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Statewatch News Online, 20 May 2009 (09/09)

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1. SURVEILLANCE STATES: ACLU, PEN American Center & Statewatch
2. Tony Bunyan’s “View from the EU”: Access to EU documents
3. Statewatch publication: Border wars and asylum crimes by Frances Webber
4. EU-USA: Obama Administration To Revive Fatally Flawed Military Commissions
5. UK: National Union of Journalists: NUJ slams Tamil protest policing
6. EU ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS REGULATION: Latest documents
7. ITALY: Letter to Commission Barrot: European Roma Rights Centre
8. EUROPOL: Council Decision establishing the
European Police Office (Europol)
9. UK: TERRORIST ARRESTS: Home Office Statistical Bulletin
10. EU: SIS & VEHICLE CHECKS
11. ECHR: How can the role of the European Court of Human Rights be enhanced?
12. European Commission: Small chips with big potential: RFID
13. EU: UK HoL EU Select Committee report:
Procedural rights in EU criminal proceedings
14. EU: Frontex and the US Department of Homeland Security
15. Gareth Peirce: Torture, Secrecy and the British State
16. ITALY-LIBYA: EMHRN and Migreurop: Press release
17. EU: Statewatch analysis: The EU’s JHA agenda after the EP elections
18. “View from the EU” column: We’re not the only ones to stifle dissent
19. EU: Asylum applications and decisions: Asylum in the EU in 2008
20. EU: TELECOM PACKAGE REJECTED
21. UK: We won’t collude with efforts to use the academy to police immigration
22. EU: Brain scanning may be used in security checks
23. UK-EU-USA: Two EU-USA agreements on extradition and mutual assistance

1. SURVEILLANCE STATES: Government spying, civil liberties and the “special relationship”:
The American Civil Liberties Union, PEN American Center and Statewatch invite you to join experts from the US and UK at Garden Court Chambers on 31 May 2009 for a discussion of mass surveillance, its implications, and challenges to government policy and practice. The panel will be moderated by Carla Ferstman, director of REDRESS, a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. Date: Sunday, 31 May 2009: Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Location: Garden Court Chambers, 57- 60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3LS:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/surveillance-states-seminar.pdf

The panel will feature: JAMEEL JAFFER, director
of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s
National Security Project; PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE is a fellow at the Century Foundation, a progressive policy think tank, and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Slate, and other publications on issues of national security, civil liberties, human rights, and the rule of law; BEN HAYES, associate director of Statewatch; LARRY SIEMS, director of PEN American Center’s Freedom to Write program, which defends writers facing persecution around the world, and PEN’s Campaign for Core Freedoms, a major initiative to turn back new threats to freedom of expression in the United States.

2. EU: Tony Bunyan’s “View from the EU” column
looks at the Current state of play of the
proposed changes to the Regulation on access to EU documents (Guardian Libertycentral, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral
/2009/may/20/freedomofinformation-eu

3. Statewatch publication: Border wars and asylum
crimes by Frances Webber (38 pages):
www.statewatch.org/analyses/border-wars-and-asylum-crimes.pdf

“When the pamphlet ‘Crimes of Arrival’ was written, in 1995, the title was a metaphor for the way the British government, in common with other European governments, treated migrants and especially, asylum seekers. Now, a decade on, that title describes a literal truth…

There is a frightening continuity between the treatment of asylum claimants and that of terrorist suspects. In the name of the defence of our way of life and our enlightenment values from attack by terrorists or by poor migrants, that way of life is being destroyed by creeping authoritarianism, and those values – amongst which the most important is the universality of human rights – betrayed.”

See also: Crimes of arrival: immigrants and asylum-seekers in the new Europe (12 pages, 1995):
www.statewatch.org/analyses/crimes-of-arrival.pdf

To order hard-copies see: www.statewatch.org/swpubs.html

4. EU-USA: Obama Administration To Revive Fatally
Flawed Military Commissions: Decision Strikes Blow To Due Process And Rule Of Law (ACLU, link).
www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/39601prs20090515.html

See also from the Council of the European Union: Draft Conclusions of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States on the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre (dated 14 May 2009):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/
eu-closure-guantanamo-bay-9967.pdf

“Welcoming the decision of the President of the United States of America to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre and to order a review of detention, trial, transfer and interrogation policies in the fight against terrorism”

5. UK: National Union of Journalists: NUJ slams Tamil protest policing (NUJ, link):
“The NUJ has today (Friday) hit out at the treatment of journalists by police at a Tamil protest outside the Houses of Parliament on Monday (11/05/09)”:
www.nuj.org.uk/innerPagenuj.html?docid=1231

and Police accused of targeting photographers (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2009/may/
15/press-freedom-nationalunionofjournalists/print

6. EU ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS REGULATION: Council of the European Union:
Proposal made by Denmark,
Estonia, Finland and Slovenia concerning Article 4, paragraph 2, point (c) of the Commission’s proposal: Following the European Court of Justice judgment in the Turco case that Council Legal Opinions on policy-making measures should in general be made publicly available these four Member States are proposing that the Regulation be amended to establish this right.
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/
eu-access-reg-council-9716-09.pdf

Background see: Turco judgment: Press release:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/ecj-turco-case-press-release.pdf
and Court judgment – full-text:
www.statewatch.org/news/2008/jul/ecj-turco-case-judgment.pdf
and Latest Council position: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (recast) (8.5.09):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/eu-access-reg-council-9234-09.pdf

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

7. ITALY: Letter to Commission Barrot: European
Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), osservAzione and the Open Society Institute (OSI):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/italy-ercc-letter.pdf

and Memorandum to the European Commission: Violations of EC law and the fundamental rights of Roma and Sinti by the Italian government in the implementation of the census in “Nomad
camps”: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/italy-ercc.pdf

See also: Italy chamber makes illegal migration a crime (link):
www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/
ALeqM5gsmx3ouOUSYpnAMXJI4gA9PPPFaAD985BGBO1

8. EUROPOL: Council Decision establishing the European Police Office (Europol) replacing the Europol Convention of 1995:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/europol.pdf

9. UK: TERRORIST ARRESTS: Home Office Statistical Bulletin:
Statistics on Terrorism: Arrests and Outcomes: 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2008:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/uk-ho-terrorism-arrests.pdf

Only 13% of people arrested have been convicted of terrorist offences and 56% were not even charged.

10. EU: SIS & VEHICLE CHECKS:
Implementation of Article 102A of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement during the year 2007 – Draft report to be submitted to the European Parliament in accordance with Art. 102A(4) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (CISA):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/sis-vehicle-checks-implementation-16900-08.pdf

11. ECHR: How can the role of the European Court of Human Rights be enhanced?
Recommendations for Germany Policy Paper by Prof. Dr Christoph Gusy and Sebastian Müller, Bielefeld University:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/echr-germany-policy-paper.pdf

12. European Commission: Small chips with big potential:
New EU recommendations make sure 21st century bar codes respect privacy (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/eu-com-rfid-prel.pdf

and Commission Recommendation on the implementation of privacy and data protection principles in applications supported by radio-frequency identification (COM
3200): www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/eu-com-rfid-3200-2009.pdf

13. EU: UK House of Lords European Union Select
Committee report: Procedural rights in EU criminal proceedings – an update:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/eu-hol-ec-procedural-rights.pdf

14. EU: Frontex and the US Department of Homeland Security (Frontex press release, link):
www.frontex.europa.eu/newsroom/news_releases/art61.html

“In the margins of the EU-US Troika on Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting held in Prague on 28 April, Frontex and the US Department of Homeland Security signed a Working Arrangement on the establishment of operational cooperation.

The arrangement which was signed by Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen and Mrs. Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, will lead to transatlantic cooperation in areas related to border security management including exchange of strategic information, training, capacity building and collaboration on relevant technologies.”

and: Frontex: External evaluation of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European
Union: www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/frontex-eval-report-2009.pdf

15. “Make sure you say that you were treated properly”, Gareth Peirce writes about Torture,
Secrecy and the British State (London Review of Books). She is a lawyer who has since the 1970s represented individuals accused of involvement in terrorism from both the Irish and the Muslim communities:
www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n09/peir01_.html

16. ITALY-LIBYA: Euro Mediteranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and Migreurop: Press release:
Illegal refoulement of 500 migrants to Libya: the EU must condemn Italian authorities (link): www.migreurop.org/article1443.html

French (link): www.migreurop.org/article1441.html
Italian (link): www.migreurop.org/article1442.html

and: Jesuit Refugee Service: Removal of 227 migrants to Libya directly contravenes international laws (Press release): “The forced removal of 227 men and women to Libya by Italian authorities is absolutely unacceptable. With no opportunity to make an asylum claim these migrants now risk ill-\treatment or being pushed back into the arms of their persecutors.”:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/italy-libya-jrs-prel.pdf

17. EU: Statewatch analysis: The EU’s JHA agenda
after the EP elections by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:
www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-80-jha-agenda-for-2009.pdf

The European Parliament (EP) has just completed its last session before breaking for elections in June 2009. This analysis first of all lists all of the proposals which the Commission has announced for the rest of 2009 and secondly, all pending measures which have already been proposed, and which are under active discussion as of 7 May 2009.

18. EU: Tony Bunyan’s “View from the EU” column:
We’re not the only ones to stifle dissent – Police tactics at the G20 demonstrations reflect an Europe–wide trend to conflate terrorism and protest as equal threats to security (Guardian Libertycentral, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/liberty
central/2009/may/08/civil-liberties-protest

19. EU: Asylum applications and decisions: Asylum in the EU in 2008 (Eurostat):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/
eu-asylum-applicant-stats-2008.pdf

20. EU: TELECOM PACKAGE REJECTED: Czech Council Presidency reaction:
Presidency regrets that EP disregards compromise on telecom reform (link):
www.eu2009.cz/en/news-and-documents/press-releases/
presidency-regrets-that-ep-disregards-compromise-on-
telecoms-reform-20676/

In a bitter response the Council says that:

“The Czech EU Presidency regrets the fact that the European Parliament did not honour the agreement reached with the Council of the EU and the European Commission on the important overhaul of rules governing the telecoms market… It is evident that the whole package has become hostage to the pre-election campaign of a part of MEPs.”

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:“Normally “deals” reached in secret trialogues between the Council and the European Parliament go through on the nod. This is the first time I know of that the EP plenary has ever refused to go along with an informal deal with the Council agreed in the co-decision process. On this occasion the grave concerns of civil society have been listened to.”

European Parliament: MEPs reject “deal”: No agreement on reform of telecom legislation (Press release):
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may
/ep-telecoms-package-not-agreed.pdf

“A user’s Internet access cannot be restricted without prior ruling by the judicial authorities, insists the European Parliament reinstating one of its first-reading amendments. By amending an informal agreement reached with Council, MEPs send the whole “telecom package” to conciliation.”

and see: Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe (La Quadrature, link):
www.laquadrature.net/en/amendment-138-46-adopted-again

21. UK: We won’t collude with efforts to use the academy to police immigration (Times Higher Education Supplement, link):
“Ann Singleton, Steve Tombs and David Whyte decry the insidious way in which academics are being used to monitor foreign students and staff”:
www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp
?sectioncode=26&storycode=406422&c=1

22. EU: Brain scanning may be used in security checks (Guardian, link):
www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/
10/biometric-scanning-brain-security-checks/print

See: the EU FP6 funded project completed in 2008, Humabio (link):
www.humabio-eu.org/

describes itself as follows:

“HUMABIO is a EC co-funded “Specific Targeted Research Project” (STREP) where new types of biometrics are combined with state of the art sensorial technologies in order to enhance security in a wide spectrum of applications like transportation safety and continuous authentication in safety critical environments like laboratories, airports or other buildings.”

Project concept: Unobtrusive Multimodal Biometric Authentication: The HUMABIO Project Concept (link):
www.hindawi.com/GetPDF.aspx?doi=10.1155/2008/265767

23. UK-EU-USA: Two Instruments bringing into force in the UK the EU-USA agreements on extradition and mutual assistance:
www.statewatch.org/news/2009/may/uk-
eu-usa-extradition-mutual-assistance.pdf

Although agreed back in 2004 it has taken over five years for each EU government and the USA to ratify these two agreements – the process is nearly complete. The agreement on extradition is controversial and that on, seemingly straightforward, “mutual assistance” is far-reaching in terms of police cooperation and the exchange of personal data. This is being adopted in the UK as an international Treaty without discussion – and the UK is formally committed to enacting it as a result of the EU-US agreement.

Background: EU/US agreement on extradition and mutual assistance:
www.statewatch.org/news/2002/jul/11Buseu.htm

EU-USA agreements – the drafts on the table:
www.statewatch.org/news/2003/apr/01Auseuag.htm

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