Statewatch News Online – 31 March 2010 (06/10)

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1. EP: Surveillance of the sea external borders with the involvement of Frontex
2. MALTA: Grupp29: Stop the criminalisation of art Maltese authors and artists
3. EU: Council: rights to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings
4. EU-ISRAEL: Should the EU subsidise Israeli security?
5. EU: ECRE: European Commission Proposal to recast the Qualification Directive
6. Belgium: Ministry of justice and prison service under fire for arbitrary refusal
7. EU: Data Protection Supervisor: Guidelines on Video-surveillance
8. ITALY: Amnesty International report argues that the “nomads plan” is the wrong answer
9. DENMARK: Danish Rebellion Spokesman Convicted in Terror-Liberation Case
10. ITALY: GENOA: G8 appeals: longer prison terms for demonstrators, more officers convicted
11. Fighting anti-Muslim racism: an interview with A. Sivanandan
12. EU: Rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for implementing powers
13. EU-JAPAN:Customs Cooperation: European Data Protection Supervisor: Opinion
14. UK: Undercover policeman reveals how he infiltrated UK’s violent activists
15. EU: Commission proposal: right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings
16. EU-USA: Presidency wants EU-USA agreement on digital health-care
17. EUUSA: Question: MEP (ALDE): Council pushing for healthcare records share with the US?
18. ECJ: EDPS welcomes strengthening independent position of data protection authorities
19. EU Security Research: BAE Systems awarded EU contract to develop organised crime database
20. Italy: NGOs criticise Italian government stance on harm reduction drug policies
21. UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The National DNA Database
22. Italy: Harassment against migrants and Roma people
23. Spain/France: In-depth reports on the situation in detention centres for foreigners
24. UK: Home Office: What perceptions do the UK public have concerning the impact of counter-terrorism?

1. European Parliament: Statewatch report: Surveillance of the sea external borders with the involvement of Frontex: the LIBE Committee opposes the adoption of the European Commission Draft Council decision:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/10ep-frontex-powers.htm

2. MALTA: Grupp29: Stop the criminalisation of art Maltese authors and artists to government (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/malta-grupp29-press%20release.pdf

and Letter to Minister: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/malta-grupp29-letter-to-minister.pdf

See also: National Protest Against Censorship (Indymedia Malta, link):
malta.indymedia.org/node/8752

3. EU: Council of the European Union: Initiative for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the rights to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings – Draft letters to be sent to the Commission and to the European Parliament:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-council-proced-rights-letters-7598-10.pdf

“the Council regrets the adoption by the Commission of a new proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. This adoption was unexpected after the debate during the Council meeting (Justice and Home Affairs) on 26 February 2010.”

Report on discussion in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ep-right-to-interpretation-translation-17-mar-10.pdf

4. EU-ISRAEL: Should the EU subsidise Israeli security? (European Voice, link) by Ben Hayes. “The inclusion of Israel in the European Security Research Programme undermines the EU’s commitment to even-handedness in the Middle East”:
www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/should-the-eu-subsidise-israeli-security-/67436.aspx

5. EU: European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE): European Commission Proposal to recast the Qualification Directive:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-ecre-qual-dir.pdf

6. Belgium: Ministry of justice and prison service under fire for arbitrary refusal:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/09belgium-vervaet.htm

On 16 March 2010, the Brussels Conseil d’Etat issued an urgent injunction stopping the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service from giving effect to their decision of 24 February 2010 denying prison teacher Luk Vervaet access to Belgian prisons for ‘reasons of national security’. The injunction was the latest move in Vervaet’s battle for fair treatment from the Belgian authorities, which has so far resulted in two court rulings in his favour.

7. EU: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS issues Guidelines on Video-surveillance (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/edps-video-surveillance-guidelines-prel.pdf

Opinion: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/edps-video-surveillance-guidelines.pdf

and FAQ: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/edps-video-surveillance-guidelines-faq.pdf

8. Italy: Amnesty International report argues that the “nomads plan” is the wrong answer: In January 2010, the Italian section of Amnesty International published a report entitled “The wrong answer”, in which it argues that the “nomads plan” whose implementation is underway in Rome (as well as Milan and Naples) since May 2008 violates Roma and Sinti people’s right to housing. It has opened the way to mass evictions of thousands of Roma from makeshift settlements, supposedly to move them into purpose-built camps with improved facilities on the city’s outskirts, rather than permanent accommodation. The report highlights that the plan violates a number of international conventions and that the “nomad emergency” is based on a double fallacy: the term “nomad” means that the solutions offered will be for “nomads”, and hence temporary or makeshift, and the term “emergency” conceals the discriminatory nature of the measures and allows authorities not to comply with a number of legal provisions by derogating them. The stories of three families are documented in the report. Amnesty International, La Risposta Sbagliata. Italia: Il “Piano Nomadi” viola il diritto all’alloggio dei Rom a Roma”, January 2001 [pdf, in Italian, link]:
www.amnesty.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/3175

Previous Statewatch coverage: Italy: Open-ended emergencies: deployment of soldiers in cities and summary treatment for Roma, November 2009:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-87-italy-security.pdf%20

Italy: Institutionalising discrimination, Statewatch bulletin, vol. 18 no. 2, April- May 2008.
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/nov/05italy-institutionalising-discrimination.htm

9. DENMARK: Danish Rebellion Spokesman Convicted in Terror-Liberation Case (link):
dissidentvoice.org/2010/03/danish-rebellion-spokesman-convicted-in-terror-liberation-case/

“Denmarks Rebellion (Oprr) spokesman Patrick Mac Manus was found guilty today (March 15, 2010) in Copenhagen City Court for: attempting to collect
funds for terrorist organizations Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); and for
encouraging [hundreds of organizations] to collect funds for the same.

Judge Helle Hastrup, however, rendered a mild sentence of six months probation as opposed to 18 months imprisonment asked for by the prosecutor. Court
costs of 110,000 Danish kroner (about $20,000) plus 25% tax are to be shared by the defendant and the state. She could have demanded that all court
costs be paid by the defendant.”

10. ITALY: GENOA: G8 appeals: longer prison terms for demonstrators, more officers convicted:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/08italy-genoa-g8-appeals.htm

11. Fighting anti-Muslim racism: an interview with A. Sivanandan (IRR News Service, link):
www.irr.org.uk/2010/march/ha000031.html

12. EU: LISBON TREATY: Proposal for a Regulation laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commissions exercise of implementing powers:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-com-treaty-implelemting-powers-com-83-10.pdf

This proposal sets out proposed new common rules to govern what is now the 2nd tier of EU “non-legislative” decision-making covering implementing acts, where the Commission’s decision-making will be controlled by delegates of Member States. This is distinct from the rules governing delegated acts, where the European Parliament and the Council will control the Commission’s exercise of delegated powers, and where the details of that control will be set out in each individual EU legislative act that confers the power to adopt delegated acts upon the Commission.

13. EU-JAPAN:Customs Cooperation: European Data Protection Supervisor: Opinion (pdf)
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/edps-dp-japan-agreement-opinion.pdf

14. UK: Undercover policeman reveals how he infiltrated UK’s violent activists (Observer, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/14/undercover-policeman-infiltrated-violent-activists/print

“For four years, Officer A lived a secret life among anti-racist activists as they fought brutal battles with the police and the BNP. Here he tells of the terrifying life he led, the psychological burden it placed on him and his growing fears that the work of his unit could threaten legitimate protest.” Plus: Inside the lonely and violent world of the Yard’s elite undercover unit (link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/14/undercover-police-far-left-secret/print

and see: Video (link): www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2010/mar/14/undercover-police-mi5-scotland-yard

15. EU: Commission proposal: on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-com-82-3-10-procedural-rights.pdf

Commission: Press release: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-com-proced-rights-prel.pdf

Commission: Memo: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-com-proced-rights-memo.pdf

See also: Plan to give suspects translation rights: Commission proposal would provide the right to interpretation during questioning and at trial (European Voice, link):
www.europeanvoice.com/article/2010/03/plan-to-give-suspects-translation-rights/67355.aspx

and Defendants’ rights caught up in EU institutional quarrel (euobserver, link):
euobserver.com/9/29639

An EU diplomat commented: “The council regrets that the commission chose to table its own proposal, which unnecessarily duplicates our initiative and increases the procedural time needed for a result”

Council of the European Union (27 governments): Council discussions:

EU doc no: 14086/09: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-council-proced-rights-14086-09.pdf
Council proposal: EU doc no: 16801/09: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-council-proposal-proced-rights-16801-09.pdf
Council Explanatory Note: EU doc no: 16801-add1-09: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-council-proced-rights-em-16801-add1-09.pdf
plus UK opt-in: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-proced-rights-uk-optin.pdf

Note comparing the Council and Commission proposals on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/07note-com-council-inter-trans.htm

European Parliament: Draft report in response to the Council proposal: Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the rights to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings (Sarah Ludford MEP): www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ep-proced-rights-draft-report.pdf

See also: Opinion of the parliament’s Legal Service on the Council proposal:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ep-legal-opinion-procedural-rights.pdf

and Covering Letter: www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ep-legal-opinion-cover-letter-procedural-rights.pdf

It should be noted that the Council is only proposing a binding Directive for the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings but only a non-binding “Resolution” for broader procedural rights of suspects and accused people in criminal proceeding. Roadmap: 1. Draft Resolution of the Council on a roadmap for strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings 2. Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the right to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings 3. Proposal for a Resolution of the Council and of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council fostering the implementation by Member States of the right to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-council-roadmap-for-suspects-rights-14552-rev1-09.pdf

Background: Statewatch analysis: Rights for Criminal Suspects and EU law: by Professor Steve Peers:
www.statewatch.org/news/2007/apr/Statewatch-analysis-crim-proced.pdf

“Back in 2004, the Commission proposed a Framework Decision on rights for criminal suspects… But a group of Member States, led by the UK (along with Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) opposed a binding EU measure on this issue, suggesting instead a draft Resolution of Member States.”

16. EU-USA: The Spanish Presidency wants to push for a strategic agreement between the EU and the USA in digital health-care (Spanish EU Council Presidency, link):
www.eu2010.es/en/documentosynoticias/noticias/mar04_trinidadeeuu.html

“The Spanish Minister of Health and Social Policy, Trinidad Jimnez, met in Washington with her US counterpart, Kathleen Sebelius, and highlighted the
desire of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union to push for a strategic bilateral agreement in digital healthcare. The aim is to create a scenario for
clinical information exchange and technical interoperability between the project promoted by the Obama Administration and the European project.”

17. Draft question to the Council from Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert MEP (ALDE): Council pushing for healthcare records share with the US?
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/eu-usa-ep-question-digital-health-care-datashare.pdf

18. European Court of Justice: European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS): EDPS welcomes Court of Justice’s ruling strengthening independent position of data protection authorities (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ecj-com-germany-independent-authorities-edps.pdf

European Commission supported by EDPS v German government: Full-text of judgment:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ecj-com-germany-independent-authorities.pdf

Opinion of the Advocate General (pdf) who advised the opposite view:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/ecj-com-germany-independent-authorities-ag.pdf
.
19. EU Security Research: BAE Systems awarded EU contract to develop organised crime database:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/05bae-eu.htm

20. Italy: NGOs criticise Italian government stance on harm reduction drug policies:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/05italy-drugs.htm

21. UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: The National DNA Database:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/uk-hasc-dna-report.pdf

“It is currently impossible to say with certainty how many crimes are detected, let alone how many result in convictions, due at least in part to the matching of
crime scene DNA to a personal profile already on the database, but it appears that it may be as little as 0.3%and we note that the reason for retaining
personal profiles on a database is so that the person can be linked to crimes he/she commits later… it should be easier for those wrongly arrested or who
have volunteered their DNA to get their records removed from the database.”

22. Italy: Harassment against migrants and Roma people:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/o4italy-migrants-roma.htm

23. Spain/France: In-depth reports on the situation in detention centres for foreigners:
www.statewatch.org/news/2010/mar/03spain-france-detention-centres.htm

24. UK: Home Office: What perceptions do the UK public have concerning the impact of counter-terrorism legislation implemented since 2000? (link)
www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/occ88.pdf
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