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Statewatch News Online, 11 August, 2008

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New items: July

3. EU: TERRORIST FINANCING: Revised Strategy
5. UK: SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: A Surveillance Society?
6. EU-USA: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) letter to EP
7. CROATIA: Croatian Government is removing tourists
8. EU-ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Council capitulates – Turco case
9. UK: New Criminal Information Quango sighted
10. ITALY: The bloody battle of Genoa
11. EU: Council Presidencies JHA Programme
12. EU: Legislative Update: The “state of play” on new measures
13. EU: EXIT-ENTRY SYSTEM: Briefing Paper for EP
15. G8: G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
16. EU: Electronic Identity Management (eIDM)
17. EU: HAGUE PROGRAMME: Report on implementation
18. EP: Country reports “reception of asylum seekers and irregular migrants”
20. EU-JHA-PASSERELLE: Statewatch Analysis
21. UK: Information Commissioner: Communications database – ‘a step too far’
22. ITALY: Update story: Genoa riots
23. ITALY: Frattini pide un banco de datos europeo con huellas…
24. LIBYA-EU: Libya urges EU to revise illegal immigration rules
25. ITALY: Memorandum
26. UK: Outsourcing abuse: detention and removal of asylum seekers
27. USA: US Terrorism Watch List Tops 1 Million
29. UK: Data Sharing Review report

1. ITALY: SECURITY PACKAGE & DOCUMENTATION: On 23 July the Italian Senate approved the law transforming the security package decree into law: Link to full-text:

The main measures adopted – having an impact on EU and non-EU citizens – are similar to those already contained in the decrees:

– Aggravating circumstance of being irregular on Italian soil: being a clandestine/illegal immigrant becomes an aggravating circumstance: penalties are 1/3 higher for illegal immigrants who commit a crime; this is valid for EU citizens and non-EU citizens (which amounts to a discrimination on the basis of nationality among EU citizens);

– Easier Expulsions: judges can order expulsions in a wider series of circumstances; foreigners, including EU citizens, can be expelled if they have no revenue or have been caught committing a crime. Expulsion, also of EU citizens, can be ordered for crimes punished with 2 years detention (before it was 10 years). Those who violate the repatriation order, including EU citizens, can be punished with a custodial sentence of between 1 and 4 years (violation of the free movement directive);

– “Centri di permanenza temporanea” (Cpt – Centers for temporary permanence) and “centri di permanenza temporanea e assistenza” (Cpta – Centers for temporary permanence and assistance) are renamed and becorme “centri di identificazione ed espulsione” (Cie – Centers for identification and expulsion). Those who admit false identity risk a penalty of between 3 and 6 years;

– Prison for those who provide housing to clandestines: anybody renting or anyway providing housing to foreigners who are not regularly on the Italian soil can bee punished with a custodial sentence of between 6 months and 3 years. The house or apartment can also be seized;

– Mayors and Prefects will have more powers in terms of public order, while local and State police will collaborate more. The Mayor will indicate those who are in an irregular situation on Italian soil to be expelled (the application of the free movement directive is left to local authorities, making it difficult to check compliance)

– Ministry of Interiors: Cabinet of the Minister: Guide lines for the implementation of the ordinances of the President of the Council of Ministers 30/05/2008,N.3676, 3677 and 3678, regarding settlements of nomad communities in the Regions Campania, Lazio and Lombardy:


– SECURITY A LA ITALIANA: Fingerprinting, Extreme Violence and Harassment of Roma in Italy – by European Roma Rights Centre, Open Society Institute, Romani Criss, Roma Civic Alliance in Romania and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions:

– Situation of Roma in Italy and Report of the visits and meetings of Marco Cappato and Viktoria (ALDE MEPs) in Rome, 17-18 July 2008:

– Red Cross document:

– European Parliament Resolution: Census of the Roma on the basis of ethnicity in Italy: European Parliament resolution of 10 July 2008 on the census of the Roma on the basis of ethnicity in Italy:

– Letter from Jonathan Faull, Director General DG Justice, Freedon and Security, to Italian government Permanent Representative in Brussels: Letter full-text (pdf)

2. EU-LATIN AMERICA: THE “OUTRAGEOUS” RETURNS DIRECTIVE: Letter to EU governments and parliamentarians (Six languages, pdf)

Signed by people from: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, USA, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela:

“It seems that a convenient amnesia prevents Europe from remembering what Europe would be like without cheap labor from abroad, and without the services that the entire world has provided her with. Europe would not be Europe without the massacre of indigenous peoples in the Americas and without the enslavement of the sons and daughters of Africa, to mention only a few forgotten examples.

Europe should apologise to the world, or at the very least give thanks for what the world has given her, instead of legalising the hunting down and punishment of hard working people who have come to Europe, fleeing the hunger and the wars that the masters of the world have sent them.”

3. EU: TERRORIST FINANCING: Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Revised Strategy on Terrorist Financing (pdf)



On deporting people to countries where there is evidence of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment:

“The State party should ensure that all individuals, including persons suspected of terrorism, are not returned to another country if there are substantial reasons for fearing that they would be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The State party should further recognise that the more systematic the practice of torture or cruel , inhuman or degrading treatment, the less likely it will be that a real risk of such treatment can be avoided by diplomatic assurances, howeverstringent any agreed follow-up procedure may be. The State party should exercise the utmost care in the use of such assurances and adopt clear and transparent procedures allowing review by adequate judicial mechanisms before individuals are deported, as well as effective means to monitor the fate of the affected individuals.”

On rendition:

“The Committee notes with concern that the State party has allowed the use of the British Indian Ocean Territory as a transit point on at least two occasions for rendition flights of persons to countries where they risk being subjected to torture or ill-treatment.(arts. 2, 7 and 14).

The State party should investigate allegations related to transit through its territory of rendition flights and establish an inspection system to ensure that its airports are not used for such purposes.”

On the use of plastics bullets/projectiles:

“The State party should closely monitor the use of Attenuating Energy Projectiles (AEPs) by police and army forces and consider banning such use if it is established that AEPs can cause serious injuries.”

5. UK: SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY: A Surveillance Society?:

The Government reply to the report from the Home affairs Committee:

See: Government stands by data sharing: The Home Office has said that joining up existing government systems reduces the need for big new databases (link):

Background: Report on the “Surveillance society” by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee: Report:

Vol 1 (1.5 MB):

Evidence Vol 2 (1.6 MB):

6. EU-USA: Letter from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the European Parliament: Full-text of ACLU letter:

“The negotiations underway between U.S. security agencies and their European counterparts over the transatlantic transfer of personal data are just the latest efforts to overcome a looming problem…The European Union, having enacted strong legislation to protect the privacy of its citizens, cannot be asked to render that legislation meaningless by allowing its citizens’ data to be shared with a country that is, in privacy terms, all but lawless.

If Europe agrees to data-sharing with the United States under the current U.S. open records law, then European citizens will have far fewer protections for their data in the United States than U.S. citizens will have in Europe. U.S. privacy laws are weak; they offer little protection to citizens and virtually none to non-citizens.”

Background:EU-USA: How America is snooping on YOU … and may soon be snooping a whole lot more (link to Mail on Sunday):

EU-US: Final Report by EU-US High Level Contact Group on information sharing and privacy and personal data protection:

This report was presented at the EU-US Summit on 12 June 2008.

7. CROATIA: Every day the Croatian Government is removing tourists, mostly Asians and Africans, from the train between Budapest and Venice – people with visas for their destination – people who are not warned they will be passing through Croatia until it’s too late – They are left on the border in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere – while travellers from Western countries are allowed to continue their journey unhindered:

8. EU-ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS: Council capitulates and agree to give Mr Turco a document containing the Opinion of the Legal Service: New reply to the confirmatory application made by Mr Maurizio TURCO (1/02) following the judgment of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) in Joined Cases C-39/05 P and C-52/05 P:



The transparency of the legislative process and the strengthening of the democratic rights of European citizens are capable of constituting an overriding public interest which justifies the disclosure of legal advice… The Court takes the view that disclosure of documents containing the advice of an institution’s legal service on legal questions arising when legislative initiatives are being debated increases transparency and strengthens the democratic right of European citizens to scrutinise the information which has formed the basis of a legislative act.” (Court press release) and:

“As regards, first, the fear expressed by the Council that disclosure of an opinion of its legal service relating to a legislative proposal could lead to doubts as to the lawfulness of the legislative act concerned, it is precisely openness in this regard that contributes to conferring greater legitimacy on the institutions in the eyes of European citizens and increasing their confidence in them by allowing divergences between various points of view to be openly debated. It is in fact rather a lack of information and debate which is capable of giving rise to doubts in the minds of citizens, not only as regards the lawfulness of an isolated act, but also as regards the legitimacy of the decision-making process as a whole.” (Judgment)

The Court’s judgment means that the Council (and the Commission) can no longer claim blanket refusals for the opinions of their Legal Services on legislative matters. The Court’s judgment is also interesting because it reasserted the principle of an “overriding public interest” in allowing disclosure.

Currently the Opinions of the Council’s Legal Service on legislative matters carries the following warning:

“This document contains legal advice protected under Article 4(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, and not released by the Council of the European Union to the public. The Council reserves all its rights in law as regards any unauthorised publication.”

– Press release

– Court judgment – full-text

– Turco press statement

9. UK: New Criminal Information Quango sighted – Ex-mandarin hides plans for world domination behind criticism of Police (Register, link):

Report: Review of Criminal Information” (ROCI) (156 pages):

and see: Technology and Policing: Implications for Fairness and Legitimacy, by Peter Neyroud and Emma Disley (Policing, link)

10. ITALY: The bloody battle of Genoa (Guardian feature by Nick Davies, link)

11. EU: Council Presidencies JHA Programme: French, Czech and Swedish Presidencies: Draft Programme of the trio of Presidencies in JHA:

12. EU: Legislative Update: The “state of play” on the following measures:

– Report on European Parliament plenary session: Common Consular Instructions on visas for diplomatic and consular posts in relation to the introduction of biometrics including provisions on the organisation of the reception and processing of visa applications:

See also: The European Parliament plenary session has backed a report by Sarah Ludford MEP (ALDE) calling for the fingerprinting of children to only be allowed for those 12 year old and over – the Council of the European Union (the governments) want it to be just six years old and over. The report was supported by 455 MEPs and opposed by 64, mainly from the conservative PPE group. There were 41 abstentions. Full-text of Resolution:

– EUROJUST: Draft Council Decision on the strengthening of Eurojust amending Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002, as amended by Council Decision 2003/659/JHA setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime (67 pages)

– EMPLOYER SANCTIONS: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals:

and EU doc no: 11000/08: EU doc no: 11727/08:

– EJN: Draft Council Decision on the European Judicial Network:

– EU-USA PNR: Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of passenger name record (PNR) data by air carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ? Declarations made in accordance with Article 24(5) TEU – State of Play

13. EU: EXIT-ENTRY SYSTEM: Briefing Paper for the European Parliament: Proposed new EU border control systems by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:

14. USA: RENDITION-TORTURE-US ASSURANCES: Report from the UK House of Commons foreign Affairs Committee: Human Rights Annual Report 2007:

It includes the following Conclusions:

“We conclude that, given the clear differences in definition, the UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the Government does not rely on such assurances in the future.”

“We conclude that it is extremely important that the veracity of allegations that the Government has “outsourced” interrogation techniques involving the torture of British nationals by Pakistani author authorities should be ities investigated.”

“We conclude that the Government has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that flights that enter UK airspace or land at UK airports are not pa part of the “rendition rt circuit”, even if they do not have a detainee on board during the time they are in UK territory. We recommend that the Government should immediately raise questions about such flights with the US authorities in order to ascertain the full scale of the rendition problem, and inform the Committee of the replies it rece receives in its response to this Report.”

15. G8: G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting, Tokyo, 11-13 June, 2008: Concluding Declaration Conclusions including Counter-Terrorism:

and G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Declaration on Capacity Building Assistance:

16. EU: Electronic Identity Management (eIDM): Commission press release: Electronic Identity: easy access to public services across the EU:

A Roadmap for a pan-European eIDM Framework by 2010:

and Factsheet:

“For eGovernment and eBusiness to function to their full potential, people need a secure, convenient and effective way of identifying themselves ? replacing signatures and stamps used on paper ? when using electronic communication. To make this a reality, EU Member States are investing tens of billions of euros in interoperable Electronic Identity Management (eIDM).”

17. EU: HAGUE PROGRAMME: Report on implementation of the Hague Programme (pdf) Brussels, 2.7.2008, COM(2008) 373 final, (SEC(2008) 2048} {SEC(2008) 2049} plus useful SEC documents giving details of implementation and compliance (or non-compliance) at national and institutional levels:

SEC (2008) 2048: Commission Staff Working Document: Annex to the Communication: Report on the implementation of The Hague programme for 2007: Follow-up of the implementation of legal instruments in the fields of justice, freedom and security at national level: 2007 Implementation Scoreboard – Table 2 (pdf)

SEC(2008) 2049: Commission Staff Working Document: Annex to the Communication: General overview of instruments and deadlines provided for in the Hague Programme and Action Plan in the fields of justice, freedom and security for 2007 (Institutional Scoreboard): Report on the implementation of The Hague programme for 2007 (Institutional Scoreboard ? Table 1 (pdf)

18. EP: Useful country reports from European Parliament delegations from the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) looking at “reception of asylum seekers and irregular migrants”:



19. EU: CRIMINAL RECORDS: Council Decision on the exchange of information extracted from criminal records ? Manual of Procedure (103 pages):

Interesting summary country by country of the information stored and that required for requests from criminal records from another member state.

20. EU-JHA-PASSERELLE: Statewatch Analysis: Changing the institutional framework for EU Justice and Home Affairs law without the Lisbon Treaty by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex:

21. UK: Information Commissioner Press release: A communications database would be ‘a step too far’:

“Any government run database holding the telephone and internet communications of the entire population would raise serious data protection concerns, the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, is warning today. Commenting on speculation that the government is considering the development of such a database Richard Thomas will say that it would be ‘a step too far for the British way of life’.”

Database threatens our way of life, watchdog warns (Guardian, link)

22. ITALY: Update story: Genoa riots: 15 guilty of G8 brutality will not go to jail (Guardian, link):

and Rape threats, beatings and racist chants: 15 Italians jailed for abuse of G8 Genoa protesters: Verdict likely to embarrass Berlusconi government (Guardian, link)

“Fifteen Italian police officers and doctors were last night sentenced to jail terms of up to five years after being found guilty of abusing protesters detained during riots at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa.”

See Statewatch coverage on Genoa and the trials on: Observatory on reactions to protests in the EU

23. ITALY: Frattini pide un banco de datos europeo con huellas y ADN de niños de etnia gitana (link):

“EFE ROME.- Frattini asks for a European database containing the fingerprints and DNA of Roma children

‘If Europe does not adopt this solution, we will adopt it anyway’ ‘The first way to protect a minor is to give him an identity and a document’. The Italian foreign affairs minister, Franco Frattini, believes that a European database containing the fingerprints and DNA of all the children of the Roma ethnic group(*) living in nomad camps is necessary as, without an identity, they have no rights, nor can they be protected.

The former European justice commissioner pointed out in an interview with Italian newspaper ‘Il Messaggero’, that “the first way to protect a minor is to give them an identity and a document”, know who s/he is, because without this “a Roma child has no right to health or school”.

Moreover, “without an identity, it is impossible to rescue these little innocent souls from the hands of paedophiles and child traffickers”. Frattini considered that “a European database with the names, fingerprints, DNA indicators of all these children” is necessary “to make their lives safer”. The minister indicated that “if Europe does not adopt this solution, that of fingerprints, of DNA, which strikes me as being the only possible one, we will adopt it anyway”, although he explained that they will always respect European norms.

The Italian government has embarked upon a process to create a census of the people living in underprivileged neighbourhoods and settlements, that includes the taking of fingerprints, including those of minors.”

* Statewatch translation Note: “ gitano “, the term used in the Spanish original, would translate as “ gypsy “ or “ zingaro “, the problem being that both in the UK and Italy the term is derogatory, while in Spain a lot of work has been carried out to give it back its positive connotations, largely to do with culture, performing arts and dark beauty… the same has not happened, at least not to the same extent, in Italy and the UK. “ Roma “ is what tends to be used, but it is inadequate, as there are different ethnic groups (Rom and Sinti in Italy, Calò in Spain, travellers in the UK.

24. LIBYA-EU: Libya urges EU to revise illegal immigration rules (Reuters, link)

“Libya called on the European Union to revise new rules against illegal immigration on Monday, saying it would urge African Union members to take action if the EU stuck by measures that treated African migrants as criminals.

EU ministers have backed French proposals for a European pact to stem illegal immigration and attract highly skilled job-seekers, weeks after the EU decided illegal immigrants could be detained for up to 18 months and face a 5-year re-entry ban.

“Africa will not accept any law based on repression and in dealing with African migrants, including children and disabled people, as criminals,” Libya’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Libyan news agency Jana… “

25. ITALY: Memorandum: Request for expedited engagement of follow-up procedure and/or Urgent Action/Early Warning Procedure concerning Italy ICERD Compliance:

Petitioning Organisations: Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Associazione Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (”ASGI”), The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the National Roma Centrum (NRC), Cultural Center “O Del Amenca”, Policy Center for Roma and Minorities (”PCRM”), Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies (”Romani CRISS”), Roma Women Association in Romania (RWAR):

“The CERD Committee reviewed Italy’s compliance with the ICERD Convention in February 2008, and duly issued Concluding Observations:

Threats to non-citizen Roma have been severely heightened following the election in April 2008 and the formation on 8 May 2008 of a new right-wing national government including extremist xenophobic and racist elements, as well as success in local elections by the extreme right in a number of municipalities, including the capital Rome. This, combined with years of anti-Roma propaganda by the Italian media, which has unceasingly portrayed Roma primarily as vagrants and criminals, has resulted inexceptional levels of discrimination throughout Italy, as well as other issues implicating emergency aspects of the Convention.”

26. UK: Outsourcing abuse: The use and misuse of state-sanctioned force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers A report by Birnberg Peirce & Partners, Medical Justice and the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns:

27. USA: US Terrorism Watch List Tops 1 Million (link)

28. EU-VISAS-FINGERPRINTING CHILDREN: The European Parliament plenary session has backed a report by Sarah Ludford MEP (ALDE) calling for the fingerprinting of children to only be allowed for those 12 year old and over – the Council of the European Union (the governments) want it to be just six years old and over. The report was supported by 455 MEPs and opposed by 64, mainly from the conservative PPE group. There were 41 abstentions. Full-text of Resolution:

The Green/EFA rapporteur said:

“Speaking on behalf of the Greens/EFA political group, Ms Tatjana ZDANOKA (Greens/EFA – LV):

stated that her political group cannot accept any use of biometrics in the EU until its necessity is proven beyond reasonable doubt. The introduction of biometrics has crucial implications for data security and for fundamental rights. Therefore the Greens/EFA political group cannot vote in favour of the report at all.” and:

Speaking on behalf of the GUE/NGL political group, Ms Sylvia Yvonne KAUFMANN (GUE/NGL – DE):

noted that the introduction of biometrics in visa is not acceptable, in particular regarding small children. She asked for an intensive study to verify the implication of such an approach.”
29. UK: Data Sharing Review report:

Submissions (link):
Comment: Voters’ data ‘should not be sold’ (BBC News, link):

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