Statewatch News Online, 30 May 2019 (13/19)

30 May 2019 — Statewatch

Also available as a pdf file: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/may/email-30-march-19.pdf

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ANALYSIS

Viewpoint: Why have the French police become the most violent in western Europe? by Salvatore Palidda:

STATEWATCH NEWS

1.    EU: Council of the EU wants data retention without cause – Germany joins in
2.    EU: European elections: results and commentary
3.    UK: Lessons from the past: the long history of political policing in the UK
4.    EU: Council discuss Member States the right to veto releasing trilogue discussions
5.    ITALY: UN special rapporteurs call for withdrawal of Salvini decree criminalising rescue activities
6.    FRANCE: We accuse! A statement against the criminalisation of protest in France
7.    EU: Frontex launches first formal operation outside of the EU and deploys to Albania
8.    FRANCE: Les Gilets Noirs: We are in the airport in France
9.    Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (14-20.5.19)
10.  ITALY: Ill-treatment and detention: investigation of the Lampedusa centre
11.  EU: Council discussing yet another small step towards full, open, democratic decision-making
12.  Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (30.4-13.5.19)

NEWS

1.   UK: Home Office rules on determining if asylum seekers are minors ruled unlawful
2.   France: Hundreds of People Occupy Airport to Protest Airline’s Role in Deportations
3.   EU: Dublin regulation: Into the infernal machine of the European asylum system
4.   UK: ‘Mind control’: The secret UK government blueprints shaping post-terror planning
5.   UK: London Policing Ethics Panel: Final report on live facial recognition
6.   Are You Syrious (25-26.5.19)
7.   Afghans deported from Germany face violence, other perils
8.   Turkey seeks extradition of UK barrister over Twitter activity
9
4 Portugal police arrested over assaults of immigrants
10.  Northern Ireland: No Stone Unturned judicial review starts Tuesday in Belfast
11.  Are You Syrious (23.5.19): Feature: After 3 years, reception in Greece is still an emergency
12.  UK: Lessons from the past: the long history of political policing in the UK
13.  200,000 displaced Syrians flee towards Turkey
14.  Net immigration to Britain falls to 5-year low in 2018
15.  Right definition for the right fight
16.  EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal
17.  Dutch minister resigns over manipulated report of crimes committed by asylum-seekers
18.  Google faces Irish inquiry over possible breach of privacy laws
19.  UK: 20 years after Macpherson – what has changed?
20.  Austrian Leader Calls for Snap Election After Far-Right Vice Chancellor Resigns
21.  EU: Legislation from closed chambers – how (un)democratic is the EU?
22.  Italy seizes Sea-Watch 3 rescue vessel
23.  ECHR: Italian Government must provide temporary accommodation for Roma children
24.  EU elections 2019: Where do parties stand on migration?
25.  Swiss vote to tighten gun laws and stay in Schengen
26.  Hundreds including firefighters and priests arrested for ‘solidarity’ with refugees, data shows
27.  UK: Police take legal action against former officer who had child with activist
28.  MALTA: Two soldiers arrested for killing Hal Far migrant ‘because he was black’
29.  UK: Police chief says Extinction Rebellion protesters will be arrested ‘very, very fast’
30.  BELGIUM: Unprecedented police action against Roma Travellers community in Belgium
31.  European Commission: EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: solid progress in supporting refugees
32.  SCOTLAND: Snooping fears over police seizing a hundred phones a day
33.  UK: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: Home Office Illegal Working,
34.  UK: Sajid Javid announces overhaul of espionage and treason laws
35.  UK: Homeless man jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground ‘without reasonable excuse’
36.  SWITZERLAND: No symbolic pardon for anti-fascist protestors in Geneva
37.  Salvini fumes at EU court ruling on refugee returns
38.  Migrants Trying to Reach Europe Are Trapped in Libya – Between Militias and the Sea
39.  Privacy International Wins Historic Victory at UK Supreme Court
40.  Modern Merchants of Death: The NSO Group, Spyware and Human Rights
41.  REVEALED: UK propaganda unit has secret plans to target French Muslims
42.  GREECE: Immediate abolition of the use of unsuitable detention facilities
43.  France: Trumped up charges against human rights defender must be dropped
44.  Are You Syrious Extensive report: Collective expulsion
45.  Government access to airline PNR data challenged in German court
46.  SCOTLAND: Political Undercover Policing in Scotland – report
47   NORTHERN IRELAND: MI5 report on RUC Special Branch to remain secret
48.  EU: Swarms of Drones, Piloted by Artificial Intelligence, May Soon Patrol Europe’s Borders
49.  The Lack of Transparency Surrounding EUROPOL and the Hotspots

DOCUMENTATION

1.   CoE: Human trafficking: Experts underline the need to help victims
2.   Council of Europe: Hungary: address interconnected human rights issues in refugee protection
3.   CoE Foreign Affairs Ministers recall rights and duties of member states, define priority areas
4.   EU Justice Scoreboard 2019: results show the continuing need to protect judicial independenc
5.   UK: MI5 slapped on the wrist for ‘serious’ surveillance data
6.   Council of EU: Interoperability between EU information systems: Council adopts regulations
7.   Germany: anti-torture committee ensure better treatment of foreign nationals being removed by air
8.   EP: Study: The impact of the UK’s withdrawal on the institutional set-up and political dynamics
9.   Illegal push-backs and border violence reports – Balkan Region – April 2019
10. Council EU: Counter Terrorism: EU threat assessment in the field of counterterrorism

ANALYSIS

Viewpoint: Why have the French police become the most violent in western Europe? (pdf) by Salvatore Palidda:

Do the police and government not have the required knowledge and experience for the violent repression they are enacting? Are they clumsy? There is neither an authoritarian drift, nor one towards a police-military state, but rather a dominant logic which excludes any negotiation. ‘Democratic’ fascism and what is called democracy always coexist, with the only likely outcome of provoking revolts which become increasingly fierce.

STATEWATCH NEWS

1.  EU: Council of the EU wants data retention without cause – Germany joins in

“On 7 June 2019, the EU Council will vote on the further planning of an EU-wide data retention of telecommunications data. Concrete proposals only exist for mass surveillance without cause – Germany should not support this. One day before, on 6 June 2019, the EU Commission will hold a discussion with non-governmental organisations on the subject.”

2.  EU: European elections: results and commentary

The European Parliament election results show a clear decline in support for the two main traditional political groupings – the Socialists & Democrats and the European People’s Party – and an increase in support for greens, liberals and far-right groups, although the latter have done less well than many expected.

3.  UK: Lessons from the past: the long history of political policing in the UK

As the Undercover Policing Inquiry drags on, it is worth considering the lengthy history of police infilitration of political movements in the UK. The Inquiry is to “inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968,” but the use of ‘spycops’ has been going on since the passing of the 1829 Police Act, which brought London’s Metropolitan Police into existence.

The case of the police spy William Popay is instructive, as highlighted in the book The History and Practice of the Political Police in Britain (1977) by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director. Following the

4. EU: Council discuss giving Member States the right to veto releasing trilogue discussion documents – in defiance of CJEU judgment and EU law

Article 266 of TFEU: “The institution whose act has been declared void or whose failure to act has been declared contrary to the Treaties shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment of the court of Justice of the European Union.”

5.  ITALY: UN special rapporteurs call for withdrawal of Salvini decree criminalising search and rescue activities

Six UN special rapporteurs and independent experts have written to the Italian government demanding the withdrawal of an interior ministry directive that prioritises ‘security concerns’ over the saving of lives at sea, as examined in a Statewatch analysis published last month.

6.  FRANCE: We accuse! A statement against the criminalisation of protest in France

Faced with the government’s authoritarian drift, an extensive group of academics and members of civil society are protesting against the “criminalisation” of anyone opposing “its fatal laws and policies” and against “state violence” meted out through the use of weapons of war. They call on all citizens “to join the social movement”.

7.  EU: Externalisation: Frontex launches first formal operation outside of the EU and deploys to Albania

The EU has taken a significant, if geographically small, step in the externalisation of its borders. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has launched its first Joint Operation on the territory of a non-EU-Member State, as it begins cooperation with Albania on the border with Greece.

8.  FRANCE: Les Gilets Noirs: We are in the airport in France

“I’m here to tell you that for them we are commodities! If they give us documents they lose their business. So they must see that someone stood up. We are not balls to be kicked about, we are not children. Our struggle is not only about papers. What you have yet to see you’ll see when you fight. There is sorrow and happiness inside. Things need to become red and people need to rise to bring it out. The shame is theirs, not ours. They must stop seeing black people as blackness, but see that they have become red.”

9.  Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (14-20.5.19) including:

  • Hundreds of Europeans arrested for solidarity with refugees
  • Ill-treatment and detention: investigation of the Lampedusa centre
  • Germany: anti-torture committee calls on authorities to ensure better treatment of foreign nationals being removed by air

10.  ITALY: Ill-treatment and detention: investigation of the Lampedusa centre

Long periods of detention, ill-treatment, abuses of law in the treatment of migrant children and unaccompanied minors. The handling of foreigners in Lampedusa resulted in allegations framed in very strong terms by the judge for preliminary investigations [gip] in Rome, who asked for the investigation into events at the Sicilian detention centre to remain open: “There is an evident need,” states the order dated 2 May 2019 “to carry out territorial inquiries”.

11.  EU: Council discussing yet another small step towards full, open, democratic decision-making – ten years after the Lisbon Treaty – plus the Council’s Annual Report on access to documents 2018

In its judgment the Court of Justice decided on 22 March 2018 in the De Capitani judgment that access should be given to 4-column documents which set out of the state of play in secret trilogue meetings between the Council and the European Parliament as they formed an integral part of the legislative procedure even where negotiations are ongoing, should in principle be granted.

On 26 March 2019 the General Secretariat (GSC) of the Council set out its response: Legislative transparency (LIMITE doc no: 7888-19, pdf).

12.  Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (30.4-13.5.19) including:

  • Hungary’s coerced removal of Afghan families deeply shocking
  • EU research funds go to project developing swarms of AI border drones
  • Report on collective expulsions at Slovenia-Croatia border
  • Common European Asylum System: Member States oppose mandatory “border procedures”
  • Masked men at Evros river push back Turkish asylum-seekers

NEWS

1.  UK: Home Office rules on determining if asylum seekers are minors ruled unlawful (Irish Legal News, link):

“Home Office rules on determining if asylum seekers are younger than 18 are unlawful, senior judges have ruled.

The Court of Appeal has supported a claim made by an Eritrean man, who sought asylum in 2014, The Times reports.

Guidelines from the Home Office state that asylum seekers should be believed when they claim to be under 18 unless “their physical appearance very strongly suggests that they are significantly over 18 years of age and no other credible evidence exists to the contrary”.”

Judgment: BF (Eritrea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 872 (23 May 2019) (pdf)

2.   France: Hundreds of People Occupy Airport to Protest Airline’s Role in Deportations (ECRE, link):

“Several Hundred People have occupied terminal 2F of the airport Charles-de-Gaulle in Roissy, France, to protest against Air France’s collaboration in deportations from France and the asylum policy of the French state.

The protest was organised by the collective Gilets Noirs (Black Vests), a group of migrants without papers (“sans-papiers”) in the Ile-de-France region, and the pro-migrant activist group la Chapelle debout. Around 500 people occupied the terminal for two hours.”

See: Les Gilets Noirs: We are in the airport in France (Statewatch News, 22 May 2019)

3.   EU: Dublin regulation: Into the infernal machine of the European asylum system (La Cimade, link):

“For many people in exile who seek asylum when they come to Europe, the word “Dublin” brings to mind thoughts of a constant threat which might knoc k them down at any moment. Far from evoking thoughts of the Irish capital, “Dublin” puts them back into endless procedures, continual suspicion and fear of being sent back to a country where they don’t want to live. La Cimade publishes an Observation Report about the impact of the Dublin Regulation.”

4.  UK: ‘Mind control’: The secret UK government blueprints shaping post-terror planning (Middle East Eye, link):

“The British government has prepared for terrorist incidents by pre-planning social media campaigns that are designed to appear to be a spontaneous public response to attacks, Middle East Eye has learned.

Hashtags are carefully tested before attacks happen, Instagram images selected, and “impromptu” street posters are printed.

In operations that contingency planners term “controlled spontaneity”, politicians’ statements, vigils and inter-faith events are also negotiated and planned in readiness for any terrorist attack.”

5.  UK: London Policing Ethics Panel: Final report on live facial recognition (pdf):

“Facial recognition technology is one of a potentially larger set of tools associated with the deployment of new digital technologies in policing contexts. Since 2016 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), along with other police services, has been trialling a specific form of Live Facial Recognition (LFR). These trials have attracted attention from press and public, raising important questions about the power of new digital technologies, how they are tested in the field, and their potential to impact on the relationship between police and civil society.

This Report builds upon our earlier Interim Report. Here we:

• report the views of Londoners on use of Live Facial Recognition, as gathered through our survey;
• propose an ethical framework to adopt in future police technology trials;
• set out conditions the Panel views as reasonable to attach to adoption of LFR in policing operations;
• share an ethical thought-experiment exploring the implications of increased police surveillance.”

And see: Ethics Panel sets out future framework for facial recognition software (london.gov.uk, link)

6.  Are You Syrious (25-26.5.19,link):

Feature: Police Brutality on Greek island of Samos

“Refugees protesting the deplorable conditions in the Samos camp were met with tear gas and police batons this Saturday morning. According to statements by NGO workers and refugees, a protest began around 7:30 on Saturday morning when a line of police officers blocked the path of refugees.(…)”

7.  Afghans deported from Germany face violence, other perils (DW, link)

“In May alone, there have been numerous murders, incidents of violence and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. According to a UN report, 561 civilians were killed from January to March 2019. And Germany’s Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for Afghanistan, reporting that “staying in most parts of the country remains dangerous.”

Despite these facts, Germany recently deported 26 more people to Afghanistan. Since December 2016, almost 600 people have been sent to the country in a total of 24 repatriation flights. Authorities have even used physical force to deport people.

Once people who have been deported from Germany land in Afghanistan, they are left to fend for themselves and face uncertain futures.”

8.  Turkey seeks extradition of UK barrister over Twitter activity (Guardian, link):

“Ozcan Keles accused of spreading propaganda, in latest targeting of Erdogan critics.

A British barrister who has given evidence to parliament is facing possible extradition to Turkey on terrorism charges over his Twitter activity.

Ozcan Keles, who is of Turkish descent and holds UK citizenship, appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Monday accused of spreading propaganda online.

9
4 Portugal police arrested over assaults of immigrants (Daily Sabah, link)

“Portuguese detectives have arrested four police officers suspected of assaulting Nepalese immigrant workers in the country’s latest allegations of police misconduct.

The Policia Judiciaria, which investigates serious crimes, says Wednesday the four arrested men belong to the Guarda Nacional Civil, a paramilitary police force which has jurisdiction in rural areas.

They are accused of assault in what local media reported was a dispute with the Nepalese workers.”

The attempt to remove him is the latest in a series of high-profile extradition actions in the British courts against critics or opponents of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

10.  Northern Ireland: No Stone Unturned judicial review starts Tuesday in Belfast

“NUJ press release: Friday 24 May 2019: Journalists, human rights defenders, press freedom campaigners and representatives from across the political spectrum in the UK and Ireland will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast on Tuesday 28 May at 9.30-10.30 to show support and solidarity with Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey.

See also: Northern Ireland: “It’s us today, tomorrow it could be you” – No Stone Unturned (Statewatch News)

11.  Are You Syrious (23.5.19, link):

Feature: After 3 years, reception in Greece is still an emergency

Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) researchers conducted interviews with individual refugees and families living in five refugee camps in Northern and Central Greece (Central Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly)

People risk death and are returned to Libya while Europe watches

“During the last two days more than 300 people left Libya on at least 5 dinghies. IOM report that 285 were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned in the country, where they will be immediately detained.

Sea Watch, Moonbird and AlarmPhone witnessed teh developments (…)

Sea Watch report that an Italian military vessel refused to take action to rescue people risking to drown and hanging on to a deflating rubber dinghy.”

GREECE ARRIVALS

“Arrivals on the Greek islands have not made the headlines for a long while, but the lack of attention by mainstream media does not mean that people have stopped trying to cross the Aegean Sea or that numbers are decreasing. Aegaean Boat Report have summarized the attempts to cross and the arrivals on the Greek eastern islands of the last weeks.”

Samos: forgotten frontline: Video (link)

12.  UK: Lessons from the past: the long history of political policing in the UK

As the Undercover Policing Inquiry drags on, it is worth considering the lengthy history of police infilitration of political movements in the UK. The Inquiry is to “inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968,” but the use of ‘spycops’ has been going on since the passing of the 1829 Police Act, which brought London’s Metropolitan Police into existence.

The case of the police spy William Popay is instructive, as highlighted in the book The History and Practice of the Political Police in Britain (1977) by Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director. Following the passing of the 1829 Police Act, as the book puts it. (…)

13.  200,000 displaced Syrians flee towards Turkey (euractiv, link):

“Pressure is mounting on Turkish authorities to open their borders to more than 200,000 refugees from Syria. What prevents the refugees from entering is a 764-km wall Turkey has built along the border, in fear of Kurdish “terrorists”.”

14.  Net immigration to Britain falls to 5-year low in 2018 (Reuters, link):

“Long-term immigration to Britain fell to a five-year low last year, driven by a fall in the number of migrants from the European Union, official figures showed on Friday.”

15.  Right definition for the right fight (IRR News, link) by Jenny Bourne:

“If we don’t name Islamophobia as a form of racism, how can we combat it? (…)

To carry on a fight over a definition does not change by one iota the reality of treatment meted out to Muslim people day in, day out; it merely calls into question the bona fides of the quibblers, and the government which chooses to heed them. For as Juliet said of the rose, ‘What’s in a name?’ It would, by any other name, still smell as sweet. In this case not naming today’s Islamophobia as what it is – an aspect of racism – could convey more than a whiff of Islamophobia itself.”

See also: Stephen Ashe: thoughtful contribution to Global Social Theory, on the distinctive contribution of IRR founder A. Sivanandan to political and intellectual life in Britain.

16.  EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal (euobserver, link):

” “Police in Senegal deal with a street disturbance – they will soon be joined by European officers, paid for by EU development aid, to tackle people-smuggling

In a matter of weeks, some €9m of EU development aid will be used to shore up the police in Senegal, West Africa, to help crack down on migrant smuggling.

While such EU-funded development projects on security are nothing new, the latest effort in Senegal is a novelty.”

17.  Dutch minister resigns over manipulated report of crimes committed by asylum-seekers (euractiv, link):

“The Netherlands’ minister for migration, Mark Harbers, resigned Tuesday (21 May) after a parliamentary outcry over elided data on crimes committed by asylum-seekers, in a bad blow to the government just ahead of European elections.”

18.   Google faces Irish inquiry over possible breach of privacy laws (The Guardian, link):

“Technology firm’s Ad Exchange processing of users’ personal data being investigated.”

19. UK: 20 years after Macpherson – what has changed? (CCJS, link):

“The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, chaired by Sir William Macpherson, has gone down in British social and political history as a watershed moment in British race relations. For one thing, the 1999 report drew attention to the existence and extent of institutional racism in institutions of the state, public organisations more generally, and most of all the police. Twenty years later, how has that report impacted upon state institutions, their policies and practices, and black people’s experiences of them?”

20.  Austrian Leader Calls for Snap Election After Far-Right Vice Chancellor Resigns (New York Times, link):

“Austria’s leadership was thrown into turmoil on Saturday after a video emerged that raised questions about whether Russia had direct influence inside a government at the heart of Europe.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called snap elections after the country’s far-right vice chancellor resigned over a secretly filmed video from 2017. The video showed Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be a prospective investor and niece of a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir V. Putin.”

21.  EU: Legislation from closed chambers – how (un)democratic is the EU? (Investigate Europe, link):

“The EU administration is relatively small, with 15,000 officials and 28 Commissioners. The city of Hamburg alone has four times as many civil servants. And the procedures in the Commission are largely transparent. Almost all meetings of leading officials and commissioners with lobbyists of any kind are recorded in a public register. Most internal documents are also accessible on request. The legislative proposals developed by civil servants often serve certain industry interests. But that only reflects what is also common on a national level.

No, the real scandal is the anti-democratic practices in the Council of the EU, also known as the Council of Ministers. These are not just the rounds of talks involving heads of government or ministers like we see on television. The actual work takes place in approximately 150 working groups and in the Council of Permanent Representatives… These negotiations take place entirely in camera. There are no publicly accessible minutes, and the press has no right to know which government actually represents what position in the meetings. For citizens, Europe’s most powerful legislator is de facto a black box.”

22. Italy seizes Sea-Watch 3 rescue vessel (DW, link):

“Italy’s far-right interior minister has condemned the seizure of the ship, saying migrants on board should not have set foot in Italy. However, the condition of the refugees had swayed the authorities’ opinion.

Italian prosecutors on Sunday impounded rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 for breaching immigration rules despite government attempts to block the ship from reaching an Italian port.

The ship rescued 65 migrants off the coast of Libya last week. It had originally signaled its intention to disembark them at an Italian port, but was blocked by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.”

23. ECHR: Italian Government must provide temporary accommodation for Roma children and their parents evicted from a settlement (pdf):

“On 5 April 2019 the Mayor of Giugliano issued Decree no. 29, ordering that all the settlement’s inhabitants be evicted for reasons of public health and safety. That order was carried out on 10 May. The applicants currently live with their families in an improvised campsite in an industrial area outside Giugliano.(…)

had been rehoused, the Court decided to apply an interim measure indicating to the Italian Government that it should provide temporary accommodation for the minors involved and their parents, without separating them.”

24.   EU elections 2019: Where do parties stand on migration? (euractiv, link):

“Although irregular arrivals in Europe are at their lowest level in five years, migration remains one of the top priorities for European citizens in the upcoming EU election. EURACTIV has looked into the European parties’ proposals on the matter.”

25.  Swiss vote to tighten gun laws and stay in Schengen (euractiv, link):

“While not an EU member, Switzerland is bound to the bloc through an array of intricately connected bilateral agreements.

Bern had cautioned that a “No” vote would lead to Switzerland’s exclusion from the border-free Schengen travel region and also the Dublin accords regulating Europe’s asylum-seeking process.

This would have far-reaching consequences for security, asylum and even tourism, and would cost the country “several billion Swiss francs each year,” it said.”

26.  Hundreds of Europeans including firefighters and priests arrested for ‘solidarity’ with refugees, data shows (The Independent, link):

“Firefighters, priests and elderly women are among hundreds of Europeans who have been arrested or investigated for demonstrating “solidarity” with refugees and asylum seekers over the past five years – with such cases rising sharply in the last 18 months, new research shows.

A database collated by global news website openDemocracy reveals 250 people across Europe have been arrested or criminalised in other ways for providing food, shelter and transport and other “basic acts of human kindness” to migrants.

The number of cases increased dramatically in 2018, with more than 100 cases recorded last year – twice as many as in 2017. The majority of the cases in 2018 were arrests and charges for providing food, transport or other support to migrants without legal papers.”

See: Hundreds of Europeans ‘criminalised’ for helping migrants – as far right aims to win big in European elections (OpenDemocracy, link) and: European governments’ targeting of migrant solidarity activists for prosecution must stop, says IRR (IRR, link)

27.  UK: Police take legal action against former officer who had child with activist (The Guardian, link):

“Police chiefs are taking legal action against one of their former undercover officers who fathered a child during his covert infiltration of leftwing groups and then abandoned him.

The son of the former officer is already suing the Metropolitan police alleging that he has suffered psychiatric damage after discovering at the age of 26 that his father was not a radical protester he claimed to be, but was instead a police spy.

Now it has emerged that the Met is seeking to make Bob Lambert, the former undercover officer, also defend the legal claim that his son has launched.”

28.  MALTA: Two soldiers arrested for killing Hal Far migrant ‘because he was black’ (Times of Malta, link):

“Two soldiers are believed to be behind the drive-by murder of a migrant in a shooting which left two other men injured in Hal-Far last month.

…The killing is believed to be the first racially-motivated murder in Malta, with sources close to the investigation saying that one of the accused had admitted to targeting the migrants “just because they were black”.

…Ivorian national Lassana Cisse was killed on April 6 in the drive-by shooting in Triq il-Gebel in an incident that sparked shock among the migrant community.

Two other migrants – a 27-year-old from Guinea and a 28-year-old from Gambia – were injured in the attack, after sustaining gunshot wounds.”

29.  UK: Police chief says Extinction Rebellion protesters will be arrested ‘very, very fast’ and suggests officers were not assertive enough last time (The Independent, link):

“The Metropolitan Police has said officers will be “more assertive” dealing with future protests by climate change activists Extinction Rebellion (XR), who last month staged demonstrations at a number of iconic London sites.

Cressida Dick, the Met’s commissioner, told the London Assembly police and crime committee officers were unprepared for the “very new” type of protest, which saw thousands descend on the capital and occupy for 11 days some of the capital’s busiest roads.

…She revealed officers made more than 1,200 arrests during the protests, which begun on 15 April at Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square.”

30.  BELGIUM: Unprecedented police action against Roma Travellers community in Belgium (ERGO Network, link):

“A huge police action took place in Belgium in the morning of 7 May resulting in a massive arrest of Belgian Roma Travellers accused of trafficking of illegally obtained vehicles. The last action of this kind took place during the Second World War when 351 Roma Travellers from Belgium were transported to Auschwitz Birkenau. Today we see again a targeted action of the federal police towards the entire Roma Travellers community in Belgium.

We highly appreciate the work done by the police to tackle criminals in our society. This step was needed as we all are citizens of Belgium and we are responsible and stand as equals before the justice system as Belgian citizens. At the same time, we have concerns with the way these massive arrests have been conducted and we will allow ourselves to be critical towards the way justice is delivered.”

See also: Book: Dimensions of Antigypsyism in Europe (European Network Against Racism, link)

31.  European Commission: EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: solid progress in supporting refugees (press release, pdf):

“The Commission reported today good progress in the implementation and programming of €6 billion of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. More than 80 projects are currently up and running delivering tangible results to refugees and host communities in particular on education and health. Out of the €6 billion, some €4.2 billion has been allocated, of which €3.45 billion has been contracted and €2.22 billion disbursed to date.”

32. SCOTLAND: Snooping fears over police seizing a hundred phones a day (The Ferret, link):

“Police Scotland has admitted seizing more than a hundred mobile phones a day, amid mounting calls for ministers to clarify the rules that protect citizens from police snooping.

Police management has been under scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament over the seizure and subsequent forensic analysis of mobile phones, tablets and computers.

MSPs and human rights groups have raised concerns that the police may be overstepping their legal powers when taking devices and searching them, breaching people’s privacy.”

33.  UK: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: An inspection of the Home Office’s approach to Illegal Working, August-December 2018(pdf):

“This report makes 6 recommendations. The majority focus on improving the mechanics of illegal working compliance and enforcement but, while important and necessary, these are not enough by themselves to answer the criticism that the Home Office’s efforts are not really working, and may have had the unintended consequence of enabling exploitation and discrimination by some employers.

My first 2 recommendations are pivotal to changing this. The Home Office needs to publish an updated (post-Windrush) strategy and Action Plan for tackling illegal working, supported by clear external and internal communications to ensure maximum buy-in cross-government, by employers and representative organisations, by the general public, and within the Home Office itself as soon as possible. It also needs to capture, analyse and report the quantitative and qualitative data and information that demonstrates the strategy and actions are not just effective in reducing illegal working and tackling non-compliant employers but are also sensitive to and deal appropriately with instances of exploitation and abuse.”

34.  UK: Sajid Javid announces overhaul of espionage and treason laws (The Guardian, link):

“Hostile state actors – spies, assassins or hackers directed by the government of another country – are to be targeted by refreshed espionage and treason laws, the home secretary has announced.

In a speech to security officials in central London, Sajid Javid revealed plans to publish a new espionage bill to tackle increased hostile state activity from countries including but not limited to Russia.

Javid said officials would also examine treason laws to see whether the legislation could be updated to include British nationals who operate on behalf of a hostile nation.”

See: Home Secretary speech on keeping our country safe (pdf)

35. UK: Homeless man jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground ‘without reasonable excuse’ (Somerset County Gazette, link):

” A HOMELESS Taunton man has been jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground “without reasonable excuse”.

Haydon Mark Baker, 33, who was staying at a homeless hostel at the time, pleaded guilty to a total of three similar offences when he appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court last week.

He admitted sitting on the ground, which he was banned from doing under a Criminal Behaviour Order, outside Greggs, in North Street, on April 28; outside tReds, in East Street, on May 2; and outside McDonald’s, in East Street, on May 5.

He was sent down for 20 weeks (concurrent) on each count, which were contrary to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge, but there was no order for costs due to lack of means. ”

36. SWITZERLAND: No symbolic pardon for anti-fascist protestors in Geneva (swissinfo.ch, link):

“Parliament has refused to clear the name of seven people found guilty of rioting nearly 90 years ago. The Swiss militia army opened fire on civilians protesting against a meeting of fascists in the city of Geneva in 1932.

“One shot, aim low, fire!” was the order given by first lieutenant Raymond Burnat to his troops, called in to stop a demonstration by militant left-wing protestors rallying in the Plainpalais neighbourhood of Geneva. The shooting lasted all but 12 seconds (see video below) and left 13 people dead and 65 others injured on November 9, 1932.

The bloody incident occurred when left-wing demonstrators, led by the leader of the local Social Democratic Party, Léon Nicole, took to the streets to protest against a rally of supporters of the far-right politician, Georges Oltramare.

Concerned about a wave of public unrest, the government of canton Geneva asked for support from the Swiss army, to maintain public order.”

37.  Salvini fumes at EU court ruling on refugee returns (euractiv, link):

“Italy’s hardline deputy prime minister reiterated his call to change the EU in reaction to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that refugees cannot be deported if their life or freedom is at risk in their home countries.”

38.  Migrants Trying to Reach Europe Are Trapped in Libya – Between Militias and the Sea (The Intercept, link):

“The lives of hundreds of migrants and refugees are under threat in Libya as the conflict there nears detention centers, according to a release yesterday from Amnesty International.”

39.   Privacy International Wins Historic Victory at UK Supreme Court (link):

“Today, after a five year battle with the UK government, Privacy International has won at the UK Supreme Court. The UK Supreme Court has ruled that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal’s (IPT) decisions are subject to judicial review in the High Court. The Supreme Court’s judgment is a major endorsement and affirmation of the rule of law in the UK. The decision guarantees that when the IPT gets the law wrong, its mistakes can be corrected.”

40.  Modern Merchants of Death: The NSO Group, Spyware and Human Rights (/intpolicydigest.org, link):

“Arms manufacturers of old and many of the current stable did not care much where their products went. The profit incentive often came before the patriotic one and led to such dark suspicions as those voiced by the Nye Committee in the 1930s. Known formally as the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry, the US Senate Committee, chaired by US Senator Gerald Nye (R-ND) supplies a distant echo on the nature of armaments and their influence.”

41. REVEALED: UK propaganda unit has secret plans to target French Muslims ((Middle East Eye, link):

“Government contract requirements seen by Middle East Eye show that France is among countries targeted by Home Office’s Research, Information and Communications Unit.

A shadowy UK government propaganda unit that privately declares that it works to “effect behavioural and attitudinal change” among British Muslims has drawn up plans to begin operating in France.

The Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), which is based at the Home Office in London, generates films, social media, websites, leaflets and news stories that are intended to influence public opinion while concealing the British government’s role in their creation.”

42.  GREECE: Immediate abolition of the use of unsuitable detention facilities (Press release, pdf):

“The non-governmental organization AITHMA, along with 15 other Greek and foreign actors from civil society and academia, is addressing an open letter to the leadership of the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the head of the Greek Police regarding the continued detention of irregular immigrants and asylum seekers in inappropriate facilities in violation of Greek, Euro-pean and international law.”

And Open Letter (pdf):

“Problems relating to the administrative detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers – Immediate abolition of the use of unsuitable detention facilities. We are writing to express our deep concern at the continued detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers in unsuitable detention facilities.”

43.  France: Trumped up charges against human rights defender must be dropped (AI, link):

“Ahead of the trial of Tom Ciotkowski, a British human rights defender who documented police abuse against migrants and refugees and volunteers who were helping them in Calais, Amnesty International has called for all charges to be dropped and for European governments to stop treating solidarity as a crime.

Tom Ciotkowski is facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 7,500 Euros on trumped up charges. In July 2018, he was observing French riot police preventing volunteers from distributing food to migrants and refugees in Calais. He was charged with contempt and assault after he challenged the violent actions of a policeman against another volunteer.”

44. Are You Syrious Extensive report:

“Report on illegal practice of collective expulsion on Slovene-Croatian border. Processed under the readmission agreement, many people were denied their right to asylum procedure by the Slovenian police, still conducting systematic expulsions to Croatia under the guise of the readmission. This is a report written by Slovenian activists documenting the continuing unlawful police practice at the border between Croatia and Slovenia.”

45.  Government access to airline PNR data challenged in German courts (Papers Please!, link):

“Complaints filed today in German courts challenge government access to and use and retention of Passenger Name Record data (commercial airline reservation records) as a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by both European Union and German law.(…)

So far as we know, these are the first lawsuits anywhere in the world to challenge the legality of government demands for access to PNR data or other travel records. (…)

The lead plaintiff in the case filed in German administrative court in Wiesbaden, Emilio De Capitani, is a retired former director of the staff of the LIBE (civil liberties) committee of the European Parliament.(…)

Mr. De Capitani plans to fly from Brussels to Berlin for a meeting of GFF in November 2019. He has purchased tickets and informed the airline that he does not want PNR data pertaining to his travel to be made available to government agencies

In response, the airline has told Mr. De Capitani that regardless of his preferences, the airline will provide government agencies in Germany ”

He commented: “We need to rein in mass surveillance of flight passengers in the EU. Together with @freiheitsrechte I am going to court in Germany to stop intransparent algorithms defining who is dangerous and who isn’t.”

See: Complaint and Application for a Temporary Injunction (pdf)

46.  SCOTLAND: Political Undercover Policing in Scotland – report (Public Interest Law Centre, link):

“Today, the Scottish Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (SCOPS) release their report Political Undercover Policing – Scotland.’ There is a clear need for the Justice Secretary in Scotland – Humza Yousaf MSP – to urgently review the evidence presented in this report and to order an independent and transparent public inquiry into undercover political policing in Scotland.

On 16th July 2015 Theresa May, then Home Secretary, announced a public inquiry into undercover policing. This announcement followed revelations that police officers spied on political campaigns and in some cases de-railed them. The officers had intimate relationships with women, fathered children, and in some cases acted as agent provocateurs.

Undercover political policing in Scotland is extensively documented in the attached report – Political Undercover Policing in Scotland –this was commissioned for the case we brought on behalf of our client Tilly Gifford. The report has now been published through the Scottish Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (SCOPS). You can view that report here.”

See: Political Undercover Policing in Scotland: The facts about spycops in Scotland & the questions that remain unanswered (link to pdf)

47  NORTHERN IRELAND: MI5 report on RUC Special Branch to remain secret (Irish Times, link):

“An MI5 report on policing compiled at the height of the Troubles will remain secret nearly half a century after it was written, Britain’s freedom of information watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said police in the North do not have to disclose the so-called Morton report, which recommended a shake-up of RUC Special Branch in 1973.

In reaching its verdict, however, the ICO confirmed for the first time how significant the report could be for understanding the history of policing in the Troubles.”

48.  EU: Swarms of Drones, Piloted by Artificial Intelligence, May Soon Patrol Europe’s Borders (The Intercept, link):

“This is not science fiction. The European Union is financing a project to develop drones piloted by artificial intelligence and designed to autonomously patrol Europe’s borders. The drones will operate in swarms, coordinating and corroborating information among fleets of quadcopters, small fixed-wing airplanes, ground vehicles, submarines, and boats. Developers of the project, known as Roborder, say the robots will be able to identify humans and independently decide whether they represent a threat. If they determine that you may have committed a crime, they will notify border police.”

49.  The Lack of Transparency Surrounding EUROPOL and the Hotspots (Caught You Red-Handed, link)

“The 2015 European Agenda on Migration envisaged a significant role for FRONTEX, EASO, and EUROPOL, the function to operationally implement the Agenda and closely cooperate in the management of the hotspots established in Italy and Greece…

Despite EUROPOL’s operational role, in the recently adopted Regulation of EUROPOL there is not a single mention of this agency’s operational powers in the hotspots, unlike in the EBCG [European Border and Coast Guard] and the future EUAA [European Agency for Asylum] Regulations. Hence, the total secrecy surrounding the operational support of EUROPOL in the hotspots and the lack of any legal reference to the activities of the agency on the ground prevent the general public from assessing the actual implications, meaning, and extent of EUROPOL’s operational support.

… on 10 May 2019, the Ombudsman agreed with Europol’s explanation that the disclosure (full and partial) of documents regarding the agency’s operational activities in the Greek and Italian hotspots “would risk prejudicing the effectiveness and the outcome of the ongoing, but also future, operations in the hotspots”.That is, while Europol is undertaking operational activities in the hotspots, citizens cannot have access to what the agency does in practice and to what extent it operationally assists the national authorities in illegal migrant smuggling investigations. This lack of transparency is clearly problematic in order to effectively hold the agency accountable.”

50
4 Portugal police arrested over assaults of immigrants (Daily Sabah, link)

“Portuguese detectives have arrested four police officers suspected of assaulting Nepalese immigrant workers in the country’s latest allegations of police misconduct.

The Policia Judiciaria, which investigates serious crimes, says Wednesday the four arrested men belong to the Guarda Nacional Civil, a paramilitary police force which has jurisdiction in rural areas.

They are accused of assault in what local media reported was a dispute with the Nepalese workers.”

DOCUMENTATION

1.  CoE: Human trafficking: Experts underline the need to help victims (link):

“In its latest annual report, published today, GRETA sets out a series of legal requirements included in the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking convention*, including proving victims with appropriate accommodation, medical treatment, psychological assistance and material support as well as information on their rights, legal assistance and help with reintegration into society.”

2. Council of Europe: Hungary should address interconnected human rights issues in refugee protection, civil society space, independence of the judiciary and gender equality (link):

“The Commissioner finds that the government’s stance against immigration and asylum seekers has resulted in a legislative framework which undermines the reception of asylum seekers and the integration of recognised refugees. The Commissioner calls on the government to repeal the decreed “crisis situation due to mass immigration” which is not justified by the number of asylum seekers currently entering Hungary and the EU and urges the authorities to refrain from using anti-migrant rhetoric and campaigns which fan xenophobic attitudes.”

See: Commissioner’s Report on Hungary following her visit to the country in February 2019 (pdf) and: Hungarian government comments (pdf)

3.  Council of Europe Foreign Affairs Ministers recall rights and duties of member states, define priority areas for future action (link) and Council of Europe publishes Annual Statistics on Probation (link):

“The number of persons in Europe subject to community sanctions and measures (CSM) ­ usually known as alternatives to imprisonment – under the supervision of probation agencies is increasing, according to the Council of Europe annual SPACE II survey, published today, whilst at the same time the prison population is falling. (…)

On 31 January 2018 there were 1,810,357 people in Europe under the supervision of the 41 probation agencies participating in the survey, which represents an overall probation population rate of 169 probationers per 100,000 inhabitants.”

4.  EU Justice Scoreboard 2019: results show the continuing need to protect judicial independence (European Commission press release, pdf):

“Today, the European Commission publishes the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives a comparative overview of the independence, quality and efficiency of justice systems in EU Member States.

It provides national authorities with information to help them improve their justice systems. The results are mixed and show relative improvements with regard to the efficiency of justice systems and the quality of justice. At the same time, the Scoreboard shows there are growing challenges with regard to the perception of judicial independence.

…One of the new elements of the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard is that it provides an overview of disciplinary regimes regarding judges in national justice systems and safeguards in place to prevent political control of judicial decisions. The Scoreboard also presents the management of powers over national prosecution services justice systems, including the appointment and dismissal of prosecutors, which are key indicators for the independence of a prosecution service.”

See: The 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard (pdf)

5.  MI5 slapped on the wrist for ‘serious’ surveillance data breach (The Register, link):

“Auditors poked around for a week after too many Peeping Toms had a trawl.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has confessed to Parliament that MI5 bungled the security of “certain technology environments used to store and analyse data,” including that of ordinary Britons spied on by the agency.

In a lengthy Parliamentary statement made last week, Javid obliquely admitted that spies had allowed more people to help themselves to its treasure troves of data on British citizens than was legally allowed.”

6.  Council of the European Union: Interoperability between EU information systems: Council adopts regulations (link):

“Today, the Council adopted two regulations establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. Easier information sharing will considerably improve security in the EU, allow for more efficient checks at external borders, improve detection of multiple identities and help prevent and combat illegal migration. All this while safeguarding fundamental rights.”

7.  Germany: anti-torture committee calls on authorities to ensure better treatment of foreign nationals being removed by air (CoE, link):

“The monitoring of a return flight of Afghan nationals from Munich to Kabul (Afghanistan) on 14 August 2018 is the subject of a new report published today by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (See the executive summary).

8.  European Parliament: Study: The impact of the UK’s withdrawal on the institutional set-up and political dynamics within the EU (pdf):

“examines the impact of Brexit on the institutional balance within the Council and European Parliament, on the interinstitutional balance and on the necessity of Treaty changes, and delineates constitutional limits on the participation of non-Member States in EU policies.”

9.  Illegal push-backs and border violence reports – Balkan Region – April 2019 (pdf):

“The methodological process for these reports leverages the close social contact that we have as independent volunteers with refugees and migrants to monitor push-backs in the Western Balkans. When individuals return with significant injuries or stories of abuse, one of our violence reporting volunteers will sit down with the individuals to collect their testimonies.”

10.  Council of the European Union: Counter Terrorism: EU threat assessment in the field of counterterrorism (LIMITE doc no: 8127-19, pdf)

“In line with the agreed way forward, the Presidency drew up the current document on the basis of the EU INTCEN sixth monthly Islamist terrorist threat assessment and EUROPOL’s report.”

And Report to the European Parliament and national Parliaments on the proceedings of the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI) for the period July 2017 – December 2018 (Council doc no: 7500-19, pdf);

“The Presidency of the Council has submitted to the Council the annexed report on the proceedings of the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI) for the period July 2017 – December 20181.

In accordance with Article 71 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 6(2) of the Council Decision establishing the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security Council Decision establishing the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI), the Council hereby transmits the said report to the national Parliaments.”

__________________________________________
Statewatch: Monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe
c/o MDR,88 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1DH
tel: +44(0)203 691 5227
http://www.statewatch.org
e-mail: 
office@statewatch.org

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