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Statewatch News Online, 15 December 2005 (42/05)

Full contents see: www.statewatch.org/news

1. EU-USA: Rendition and removing refugees raise the same issue – transit flights
2. EU: European Parliament votes in favour of “deal” on mandatory data retention
3. EU Presidencies of the Council of the European Union: 2006-2018
4. Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill
5. Council of Europe report on CIA detention centres
6. EU: Opinion of the Meijers Committee on the asylum procedure directive
7. UK: Armed Forces Bill
8. UK: Lords of Appeal:reject the use of evidence obtained through the use of torture
9. EU: “Terrorist” list updated 29 November 2005
10. UK: Joint Human Rights Committee issues damning report on UK terrorism Bill
11. EU-US: “Torture By Proxy…Extraordinary Renditions”
12, European Civil Liberties Network (ECLN)

1. EU-USA: Rendition and removing refugees raise the same issue: Censored document reveals increased transit facilities for the USA to use EU airports to move people around the world: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/05eu-usa-flights.htm

This article includes the full-text of the Minutes of a high-level EU-US meeting – in censored and uncensored versions.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: “Whether these US transit flights are for “criminals”, “inadmissible aliens” or for rendition the same questions arise. Do EU governments know how many times their airports have been used for “transit” by US government flights? Which airports are used? How many people have been moved in this way? How many “criminals” and how many “inadmissible aliens”? If they do then why are the facts and figures not available? And if they do not know, why not?

If EU governments do not know who is being moved and where by foreign agencies using their airports then they are grossly irresponsible. To “aid and abet” the movement of people in an inhuman or degrading way or to be tortured is a crime.”

2. EU: European Parliament, 14 December 2005: The EP today voted in favour of “deal” on mandatory data retention agreed in secret meetings between the Council (EU governments) and the “grand coalition” of the PPE (conservative group) and the PSE (socialist group). The measure was “fast-tracked” through the parliament on 1st reading. The vote was 378 votes in favour, 197 against and 30 abstentions. The GUE, Greens and UEN groups and some members from the ALDE group voted against the directive in the final vote. The rapporteur, Alexander Nuno Alvaro (ALDE, DE) withdrew his name from the report.

a. Amendments adopted by EP:

b. Statewatch analysis: “The European Parliament and data retention: Chronicle of a ‘sell-out’ foretold?” by Professor Steve Peers:

c. Open Letter from civil society groups to the European Parliament calling on MEPs to reject Data Retention:

d. UK-EU: Data retention and police access in the UK – a warning for Europe:

e. For full background, see Statewatch’s Observatory on the surveillance of telecommunications in the EU:

3. EU Presidencies of the Council of the European Union: 2006-2018:

4. Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill:

Explanatory Note:

Groups oppose proposed legislation: Joint statement from Justice for the Forgotten, Relatives for Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre Full-text of NI (Offences) Bill:

5. Europe: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Paris 13 December. The rapporteur and Chair of the Committee, Dick Marty, Council of Europe statement on detention centres. “Legal proceedings in progress in certain countries seemed to indicate that individuals
had been abducted and transferred to other countries without respect for any legal standards.” Full-text:

6. EU: Opinion of the Meijers Committee on the recently adopted asylum procedure directive:

This has been sent to the members of the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) in the European Parliament, requesting them to start a 230 annulment procedure.

Aslyum Procedures Directive (OJ, pdf):

7. UK: Armed Forces Bill (full-text) – including discipline and charges:

House of Commons Research Library:
Background to the Bill: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/rp05-075-armed-forces-bill.pdf
Analysis of the Bill: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/rp05-075-armed-forces-bill-2.pdf
The Constitutional Affairs Committee has also pprodcued a report on the role of the Advocate-General:

8. UK: House of Lords – the Lords of Appeal unanimously reject the use of evidence obtained through the use of torture. Full text of judgment:

“Complicity with torture: Why is the US flying terror suspects to secret camps if it has nothing to hide? We must halt our collusion” Richard Norton-Taylor, 8 December 2005 (Guardian, link):

9. EU: “Terrorist” list updated 29 November 2005 – see latest news on Statewatch’s Observatory on the terrorist lists:

10. UK: Joint Human Rights Committee issues damning report on UK terrorism Bill (pdf):

The Committee considers that the definition of “terrorism” needs to be changed for the purposes of many of these measures if they are to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. See also evidence submitted to the joint Committee: www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/JCevidence.pdf

11. EU-US: “Torture By Proxy, International and Domestic Law Applicable to Extraordinary Renditions” (report by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, New York University, pdf): www.statewatch.org/news/2005/dec/CHRGJ_rendition.pdf

Outlines how Extraordinary Rendition violates international human rights, humanitarian, refugee and criminal law. It also identifies the responsibilities of States to not collude in the practice of Extraordinary Rendition by other States. “States are on notice that Extraordinary Renditions have been carried out in Europe,” warns Professor Meg Satterthwaite, Director of CHRGJ. “Under human rights law, they must now take steps to end cooperation with these wrongful acts.”

12. European Civil Liberties Network (ECLN): www.ecln.org
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