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Statewatch News Online, 3 of 3: 5 May 2009 (08/09)

Home page: www.statewatch.org/
What’s News: www.statewatch.org/whatsnew.htm
News Online: www.statewatch.org/news/
Observatories: www.statewatch.org/observatories.htm

1.   COE-ITALY: “Italy should eradicate discrimination and xenophobia”
2.   EU: Article 29 Working Party: protection of children’s personal data
3.   EU: Commission Secretary-General Staff Guide to public access to documents
4.   CIA: RENDITION: Polish media uncover evidence of CIA prison
5.   European Commission: combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children
6.   UK: DNA pioneer Alec Jeffreys: drop innocent from database
7.   UK: Academics plan to boycott new student immigration rules
8.   EU-UK: Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures
9.   ECHR: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union: Landmark decision on FOI
10. CAGED PRISONERS: Fabricating Terrorism II: British complicity
11. EP study: European and international legislation on terrorist financing
12. EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: EU officials warned to be careful
13. UK: The Review of Criminality Information
14. EU/Africa: Fortress Europe documents 316 deaths in March 2009
16. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) 6 April 2009, Luxembourg
17. EU agrees US demands to re-write data protection agreement
18. EU-USA: A “Partially Declassified” document: Transatlantic Relations
19. EU-UK: Commission takes UK to court over internet privacy

1. COE-ITALY: “Italy should eradicate discrimination and xenophobia and improve its migration policy” says Commissioner Hammarberg (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/italy-coe-report-prel.pdf

and Report by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Following his visit to Italy on 13-15 January 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/italy-coe-report.pdf

[16/04/09] “Although efforts have been undertaken, serious concerns remain about the situation of Roma, migration policy and practice, and the non-respect of binding interim measures requested by the European Court of Human Rights” said today Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting his report on Italy.

2. EU: Article 29 Working Party on data protection: Opinion 2/2009 on the protection of children’s personal data (General Guidelines and the special case of schools):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-art-29-dp-children-wp-160.pdf

and Opinion 3/2009 on the Draft Commission Decision on standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data to processors established in third countries, under Directive 95/46/EC (data controller to data processor):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-art-29
-dp-transfer-of-data-third-states.pdf

3. EU: Access to Documents: Commission Secretary-General Staff Guide to public access to Commission documents (60 pages):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/com-
sg-internal-guide-access-to-documents.pdf

Background: Statewatch’s Observatory on Access to EU documents/FOI:
www.statewatch.org/foi/foi.htm

4. CIA: RENDITION: After repeated denials: Polish media uncover evidence of CIA prison (euobserver, link):  “Journalists from Polish TV station TVP and daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita say they have obtained new evidence that Poland ran a secret CIA prison used for extra-judicial extradition of terrorism suspects.”
euobserver.com/9/27946

5. European Commission: Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (COM 135/2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-com-children-exploitation.pdf

and Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting victims, repealing Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA (COM 136/2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-com-trafficking-final.pdf

6. UK: DNA pioneer Alec Jeffreys: drop innocent from database: DNA scientist: drop innocent from database – Father of genetic fingerprinting says thousands ‘branded as criminals’ (Guardian, link): www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/15/jeffreys
-dna-database-human-rights-police/print

“Jeffreys, whose pioneering discoveries revolutionised police investigation techniques, condemned the government for leaving innocent people “branded as criminals” by its insistence on keeping the details of everyone arrested, regardless of whether they are later convicted.”

7. UK: Academics plan to boycott new student immigration rules (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/14
/student-immigration-rules-boycott/print

“A group of academics are threatening to boycott the government’s new immigration rules for students, saying orders that they monitor international students’ movements are discriminatory. The 35 academics, who describe themselves as being involved in researching the “uses and abuses of state power” say that they are increasingly being drawn into the role of “policing students” by the immigration authorities.”

and full-text of letter (link):
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/14/
immigration-higher-education/print

8. EU-UK: Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures (Register, link):
www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/14/eu_phorm_formal/

and European Commission press release: Telecoms: Commission launches case against UK over privacy and personal data protection:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-uk-case.pdf

9. ECHR: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union: Landmark decision on freedom of information by the European Court of Human Rights:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/echr-hclu-prel.pdf

and ECHR: Full-text of judgment: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/echr-hclu-judgment.pdf

The judgment said that FOI requests “to disclose such information to a “watchdog” group – whether the press or NGOs that serve a watchdog role – it is obliged “not to impede the flow of information””:

“The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union won a freedom of information case against the Republic of Hungary. For the first time, the right to access to state-held information as part of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been formally recognised, as reflected in today’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The Strasbourg based Court declared that withholding information needed to participate in public debate on matters of public importance may violate the freedom of expression.”

10. CAGED PRISONERS: Fabricating Terrorism II: British complicity in renditions and torture:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/cage-prisoners-fabricating-terrorism-II.pdf

11. European Parliament Study: Overview of European and international legislation on terrorist financing:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/ep-study-eu-int-legis-terrorist-financing.pdf
 
12. EU: ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: EU officials warned to be careful about email content (euobserver, link).
euobserver.com/9/27935

Full-text of: DG Trade: Vademecum on access to documents, January 2009:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/eu-
access-vadecum-dg-trade-internal.pdf

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

“This staff document exposes the myth of those who claim that the Commission is unable to list all documents on its public register. The internal rules are clear – with some understandable exceptions – all documents should be listed. The problem is that the Commission has failed to enforce its own rules and meet its legal obligations under EU Regulation 1049/2001.

If every time an EU institution does not like the rules and the law these are changed to accommodate them – as some are proposing – it will herald an era of uncertainty and confusion undermining democratic decision-making.”

See Statewatch’s Observatory: the Regulation on access to EU documents: 2008-2009:
www.statewatch.org/foi/observatory-access-reg-2008-2009.htm

13. UK: The Review of Criminality Information By Sir Ian Magee:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/uk-roci-full-report.pdf

and Government response:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/uk-roci-gov-response.pdf

Paragraph 44 of the Review concludes:

“The new strategic direction will therefore include the key principles of information management and sharing that will span all public protection organisations and will specify where needed the ways in which criminality information should be recorded, secured, used, exchanged and shared to support public protection.”

14. EU/Africa: Fortress Europe documents 316 deaths in March 2009
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/01fortress-europe-march-2009.htm

15. Europe: ‘A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe’ by Liz Fekete. New book from the Institute of Race Relations looking at how anti-terrorist legislation is used to evict undesirable migrants and how refugee policies lead to the commodification and de-humanisation of asylum seekers:
https://www.irr.org.uk/cgi-bin/news/buy.pl?id=88

16. EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) 6 April 2009, Luxembourg: Conclusions:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/jha-6-april-conclusions.pdf

See also: Council Conclusions on the development of the SIRENE Bureaux in the framework of the Schengen Information System:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/apr/jha-6-april-sirene.pdf

17. EU: Statewatch analysis: EU agrees US demands to re-write data protection agreement by Tony Bunyan: “Having got its way in a series of EU-US treaties on justice and home affairs cooperation, the USA is now seeking to permanently circumvent the EU’s “problematic” privacy laws.”:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-78-eu-us-dp.pdf

18. EU-USA: A “Partially Declassified” document (ie: lots of censored sections) but the scope of the overall agenda is informative: Transatlantic Relations – Ongoing Issues with the USA (28 pages): www.statewatch.org/news/2008/dec/
eu -usa-issues-pa-11884-ext1-08.pdf

and European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision: Concerning the extension of the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/dec/eu-usa-
technical-coop-agreement-13779-08.pdf

19. EU-UK: Commission takes UK to court over internet privacy (European Voice):
www.europeanvoice.com/article/2009/04/commission
-takes-uk-to-court-over-internet-privacy/64594.aspx

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