Statewatch News 12 November (Issue 18/

12 November 2021 — Statewatch News

Allso available as a PDF

Welcome to the latest edition of Statewatch News, with information on two upcoming events and all the material published on our website over the last fortnight. In order to keep you better-informed we are also adding a new section, ‘The Roundup’, made up of material we have shared via our social media accounts in the last two weeks

—————————————-

Help us to keep you informed

Become a Friend of Statewatch with a regular donation to help us to keep you informed, and to stand up for civil liberties and individual rights in Europe.

Donate GBPDonate EUR

—————————————-

Events: Secrecy in the EU; Policing and racism in the Statewatch Library & Archive

We have two events coming up this month:

  • The first, on 18 November, is a webinar looking at how governments have sought to maintain secrecy in the EU and how you can exercise your right to request information. More information here.
  • The second, on 24 November, will take place in Bristol, UK, where we will be exploring historical materials from the Statewatch Library & Archive on policing, racism and public order. More information here.

—————————————-

Greece: New campaign against criminalization of migration – Free The #Samos2

A new campaign supported by over 80 organisations from across Europe, including Statewatch, is calling for charges brought by the Greek state against two men, N. and Hasan, to be dropped.

N. faces up to 10 years in prison for “endangering the life of his child,” whom he brought with him to the Greek island of Samos on a boat travelling from Turkey that subsequently capsized, leading to the death of one person who was on board.

Hasan, who was on the same boat, faces a sentence of up to 230 years for “transportation of 24 third-country nationals into Greek territory without permission”, “endangering the lives of 23” and “causing death of one”, because at some point during the journey he steered the vessel.

Read more here.

—————————————-

UK: Up to four years in prison for unauthorized travel

The UK government has ramped up its attack on people arriving in the country without first seeking permission, with the addition of new powers that would make it possible for courts to hand down prison sentences of up to four years for those who do not obtain an electronic travel authorization before arriving in the country.

The amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill come on top of similar penalties for those who arrive without a visa; the primary targets are people travelling across the Channel in small boats.

Read more here.

—————————————-

News

EU: Climate change and migration – Council Presidency discussion paper

EU: Tracking the Pact: Council ponders new action on migrant smuggling and “secondary movements”

Austria: Targeting of Muslims in country’s largest-ever police raid analysed in new report

Greece: New campaign against criminalization of migration – Free The #Samos2

Council of Europe: new recommendation on automated profiling adopted

EU: Special forces network seeks explosive drones for anti-terrorism operations

EU: The ‘weaponised migration’ discourse dehumanises asylum-seekers

EU: New report: “Detection of vulnerabilities in the international protection procedure”

“Not alongside Frontex”: academics speak out against border collaboration

UK: Arrival without an electronic travel authorization could mean up to four years in prison

EU: Tracking the Pact: Migration action plans on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria

Policing the internet: interior ministers to seek “solutions regarding data retention, encryption, e-evidence and the darknet”

The Roundup

‘A farce’: Jamaica charter flight leaves UK with four people on board after dozens found to have right to stay

EU-Belarus border: fences, pushbacks and human rights violations

The politics behind Poland’s border crisis

Safe Passage for Afghans? The EU’s response towards Afghans at risk in light of the Global Compacts

Big Brother Watch launches legal challenge to Welsh Covid passes

Dark things are happening on Europe’s borders. Are they a sign of worse to come?

Greece accused of ‘biggest pushback in years’ of stricken refugee ship

In Poland, where is Frontex?

Pegasus: UK urged to conduct ‘immediate’ probe into spyware scandal

EU’s entry-exit system for travellers hit with delays

Greece lets boat packed with Afghan refugees dock after four days at sea

Editorial: The Pact: First Drafts on APR and RAMM

Spy stories from the Orbán government

Comment on proposed extensive data processing powers for Europol

News

11 November
EU: Climate change and migration – Council Presidency discussion paper

The Slovenian Presidency of the Council has launched a discussion on climate change and migration, calling for “a multi-sectoral approach that works across silos to address root causes and consequences – in other words, an approach that not only responds to and mitigates crises but that is also forward looking and preventative.”

11 November
EU: Tracking the Pact: Council ponders new action on migrant smuggling and “secondary movements”

In reponse to the publication of the EU’s new action plan on migrant smuggling and the ongoing discussions on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Council has begun discussing new ways to deal with migrant smuggling and “secondary movements,” defined as “the journeys undertaken by third-country nationals and stateless persons from one EU/[Schengen state] to another without the prior consent of national authorities and with or without facilitation.”

11 November
Austria: Targeting of Muslims in country’s largest-ever police raid analysed in new report

A new report examines how Operation Luxor, the largest ever peacetime police raid undertaken by the Austrian authorities, “was an unlawful and ideologically-driven targeting of Austrian Muslims,” that has been followed by government attempts to “[leverage] its Islamophobic policies to position itself as leader in Europe on ‘counter-terror’ measures.”

11 November
Greece: New campaign against criminalization of migration – Free The #Samos2

After shipwreck, survivor faces more than 230 years for “boat driving” and father charged with the death of his 6-year-old child

11 November
Council of Europe: new recommendation on automated profiling adopted

Press release published by the Council of Europe on 3 November 2021, along with the updated recommendation.

10 November
EU: Special forces network seeks explosive drones for anti-terrorism operations

The EU-funded ATLAS network of special forces hopes to explore the possible use of drones fitted with explosives “as tactical support weapons and particularly to breach windows,” according to its work programme for 2023, which has been obtained by Statewatch.

10 November
EU: The ‘weaponised migration’ discourse dehumanises asylum-seekers

Following the arrival of a substantial number of people in Poland and Lithuania after having crossed the border from Belarus, the EU and its member states have accused the regime of Alexander Lukashenko of “weaponising migration” – a discourse that legitimises the treatment of asylum-seekers “as other than human”.

09 November
EU: New report: “Detection of vulnerabilities in the international protection procedure”

A report by the European Migration Network examines how and when EU member states detect “vulnerabilities” – for example relating to age, gender, family situation or medical conditions – of applicants for international protection.

08 November
“Not alongside Frontex”: academics speak out against border collaboration

An academic at Turin Polytechnic University has denounced the institution’s work for EU border agency Frontex. The campaign group LasciateCIEntrare has called on individuals and institutions “not to legitimate the violent, repressive, expelling and racialising of the European Union”.

05 November
UK: Arrival without an electronic travel authorization could mean up to four years in prison

The government has ramped up its attack on people arriving in the country without first seeking permission, with the addition of new powers that would make it possible for courts to hand down prison sentences of up to four years.

04 November
EU: Tracking the Pact: Migration action plans on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria

Eight draft action plans for cooperation with non-EU states on migration and border control were approved by the European Council in October. Documents dealing with Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Nigeria, published here, show a chosen path of intensified externalisation of EU border management, and very little commitment to legal migration pathways.

04 November
Policing the internet: interior ministers to seek “solutions regarding data retention, encryption, e-evidence and the darknet”

A high-level conference organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU will commit participating states to finding “appropriate solutions regarding data retention, encryption, e-evidence and the darknet,” in the name of combating child sexual abuse.

The Roundup

Material we have shared on our Twitter and Facebook accounts in the last fortnight.

The Independent, 10 November: ‘A farce’: Jamaica charter flight leaves UK with four people on board after dozens found to have right to stay

There is renewed concern about the efficacy of UK deportation policy as many Jamaican nationals were taken off the flight at the eleventh hour”

EuroMed Rights, 10 November: EU-Belarus border: fences, pushbacks and human rights violations

“Migrants and refugees must no longer be an instrument of pressure in a logic of blackmail that seems to be increasingly extended to all European internal and external borders.”

Politico Europe, 9 November: The politics behind Poland’s border crisis

The rush of migrants trying to enter Poland illegally comes at an opportune time for the country’s ruling party.”

Protect Project, 9 November: Safe Passage for Afghans? The EU’s response towards Afghans at risk in light of the Global Compacts

“…Afghan nationals who have managed to flee to neighbouring countries face a lack of access to regular onward migration and international protection. In this blog Maja Grundler and Elspeth Guild explore EU Member States’ response towards Afghan nationals at risk in light of the Refugee Compact and the Marrakesh Compact.”

Big Brother Watch, 9 November: Big Brother Watch launches legal challenge to Welsh Covid passes

“Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has today initiated a legal challenge against mandatory Covid passes in Wales, calling for the “authoritarian, invasive and unevidenced” scheme to be scrapped.”

The Guardian, 8 November: Dark things are happening on Europe’s borders. Are they a sign of worse to come?

“With a disregard for people’s lives, countries from the UK to Poland are toughening up, as if in preparation for climate displacement”

The Guardian, 5 November: Greece accused of ‘biggest pushback in years’ of stricken refugee ship

Cargo ship, carrying 382 migrants, was towed across the seas for four days before Athens was forced into a rescue after mayday call”

Politico Europe, 4 November: In Poland, where is Frontex?

“The EU can’t sit by while migrants die at the Belarusian border.”

Middle East Eye, 3 November: Pegasus: UK urged to conduct ‘immediate’ probe into spyware scandal

“’There hasn’t been enough done’, Amnesty tells MPs in wake of revelations that phones of British nationals were targeted with NSO software”

EUobserver, 2 November: EU’s entry-exit system for travellers hit with delays

“…promises of extra security appear to be running into trouble amid a slew of delays, according to an internal EU document dated 20 October and drafted by the EU’s police agency Europol. The agency also cites a number of “major risks”.”

The Guardian, 31 October: Greece lets boat packed with Afghan refugees dock after four days at sea

“Vessel allowed to disembark almost 400 people in Aegean port of Kos in ‘unusual and special case’”

ECRE, 29 October: Editorial: The Pact: First Drafts on APR and RAMM

“The Parliament’s role in the 2016 asylum reform package was constructive. It rapidly reached positions that were on the whole supportive of the right to asylum and embodied a collective European approach that Member States acting in good faith could have signed up to. We all know how that ended: Member States and Council structures acting with considerable bad faith reneged on the inter-institutional agreements in May 2018 and blew up the prospects of an EU deal – perhaps definitively. This time around, the draft reports published so far could be judged a disappointing effort from the EP.”

Hungarian Spectrum, 26 October: Spy stories from the Orbán government

“András Dezső, a talented investigative journalist specializing in intelligence and crime, has written a new book titled Fedősztori (Cover story)… His latest book is about Hungarian and foreign secret services working in Hungary.”

Meijers Committee, 26 October: Comment on proposed extensive data processing powers for Europol

In December 2020, the European Commission issued a Proposal to amend the Europol Regulation regarding Europol’s cooperation with private parties, the processing of personal data by Europol in support of criminal investigations and Europol’s role on research and innovation. This amendment considerably expands the data processing powers of Europol without establishing an independent oversight over Europol’s data processing power. This could possibly have adverse effects on the fundamental rights of affected persons, both suspects and innocent people.”

—————————————-

Support the fight for civil liberties in Europe

Donate GBPDonate EUR

____________________________________
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
Privacy policy: https://www.statewatch.org/about/privacy-policy/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.