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Statewatch News Online, Part 2: 7 July 2009 (11/09)

Home page: www.statewatch.org/
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Observatories: www.statewatch.org/observatories.htm

1.   Italian “Extraordinary Rendition” Victim Still Held In Morocco Based On Tortured Confession
2.   EU: STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Work programme for the Swedish Presidency
3.   UK: Basque Solidarity Campaign: Seminars
4.   EU: European Commission: Internet of Things – An action plan for Europe
5.   EU: IRELAND-LISBON: Analysis by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex
6.   UK-TORTURE: How UK’s torture policy was traced back up political ladder
7.   EU-UK: Regulation on access to EU documents: House of Lords report
8.   UK: HoL: Select Committee: Government’s response to Surveillance: Citizens and the State
9. UK: LORD CARLILE: Report on the operation in 2008 of the terrorism act 2000
10. Statewatch’s Observatory on “Terrorist” lists
11. France: Criminalising solidarity: FIDH report
12. EU: European Commission: European Pact on Immigration and Asylum
13. EU: Council discussions: “State of play”: Access to documents
14. EU: Latest on new measures inc EU-PNR
15: Irealnd and the Lisbon Treaty: Analysis
16. IN THE NEWS links

1. Italian “Extraordinary Rendition” Victim Still Held In Morocco Based On Tortured Confession (ACLU, link):
www.aclu.org/intlhumanrights/national
security/40028prs20090625.html

“Human rights groups ask two U.N. Special Rapporteurs to investigate the case of Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian citizen and victim of the CIA’s unlawful “extraordinary rendition” program who is currently held in a Moroccan prison based on a confession coerced from him through torture.”

2. EU: STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME: Work programme for the Swedish Presidency of the EU 1 July – 31 December 2009 (see p 8):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun
/eu-swedish-presidency-jha-prog.pdf

See also: Sweden to push for more transparent EU migration rules (euobserver, link):
euobserver.com/9/28351

“[Swedish Europe Minister] Ms Malmstrom…said the commission’s proposals in this area, put forward earlier this month, were “a good starting point” for discussions, although they have been strong criticised by some civil liberties group for potentially leading to a “surveillance society.

But Ms Malmstrom admitted that it will be a challenge to strike the right balance between “the more repressive measures taken under police cooperation” and safeguarding civil rights.”

and Preparing the Stockholm Programme – Organisation of discussions in the Council:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/
eu-council-stockholm-11300-09.pdf

The latter document refers to the “stakeholder” (EU officals ansd academics) Bruges Conference:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/eu-stockholm-bruges-conf.pdf

which, from this lengthy report, threw up few original ideas but did include:

Stefano RODOTA, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency, “Promoting fundamental rights as the core of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice”, former Member of the Camera dei Deputati in Italy: “highlighted the problems currently dealt with. He stated that the indivisibility of rights has resulted in a weaker status being given to the social rights. Also, the fundamental rights have in a way been polluted and exploited in the fight against terrorism. There are today restrictions far beyond the need to fight terrorism. All of this is due to the lack of filter of the requests from the US. An example of this is PNR and data protection and the fact that the US refused the equivalent protection of European citizens compared to US citizens.

According to Mr. Rodota the EU must refuse the “securitanism resulting in a digital tsunami that will lead to a future where there will be a digital record on everything.”

3. UK: CAMPACC, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Statewatch, Basque Solidarity Campaign: Seminars: The Basque Country and Northern Ireland: Self-Determination, Proscription and Human Rights in the EU:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/
uk-basque-country-n-ireland-seminars.pdf

4. EU: European Commission: Internet of Things – An action plan for Europe:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/
eu-com-278-internet-of-things.pdf

and Internet governance: the next steps:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/eu-
com-277-internet-of-things-next%20steps.pdf

5. EU: IRELAND-LISBON: Lisbon Treaty guarantees for Ireland: Analysis by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/lisbon-ireland.pdf

6. UK-TORTURE: How UK’s torture policy was traced back up political ladder• MI5 officer’s testimony led to police investigation – Report shows Blair knew of interrogation guidelines (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/18/
mi5-terrorism-torture-policy-blair/print

and Tony Blair knew of secret policy on terror interrogations: Letter reveals former PM was aware of guidance to UK agents (link). See too: Breaking the rules on tortureThe details of the government’s post-9/11 torture policy are shocking. A full investigation must be carried out (Guardian, link) by Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve:
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/
2009/jun/19/torture-policy-investigation/print

Background: Intelligence and Security Committee: The Handling of Detainees by UK Intelligence Personnel in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq (2005):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/uk-mi5-toture-intel-cttee-rep.pdf

7. EU-UK: Regulation on access to EU documents: House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union issues critical report on the European Commission’s proposals and the position of the UK government: Access to EU Documents:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/eu-uk
-hol-access-to-eu-docs-regulation.pdf

Including:

“Q6 Chairman: Just to take a specific example, we have referred elsewhere to the publication on Statewatch of one of the Presidency’s working documents, of the type which this Committee rarely but occasionally sees, and the commentary by Professor Steve Peers. Do you regard that as helpful or unhelpful to the progression of such matters?

Caroline Flint (Minister for Europe): I do not think it is very helpful.”

Commenting Lord Mance, Chairman of the Lords EU Sub-Committee on Law and Institutions, said:

“Providing public access to documents is a key element in securing the accountability of European Institutions to European citizens. “We support attempts to make the EU more open to public scrutiny and hope the Commission use this opportunity to improve public access to documents, not limit it further. For that reason we think it is important that access to draft documents is maintained. It is not appropriate for the European Commission to establish arbitrary definitions of the point where a document is ‘formally transmitted’ in order to maintain space for policy development.

“We are concerned that the UK Government are seeking greater restrictions on the publication of legal advice in respect of legislation, and of negotiating positions adopted by Member States. Legislation should take place in as open an environment as possible.”

8. UK: House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution: Analysis of the Government’s response to Surveillance: Citizens and the State:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/uk-hol-
gov-response-to-surveillance-society-report.pdf

Press release says: “The House of Lords Constitution Committee has expressed disappointment at the government’s response to its report on surveillance and privacy. The report in February recommended more powers for the Information Commissioner, in particular to allow monitoring of the private sector, and greater use of privacy impact assessments. Lord Goodlad, chairman of the Lords Constitution Committee, said: “We are disappointed the government has failed to recognise the fundamental importance of privacy in the relationship between individuals and the state,” he said… In its response to the report, the government rejected proposals for a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which allows authorities to intercept communications, as well as rejecting calls for a Joint Committee on surveillance and data powers and for more information to be provided to citizens on surveillance issues. And the committee said the government failed to address recommendations on citizen-oriented identification systems that could give individuals control over identification and authentication data.”

9. UK: LORD CARLILE Annual report for 2008: Report on the operation in 2008 of the terrorism act 2000 and of part 1 of the terrorism act 2006 by Lord Carlile QC:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/uk-carlile-report-2008.pdf

See: Terror watchdog in search warning (BBC News, link):
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8105093.stm

“Police have been advised to use the anti-terrorism powers sparingly. The UK’s terror law watchdog says people are being stopped and searched to racially balance official figures.”

Update: Home Office answers Lord Carlile’s report, reassures photographers (British Journal of Photography, link)
www.bjp-online.com/public/showPage.html?
page=printer_friendly&print=863068

10. Updated: Statewatch’s Observatory on “Terrorist” lists: monitoring proscription, designation and asset-freezing:
www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/terrorlists.html

11. France: Criminalising solidarity: FIDH report The observatory for the protection of human rights defenders (FIDH -OMCT) has published a research report on the obstacles faced by defenders of the rights of migrants in France entitled “Crime of solidarity”: stigmatisation, repression and intimidation of defenders of the rights of migrants: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/
france-fidh-criminalising-solidarity.pdf

12. EU: European Commission: Tracking method for monitoring the implementation of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (COM 266 2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/eu
-com-imm-asylum-pact-266-09.pdf

13. EU: Council discussions: “State of play”: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child-pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA – State of play and: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting victims, repealing Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA – State of play (EU doc no: 9892/09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jun/
eu-council-trafficking-9892-09.pdf

14. EU: Update on new measures: EU-PNR: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) for law enforcement purposes (EU doc no: 5618/09 REV 2): www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-pnr-council-5618-rev2-09.pdf

and: Draft Council Framework Decision on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters (EU doc no: 11119/09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-
council-trans-proceedings-11119-09.pdf

plus Explanatory Report: on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/eu-
council-trans-proceedings-em-11119-add1.09.pdf

15. IRELAND and the LISBON TREATY: Analysis: Revisions to the Irish Constitution – Lisbon Treaty (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/jul/lisbon-irish-constitution.pdf

See also: Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Treaty of Lisbon) Bill 2009 (link):
www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=12385&&CatID=59

16. IN THE NEWS links:

– UK: Control Orders – Abu Rideh granted document to leave the country, decision welcomed by Amnesty :
www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details_p.asp?NewsID=18298

– Hungary: Slipping Further to the Right (Inter Press Service):
ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47534

– Bulgaria: Centre-right wins landslide victory in Bulgarian elections (euobserver):
euobserver.com/9/28415?print=1

– Czech Republic: Special aircraft takes expelled Africans from Prague:
www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/special-aircraft
-takes-expelled-africans-from-prague/386014

– USA: ‘A Comedy of Errors’: Why It’s Time to Get Rid of the So-Called Terrorist Watch List (Alternet):
www.alternet.org/story/140948/

– UK: Government under fire over ID cards (ZDnet):
news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0%2C10
00000189%2C39669770%2C00.htm

– AUSTRIA: Racism on a Sharp Rise (IPS): Mainstream political parties in Austria must change their approach if a growing anti-immigrant sentiment stoked by far-right politicians is to be curbed, racism watchdogs and political analysts say:
www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47483

– LISBON TREATY: German Constitutional Court ruling on the Lisbon Treaty, raising the need for national parliaments to play an enhanced role: Ruling:
www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/ents
cheidungen/es20090630_2bve000208en.html

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