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Statewatch News Online, 17 June 2008

Home page: www.statewatch.org

1. EU-EP: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: Demonstrations
2. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: 42 days? Try 18
months: Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
3. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: Statewatch analysis: Professor Steve Peers
4. EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS Speech by Professor Steve Peers to EP
5. CIA-RENDITION: Rights groups demand
investigation of CIA’s Extraordinary Rendition Program
6. EU: Proposed rules for lobbyists
7. UNITED: Football without racism
8. EU: Commission: European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)
9. EU: E-PRIVACY: Commission Press release
10. EU-EAW: European Arrest Warrant – 2007
11. UK-EU: Conclusions of the European Council and the Council of Ministers
12. UK: Behind Closed Doors: A Report on the
Military Influence in UK Universities
13. UK:E-PETITION: On census
14. UK: Report on the “Surveillance society”
House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee
15. GERMANY: Online computer searches and video surveillance in private homes
16. UK-LONDON: June 2008 – The EU and UN
‘terrorist lists’ and the European Courts
17. European Ombudsman: on citizens’ right of access to EU documents
18. Football: EURO 08: Legal support and helpful advice for football fans
19. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) 5-6 June 2008
20. HUNGARY: Constitutional complaint data retention regulations
21. EU: E-PRIVACY DIRECTIVE: Council: Progress report

1. EU-EP: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: As the European Parliament votes on the Returns Directive there will be a silent demonstration outside the parliament in Strasbourg on 17 June 2008. Demonstrations against the Directive will be taking place in a number of other countries including:

Rome:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-returns-directive-rome-demo.pdf
Lisbon:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-returns-directive-demo-declaration.pdf
Summary of demonstrations:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-returns-directive-demos.pdf
Bulletin from No to Fortress Europe:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-returns-directive-fe-bulletin.pdf

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“If passed this will be the 13th measure on visas, borders, immigration and asylum to be adopted by the European Parliament as a result of“first reading deals” negotiated in secret trilogue meetings with the Council.

Neither the final deal nor the penultimate draft are available to the public on the Council’s register of documents. Nor was the letter from the Council to the European Parliament setting out the deal of 4 June made available to the public either until a few days ago. There was no time at all for national parliaments and civil society to read, debate and react as the deal was already set in stone. This is no way to run a democracy, especially when the issues at stake concern peoples’ fundamental rights.”

– the final and penultimate deals are addressed in Statewatch analysis: The Returns Directive: 9 June 2008 (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-analysis-returns-directive-june-2008-final.pdf

– see: Secret trilogues and the democratic deficit by Tony Bunyan:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-64-secret-trilogues.pdf

2. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: 42 days? Try 18 months:
This European targeting of illegal immigrants is hypocritical, draconian and undiplomatic by Evo Morales, President of the Republic of Bolivia (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/16/eu.immigration/print

and Compromise on return directive “totally unacceptable”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/01eu-ret-dir-gue-prel.htm

For Francis Wurtz, President of GUE/NGL, the agreement on the return directive negotiated between the Council and Parliament’s rapporteur– Manfred Weber (EPP) – is totally unacceptable in both form and content”

and see also: Appeal to the Members of the European Parliament (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-returns-directive-appeal-letter.pdf

3. EU: RETURNS DIRECTIVE: Statewatch analysis:
The Returns Directive: 9 June 2008 by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-analysis-returns-directive-june-2008-final.pdf

“Despite some positive changes to the text which result from the EP’s involvement in the negotiations, the agreed text of the returns Directive is still fundamentally deficient from the point of view of human rights as well as the basic principles which should underpin EU immigration and asylum law.”

and Statewatch supplementary analysis: The Returns Directive ? the final stages? (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/swatch-returns-june2008.pdf

4. EU: PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE REGULATION ON ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Speech by Professor Steve Peers on behalf of Statewatch at the hearing in the European Parliament on 2 June 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/ep-hearing-sp-talk-june2008.pdf

who concludes:

“I would urge the European Parliament to take the opportunity to improve the Commission’s proposal significantly, as there are major problems with it.”

5. CIA-RENDITION: Rights groups demand investigation of CIA’s Extraordinary Rendition Program: Lawsuits against Germany, US and Macedonia seek justice for Khaled El Masri:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/masri-rendition-ecchr.pdf

“The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Berlin, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), both based in New York, met today in Berlin with lawyers from Germany, Macedonia and the United Kingdom to discuss the latest developments in the CIA rendition case of German citizen Khaled El Masri.

ECCHR filed today a lawsuit against the German Government at the Berlin administration court for its failure to demand the extradition of 13 CIA agents suspected of having illegally “rendered” Mr. El Masri from Macedonia to a US prison in Kabul, Afghanistan.”

6. EU: Proposed rules for lobbyists:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-com-lobbyists-proposal-08.pdf

The proposed “Rules” include an obligation to:“ensure that, to the best of their knowledge, information which they provide is unbiased, complete, up-to-date and not misleading”

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: “What does “unbiased” mean? Is a Commission press release “biased” because it presents its point of view? Or is any point of view that disagrees with it biased?”

7. UNITED: Football without racism:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/united-football-without-racism-08.pdf

8. EU: Commission proposal on: the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-com-criminal-records-proposal.pdf

9. EU: E-PRIVACY: Commission Press release:
Electronic Identity: easy access to public services across the EU (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-com-e-identity-prel.pdf

10. EU-EAW: European Arrest Warrant – 2007 (pdf) Figures from 17 member states.
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-eaw-figs-partial-2007.pdf

11. UK-EU: House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee: The Conclusions of the European Council and the Council of Ministers: Follow up report:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/uk-eu-hcesc-council-meetings.pdf

The report calls for: “the Government discuss with other Member States whether a clear, definitive and accessible record of the proceedings of the European Council should be made as a matter of course”

12. UK: Behind Closed Doors: A Report on the
Military Influence in UK Universities:

Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/uk-behind-closed-doors-report-jun08-prel.pdf
Behind Closed Doors:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/uk-behind-closed-doors-report-jun08.pdf

“A report by UK scientists reveals the secrecy surrounding the growing influence of the military on the research agenda in British universities.”

13. UK:E-PETITION: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop the involvement of arms company Lockheed Martin in the 2011 Census for England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, because this company’s history of working in American military intelligence will undermine public confidence in the Census process (link to sign the petition, deadline 15 June 2008):.
petitions.pm.gov.uk/census-alert/#detail

14. UK: Report on the “Surveillance society” by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee: Report:

Vol 1 (1.5 MB):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/uk-hasc-surveillance-society-report-vol1.pdf
Evidence Vol 2 (1.6 MB):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/uk-hasc-surveillance-society-report-vol2.pdf

Press comment: MPs must act now to set limits on snooping (Daily Telegraph, link):
www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/06/09/do0902.xml

ID cards could help turn Britain into a surveillance society, warn MPs (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/09/idcards.civilliberties/print

15. GERMANY: Federal Ministry for the Interior plans to amend the Federal Criminal Police Office Act; including authorisation of online computer searches and video surveillance in private homes.

Press release (link):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/germany-surveillance-powers-proposal-prel.pdf

and In a Nutshell: Draft Law on Preventing International Terrorist Threats through the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKAG-E):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/germany-surveillance-powers-proposals.pdf

The proposals are said to be: “restricted to cases of terrorist threats” and include:

“provisions on the surveillance of private homes and telecommunications as well as remote searches of computer hard drives.” and:

“Measures concerning telecommunications interception at the source allow the surveillance of telecommunications which is conducted in encrypted form with the help of Voice over IP or other Internet tools either prior to encryption or at the recipient’s computer after decryption. This measure has become imperative given the increasing use of such forms of communication.” and:

“The power of the acoustic and visual surveillance of private homes”

16. UK-LONDON: June 2008 – The EU and UN‘terrorist lists’ and the European Courts: The
slow road to procedural justice (seminar 19 June 2008):
www.statewatch.org/terrorlists/docs/Seminar%20Poster.pdf

First in a series of four seminars on “Terrorist lists”, proscription, designation and human rights organised by Haldane, Statewatch and CAMPACC.

17. European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, called on the European Parliament (EP) to defend the European Union’s commitment to transparency and the citizens’ right of access to EU documents at a public hearing in the EP’s LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs), the Ombudsman said:

“The Commission’s proposals would mean access to fewer, not more, documents. This raises fundamental issues of principle about the EU’s commitment to openness and transparency.”

Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-ep-ombudsman-on-com-proposals.pdf
Full-text of speech:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jun/eu-ep-ombudsman-on-com-proposals-speech.pdf

See for full background and documentation:
EU-FOI: Statewatch’s: Observatory on access to EU documents: 2008 – 2009
www.statewatch.org/foi/observatory-access-reg-2008-2009.htm

18. Football: EURO 08: Legal support and helpful advice for football fans: This information sheet is intended for visitors of the EURO 08 football games in Switzerland. It contains some recommendations and legal advice on how to avoid confrontations with the police and private security personnel and to exercise your rights when dealing with police in Switzerland. See: European Civil Liberties Network – Noticeboard
www.ecln.org/noticeboard.asp

19. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) 5-6 June 2008, Brussels: Press release, Conclusions on external borders and Conclusions on migration partnerships:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/june/JHA-prel-June-08.pdf

For full background and documentation on current Justice and Home Affairs issues see: Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC)
www.statewatch.org/semdoc

20. HUNGARY: Constitutional complaint filed by HCLU against Hungarian telecom data retention regulations (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/may/hungary-data-ret-hclu.pdf

21. EU: E-PRIVACY DIRECTIVE: Council: Progress
report (29 May 2008, 79 pages, pdf):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/may/eu-e-privacy-dir-council-draft.pdf

and Council Compromise Proposal for Amending Directive 2000/58/EC (Privacy Directive):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/may/eu-e-privacy-draft-council.pdf

Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on proposed changes to privacy in electronic communications directive:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/apr/eu-edps-opinion-telecomm-directive.pdf

and Article 29 Working Party on data protection:
Opinion on the review of the Directive 2002/58/EC on privacy and electronic communications (e-Privacy Directive):
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/may/wp-150-e-privacy.pdf

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