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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.

04 November 2020

UK: New report documents "insulting and degrading" financial support for asylum seekers

A new report by the charity Asylum Matters documents the effects of the government support provided to asylum seekers. The weekly rate of support for an individual - recently raised by a paltry three pence to £39.63, or £5.66 a day - is provided on a pre-paid card. The result is that people must "live in poverty for months, or even years at a time, as they wait for a decision on their asylum claim." The Home Office recently claimed that the three pence raise will "ensure essential needs are provided for."

03 November 2020

UK: Protest exemption set to be removed from England lockdown rules

The UK's first lockdown and subsequent restrictions did not prevent huge protests being organised, most notably those for racial equality. In fact, an exemption in the English coronavirus regulations has allowed protests to take place where the organisers follow certain protocols intended to prevent the spread of the virus. The police have previously been accused of using the virus as a way to prevent protests from happening in the first place - but now, with the second lockdown looming, the government is set to remove the exemption for protests altogether.

02 November 2020

EU: Exports of "dual-use" technology: Council's updated negotiating position

The Council's latest negotiating position on the proposed Regulation on "dual-use" exports.

02 November 2020

EU: Policing: member states get ready for the first “European Data Quality Day”

With the forthcoming interconnection of a host of EU databases for policing and migration, a lot more data on a lot more people will be available to a far greater number of authorities and officials than at present. However, EU databases are riddled with errors. As part of its proposal for a “European Police Partnership”, the German Presidency is planning a “European Data Quality Day” which will aim to improve “the quantity and quality of data” held in the Europol Information System and the Schengen Information System.

02 November 2020

Drone video shows scale of Poland's abortion protests

Impressive drone footage of protests against the Polish government's attempt to essentially outlaw abortion show the size of the movement opposed to the new measures. The protests are reportedly more militant and with a broader base than those that have taken place in previous years.

02 November 2020

UK: Cash refusal threatens people’s ability to pay for food and medicine

Information gathered from 2,500 people shows that the inability to pay in cash has had a significant effect upon people's lives during the pandemic. Many businesses have begun only accepting card payments, given the perception that COVID-19 may be transmitted by handling cash.

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.

 

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