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Anti-semitic campaigns were launched by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement in Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden recently, in the week leading up to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Actions were taken in almost 20 different cities including direct confrontation of Jewish worshippers, putting up anti-semitic posters and distributing flyers. The organisation was issued with a cease-and-desist order by the Finnish Supreme Court in late September, the first such order handed down in Finland since the 1970s.
UN human rights experts have called on MPs in the Westminster parliament to reject the Overseas Operations (service personnel and Veterans) Bill, which seeks to prevent prosecutions of British armed forces personnel for serious crimes such as torture and unlawful killing.
A study by EASO looking at how member states have implemented the 2013 Asylum Procedures Directive, which allows for the use of "border procedures" for a rapid assessment of asylum applications. Under measures recently-proposed as part of the Pact on Migration and Asylum, border procedures - and accompanying large-scale detention - would become far more widely-used.
A report by Greenpeace and Liberties details measures taken by a variety of EU governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The report argues that governments have taken "political advantage of the pandemic" by curbing "the right to protest, free speech, access to information and freedom of association."
The Greek police have handed files to the prosecution authorities alleging the involvement of 35 foreign nationals in migrant smuggling. The files list offences such as "forming and joining a criminal organisation, espionage, violation of state secrets, as well as violations of the Immigration Code".
The Dutch police have started employing an array of "predictive policing" technologies, in projects that the police themselves describe as "living labs". Amnesty say that one such project in the city of Roemund treats the population "as 'guinea pigs' under mass surveillance and discriminates against people with Eastern European nationalities."
The European Commission and Council want to extend the 'Prüm Decisions' - which mandate the interlinking of national DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration databases - to include facial recognition. At a hearing last week, MEPs and experts raised serious concerns over the idea.
The Coronavirus Act, which was introduced by the UK government in March and which sets out an extensive and extreme set of emergency powers, has been renewed in a vote by MPs. They were granted just 90 minutes to debate the measures.
The EU is moving toward renewal of the 'Joint Way Forward with Afghanistan', an informal agreement that facilitates the deportation of Afghans present in the EU. A secret document from July, published here, sets out the member states' demands to the Commission for the renewed agreement. It includes a call for "the notion of vulnerable groups" to be "limited", which would ease the deportation of people who may otherwise qualify for protection.
It has emerged in recent days that the UK government is considering the possibility of housing asylum-seekers in camps outside the country.
Barbed wire fences and microchipped armbands to control entry await the future residents of a forthcoming "closed camp" for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Samos.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights has produced its annual report for 2019, and a number of familiar concerns are again present. The Forum was set up eight years ago to provide Frontex with independent advice on fundamental rights.
The German Presidency of the Council of the EU is planning a new working party, which will work on policy and legal initiatives aiming to reintroduce EU-wide blanket telecommunication surveillance. Previous EU legislation on telecoms data retention was struck down by the Court of Justice in 2014, but many national laws remain in place and there are ongoing efforts to introduce a new EU-wide regime.
Last week the European Commission published its Pact on Migration and Asylum. While it includes some new measures, it also calls for the adoption of previous proposals that were the subject of significant disagreement between the Council and the European Parliament. Today we are publishing Council documents that have until now remained secret, including blocked provisional agreements on the rules on reception conditions and the criteria for qualification for international protection.
The UK parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has released a new report on the impact of the government's response to the pandemic on human rights. The report looks at the rights to life, to liberty, to privacy, to education, to a fair trial and others.
Six months after it was passed into law, the Coronavirus Act is due to come before parliament for a vote on its renewal. However, renewing the act would allow the government to continue passing new laws without any parliamentary scrutiny of individual measures. This would mean the continuation of what one former Supreme Court judge has called government by decree.
Bulgaria has agreed to accept 70 unaccompanied minors affected by the fire in the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. However, conditions for migrants and refugees are problematic - the use of detention is widespread, and racism and xenophobia are deeply rooted in Bulgarian society, argues Milana Nikolova.
Europol should become "a kind of European FBI", according to Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of the German state of Lower Saxony and one of the co-chairs of Europol's Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group. "In the medium term, it must also have its own executive powers," he has said.
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There were no human rights monitors present on 20% of the deportation charter flights coordinated by Frontex in 2019, according to an agency report being published today by Statewatch.
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