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Statewatch News Online, 13 March 2009 (05/09)

Home page: www.statewatch.org/

1.   EU-KENYA: The EU to hand over to Kenya people suspected of piracy
2.   KENYA: WAR ON TERRORISM: Kenya and counter terrorism
3.   UK: CABINET OFFICE-IRAQ WAR: Dodgy dossier document
4.   UK & RENDITION: Action Alert
5.   EUROPOL-OMBUDSMAN: Decision
6.   EU: UK HoL European Union Committee: Civil Protection and Crisis Management
7.   EU: Statewatch Analysis: The proposed Framework Decision on conflict of jurisdiction
8.   UK: London Detainee Support Group: Detained lives:real cost of indefinite immigration detention
9.   EU: European Commission: 3rd report on illegal immigration
10. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: EP Resolution
10. European Parliament hearing: Protecting citizens’ rights on the internet
11. European Parliament: border management
12. EU: European Court of Justice: aviation security
13. ITALY-LAMPEDUSA: EP: GUE report
14. EU: Commission proposal: Agreement with Pakistan on readmission
15. AFGHANISTAN: UK Borders Agency: Country of origin information report

Special: KENYA: EU to transfer prisoners to Kenya and damning report from REDRESS and REPRIEVE

1. EU-KENYA: The European Union-led Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) is to hand over to Kenya people suspected of piracy caught off the Somali coast (undfer Operation ‘Atalanta’): Council Decision concerning the Exchange of Letters between the European Union and Kenya on the conditions and modalities for the transfer of persons suspected of having committed acts of piracy and detained by the European Union-led Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), and seized property in the possession of EUNAVFOR, from EUNAVFOR to Kenya and for their treatment after such transfer:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
eu-kenya-transfer-of-prisoners-decision.pdf

and Legislative Act – full text:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
eu-kenya-transfer-of-prisoners-text.pdf

“Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Government of Kenya on the conditions and modalities for the transfer of the aforementioned persons and property, from EUNAVFOR to Kenya and for their treatment after such transfer…

Delegations also noted that any transfer of persons under the terms of the Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Government of Kenya will take place on the basis that the authorities of Kenya will treat such persons in full compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984, which has been ratified by Kenya on 21 February 1997.”

2. KENYA: WAR ON TERRORISM: Kenya and counter terrorism: A Time for Change: A Report by REDRESS and REPRIEVE:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
kenya-and-counter-terrorism-feb-09.pdf

“In December 2006 and January and February 2007, at least 150 people, including children, of 21 nationalities, were arbitrarily detained in Kenya. Many were fleeing to Kenya from the conflict in Somalia. The individuals were first held in Kenya for several weeks without charge. The majority were denied access to a lawyer, consular assistance, the ability to challenge the legality of their detention or consideration of their potential refugee status. Some former detainees have alleged that they were tortured; that the conditions of their detention amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and that they were interrogated by the intelligence services of foreign governments. Some of the individuals were released in Kenya or deported to their country of origin. At least 85 and potentially up to 120 individuals were ‘rendered’ to Somalia outside of any legal process.

Four were released from Somalia to their country of origin; the remainder are thought to have been transferred to Ethiopia. To date, approximately 72 individuals are known to have been released from Ethiopia. However, the whereabouts of others remains unknown and they thus remain the victims of enforced disappearance.

3. UK: CABINET OFFICE-IRAQ WAR: Dodgy dossier document:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-iraq-dodgy-dossier.pdf

4. UK & RENDITION: Action Alert: A Public Independent Inquiry must be Held into the Full Extent of British Involvement in Extraordinary Rendition:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-guantanamo-action-alert.pdf

5. EUROPOL-OMBUDSMAN: Decision of the European Ombudsman closing his inquiry into complaint 111/2008/TS against Europol:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/europol-omb-complaint.pdf

6. EU: UK House of Lords European Union Committee: Civil Protection and Crisis Management in the European Union:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu
-uk-hol-crisis-managment-report.pdf

7. EU: Statewatch Analysis: The proposed Framework Decision on conflict of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: Manipulating the right to a fair trial? by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-76-conflict-of-jurisdiction.pdf

“The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU has proposed a ‘Framework Decision’ that would address the issue of conflicts of jurisdiction in criminal roceedings – ie cases where more than one Member State has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular person in respect of the same facts… This proposal is linked closely with the principle of ‘double jeopardy’, also known as ne bis in idem, which prevents a person being prosecuted twice for the same facts.

Unfortunately, there are fundamental problems with the proposal, which have been worsened during negotiations in the Council. As it stands, the proposal could well exacerbate the problem of multiple prosecutions and provide a mechanism for cynical manipulation of the choice of jurisdiction in such cases by prosecutors.”

8. UK: London Detainee Support Group: Detained lives: the real cost of indefinite immigration detention:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/uk-detained-lives.pdf

9. EU: European Commission: Third annual report on the development of a common policy on illegal immigration, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, external borders, and the return of illegal residents (SEC 320, 2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu
-com-illegal-imm-sec-320-09.pdf

10. EU: Regulation on access to EU documents: Resolution on Commission proposals as adopted on 11 March 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-
access-reg-cashman-11-march-adopted.pdf

See all background documentation on the Observatory: The regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-2009:
www.statewatch.org/foi/observatory-access-reg-2008-2009.htm

10. European Parliament hearing: Protecting citizens’ rights on the internet (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/ep
-rights-on-the-internet-prel.pdf

and Report on strengthening security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet Stavros Lambrinidis MEP:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/ep
-internet-report-lambrinidis.pdf

11. European Parliament: More in-depth discussion needed on new measures for border management (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/ep-
border-management-surveillance-prel.pdf

The parliament’s report says that: “Every year, 160 million EU citizens, 60 million third country nationals (TCNs) who do not require a visa, and 80 million requiring a visa, cross the EU’s external border… [and] “does not believe that the proposed system will put an end to the ‘overstay’ phenomenon as such”. According to an expert report for the Commission the total number of “illegal” immigrants in the EU 25 in 2006 was estimated to be over 8 million.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“The intriguing category is the 60 million visitors a year from countries not requiring visas to enter the EU – from countries on the EU “white list” including people from Canada, Australia, Japan and the USA. How many of these have overstayed over the years? Are they to be subjected to the EU’s Returns Directive which would see them hunted down, put in detention, deported and banned from re-entry for five years?”

See 2009: Commission: “white list” and “black” list:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/feb/eu-visa-black-white-lists.pdf

12. EU: European Court of Justice: Judgment on aviation security (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu
-ecj-aviation-security-judgment-prel.pdf

and Full-text of judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar
/eu-ecj-aviation-security-judgment.pdf

The ECJ rules that “the annex to Regulation 622/2003 has no binding force in so far as it seeks to impose obligations on individuals.” The European Commission had failed to publish in April 2003 its implementing rules about what could and could not be taken on planes by passengers. This judgment was preceded by the Commission finally caving in on 8 August 2008: EU: Commission finally publish full decision on air travel passenger rules: Regulation laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/aug/eu-com-airport-security-dec.pdf

13. ITALY-LAMPEDUSA: EP: GUE (United Left Group): Five GUE/NGL MEPs question the European Commission on detention centres in Lampedusa (Press release)
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-gue-prel.pdf

and European Parliament: GUE-NGL Group Report of the visit to Lampedusa – Italy 13th-14th February 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-gue-lampedusa-report.pdf

14. EU: Commission proposal: Council Decision concerning the signing of the Agreement between the European Community and Pakistan on readmission:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/eu-
com-paskistan-readmission-agreement-2009-36.pdf

15. AFGHANISTAN: UK Borders Agency: Country of origin information report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/mar/
afghanistan-ukba-c-of-origin-report.pdf

  
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