• EU: Frontex splashes out: millions of euros for new technology and equipment (19.06.2020)

      The approval of the new #Frontex_Regulation in November 2019 implied an increase of competences, budget and capabilities for the EU’s border agency, which is now equipping itself with increased means to monitor events and developments at the borders and beyond, as well as renewing its IT systems to improve the management of the reams of data to which it will have access.

      In 2020 Frontex’s #budget grew to €420.6 million, an increase of over 34% compared to 2019. The European Commission has proposed that in the next EU budget (formally known as the Multiannual Financial Framework or MFF, covering 2021-27) €11 billion will be made available to the agency, although legal negotiations are ongoing and have hit significant stumbling blocks due to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and political disagreements.

      Nevertheless, the increase for this year has clearly provided a number of opportunities for Frontex. For instance, it has already agreed contracts worth €28 million for the acquisition of dozens of vehicles equipped with thermal and day cameras, surveillance radar and sensors.

      According to the contract for the provision of Mobile Surveillance Systems, these new tools will be used “for detection, identification and recognising of objects of interest e.g. human beings and/or groups of people, vehicles moving across the border (land and sea), as well as vessels sailing within the coastal areas, and other objects identified as objects of interest”. [1]

      Frontex has also published a call for tenders for Maritime Analysis Tools, worth a total of up to €2.6 million. With this, Frontex seeks to improve access to “big data” for maritime analysis. [2] The objective of deploying these tools is to enhance Frontex’s operational support to EU border, coast guard and law enforcement authorities in “suppressing and preventing, among others, illegal migration and cross-border crime in the maritime domain”.

      Moreover, the system should be capable of delivering analysis and identification of high-risk threats following the collection and storage of “big data”. It is not clear how much human input and monitoring there will be of the identification of risks. The call for tenders says the winning bidder should have been announced in May, but there is no public information on the chosen company so far.

      As part of a 12-month pilot project to examine how maritime analysis tools could “support multipurpose operational response,” Frontex previously engaged the services of the Tel Aviv-based company Windward Ltd, which claims to fuse “maritime data and artificial intelligence… to provide the right insights, with the right context, at the right time.” [3] Windward, whose current chairman is John Browne, the former CEO of the multinational oil company BP, received €783,000 for its work. [4]

      As the agency’s gathering and processing of data increases, it also aims to improve and develop its own internal IT systems, through a two-year project worth €34 million. This will establish a set of “framework contracts”. Through these, each time the agency seeks a new IT service or system, companies selected to participate in the framework contracts will submit bids for the work. [5]

      The agency is also seeking a ’Software Solution for EBCG [European Border and Coast Guard] Team Members to Access to Schengen Information System’, through a contract worth up to €5 million. [6] The Schengen Information System (SIS) is the EU’s largest database, enabling cooperation between authorities working in the fields of police, border control and customs of all the Schengen states (26 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and its legal bases were recently reformed to include new types of alert and categories of data. [7]

      This software will give Frontex officials direct access to certain data within the SIS. Currently, they have to request access via national border guards in the country in which they are operating. This would give complete autonomy to Frontex officials to consult the SIS whilst undertaking operations, shortening the length of the procedure. [8]

      With the legal basis for increasing Frontex’s powers in place, the process to build up its personnel, material and surveillance capacities continues, with significant financial implications.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-frontex-splashes-out-millions-of-euros-for-new-technology-and-equipme

      #technologie #équipement #Multiannual_Financial_Framework #MFF #surveillance #Mobile_Surveillance_Systems #Maritime_Analysis_Tools #données #big_data #mer #Windward_Ltd #Israël #John_Browne #BP #complexe_militaro-industriel #Software_Solution_for_EBCG_Team_Members_to_Access_to_Schengen_Information_System #SIS #Schengen_Information_System

    • EU : Guns, guards and guidelines : reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems (26.05.2020)

      An internal report circulated by Frontex to EU government delegations highlights a series of issues in implementing the agency’s new legislation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency is urging swift action to implement the mandate and is pressing ahead with the recruitment of its new ‘standing corps’. However, there are legal problems with the acquisition, registration, storage and transport of weapons. The agency is also calling for derogations from EU rules on staff disciplinary measures in relation to the use of force; and wants an extended set of privileges and immunities. Furthermore, it is assisting with “voluntary return” despite this activity appearing to fall outside of its legal mandate.

      State-of-play report

      At the end of April 2020, Frontex circulated a report to EU government delegations in the Council outlining the state of play of the implementation of its new Regulation (“EBCG 2.0 Regulation”, in the agency and Commission’s words), especially relating to “current challenges”.[1] Presumably, this refers to the outbreak of a pandemic, though the report also acknowledges challenges created by the legal ambiguities contained in the Regulation itself, in particular with regard to the acquisition of weapons, supervisory and disciplinary mechanisms, legal privileges and immunities and involvement in “voluntary return” operations.

      The path set out in the report is that the “operational autonomy of the agency will gradually increase towards 2027” until it is a “fully-fledged and reliable partner” to EU and Schengen states. It acknowledges the impacts of unforeseen world events on the EU’s forthcoming budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF) for 2021-27, and hints at the impact this will have on Frontex’s own budget and objectives. Nevertheless, the agency is still determined to “continue increasing the capabilities” of the agency, including its acquisition of new equipment and employment of new staff for its standing corps.

      The main issues covered by the report are: Frontex’s new standing corps of staff, executive powers and the use of force, fundamental rights and data protection, and the integration into Frontex of EUROSUR, the European Border Surveillance System.

      The new standing corps

      Recruitment

      A new standing corps of 10,000 Frontex staff by 2024 is to be, in the words of the agency, its “biggest game changer”.[2] The report notes that the establishment of the standing corps has been heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. According to the report, 7,238 individuals had applied to join the standing corps before the outbreak of the pandemic. 5,482 of these – over 75% – were assessed by the agency as eligible, with a final 304 passing the entire selection process to be on the “reserve lists”.[3]

      Despite interruptions to the recruitment procedure following worldwide lockdown measures, interviews for Category 1 staff – permanent Frontex staff members to be deployed on operations – were resumed via video by the end of April. 80 candidates were shortlisted for the first week, and Frontex aims to interview 1,000 people in total. Despite this adaptation, successful candidates will have to wait for Frontex’s contractor to re-open in order to carry out medical tests, an obligatory requirement for the standing corps.[4]

      In 2020, Frontex joined the European Defence Agency’s Satellite Communications (SatCom) and Communications and Information System (CIS) services in order to ensure ICT support for the standing corps in operation as of 2021.[5] The EDA describes SatCom and CIS as “fundamental for Communication, Command and Control in military operations… [enabling] EU Commanders to connect forces in remote areas with HQs and capitals and to manage the forces missions and tasks”.[6]

      Training

      The basic training programme, endorsed by the management board in October 2019, is designed for Category 1 staff. It includes specific training in interoperability and “harmonisation with member states”. The actual syllabus, content and materials for this basic training were developed by March 2020; Statewatch has made a request for access to these documents, which is currently pending with the Frontex Transparency Office. This process has also been affected by the novel coronavirus, though the report insists that “no delay is foreseen in the availability of the specialised profile related training of the standing corps”.

      Use of force

      The state-of-play-report acknowledges a number of legal ambiguities surrounding some of the more controversial powers outlined in Frontex’s 2019 Regulation, highlighting perhaps that political ambition, rather than serious consideration and assessment, propelled the legislation, overtaking adequate procedure and oversight. The incentive to enact the legislation within a short timeframe is cited as a reason that no impact assessment was carried out on the proposed recast to the agency’s mandate. This draft was rushed through negotiations and approved in an unprecedented six-month period, and the details lost in its wake are now coming to light.

      Article 82 of the 2019 Regulation refers to the use of force and carriage of weapons by Frontex staff, while a supervisory mechanism for the use of force by statutory staff is established by Article 55. This says:

      “On the basis of a proposal from the executive director, the management board shall: (a) establish an appropriate supervisory mechanism to monitor the application of the provisions on use of force by statutory staff, including rules on reporting and specific measures, such as those of a disciplinary nature, with regard to the use of force during deployments”[7]

      The agency’s management board is expected to make a decision about this supervisory mechanism, including specific measures and reporting, by the end of June 2020.

      The state-of-play report posits that the legal terms of Article 55 are inconsistent with the standard rules on administrative enquiries and disciplinary measures concerning EU staff.[8] These outline, inter alia, that a dedicated disciplinary board will be established in each institution including at least one member from outside the institution, that this board must be independent and its proceedings secret. Frontex insists that its staff will be a special case as the “first uniformed service of the EU”, and will therefore require “special arrangements or derogations to the Staff Regulations” to comply with the “totally different nature of tasks and risks associated with their deployments”.[9]

      What is particularly astounding about Frontex demanding special treatment for oversight, particularly on use of force and weapons is that, as the report acknowledges, the agency cannot yet legally store or transport any weapons it acquires.

      Regarding service weapons and “non-lethal equipment”,[10] legal analysis by “external experts and a regulatory law firm” concluded that the 2019 Regulation does not provide a legal basis for acquiring, registering, storing or transporting weapons in Poland, where the agency’s headquarters is located. Frontex has applied to the Commission for clarity on how to proceed, says the report. Frontex declined to comment on the status of this consultation and any indications of the next steps the agency will take. A Commission spokesperson stated only that it had recently received the agency’s enquiry and “is analysing the request and the applicable legal framework in the view of replying to the EBCGA”, without expanding further.

      Until Frontex has the legal basis to do so, it cannot launch a tender for firearms and “non-lethal equipment” (which includes batons, pepper spray and handcuffs). However, the report implies the agency is ready to do so as soon as it receives the green light. Technical specifications are currently being finalised for “non-lethal equipment” and Frontex still plans to complete acquisition by the end of the year.

      Privileges and immunities

      The agency is also seeking special treatment with regard to the legal privileges and immunities it and its officials enjoy. Article 96 of the 2019 Regulation outlines the privileges and immunities of Frontex officers, stating:

      “Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to the TFEU shall apply to the Agency and its statutory staff.” [11]

      However, Frontex notes that the Protocol does not apply to non-EU states, nor does it “offer a full protection, or take into account a need for the inviolability of assets owned by Frontex (service vehicles, vessels, aircraft)”.[12] Frontex is increasingly involved in operations taking place on non-EU territory. For instance, the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states, primarily in the Western Balkans, concerning Frontex activities in those countries. To launch operations under these agreements, Frontex will (or, in the case of Albania, already has) agree on operational plans with each state, under which Frontex staff can use executive powers.[13] The agency therefore seeks an “EU-level status of forces agreement… to account for the partial absence of rules”.

      Law enforcement

      To implement its enhanced functions regarding cross-border crime, Frontex will continue to participate in Europol’s four-year policy cycle addressing “serious international and organised crime”.[14] The agency is also developing a pilot project, “Investigation Support Activities- Cross Border Crime” (ISA-CBC), addressing drug trafficking and terrorism.

      Fundamental rights and data protection

      The ‘EBCG 2.0 Regulation’ requires several changes to fundamental rights measures by the agency, which, aside from some vague “legal analyses” seem to be undergoing development with only internal oversight.

      Firstly, to facilitate adequate independence of the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), special rules have to be established. The FRO was introduced under Frontex’s 2016 Regulation, but has since then been understaffed and underfunded by the agency.[15] The 2019 Regulation obliges the agency to ensure “sufficient and adequate human and financial resources” for the office, as well as 40 fundamental rights monitors.[16] These standing corps staff members will be responsible for monitoring compliance with fundamental rights standards, providing advice and assistance on the agency’s plans and activities, and will visit and evaluate operations, including acting as forced return monitors.[17]

      During negotiations over the proposed Regulation 2.0, MEPs introduced extended powers for the Fundamental Rights Officer themselves. The FRO was previously responsible for contributing to Frontex’s fundamental rights strategy and monitoring its compliance with and promotion of fundamental rights. Now, they will be able to monitor compliance by conducting investigations; offering advice where deemed necessary or upon request of the agency; providing opinions on operational plans, pilot projects and technical assistance; and carrying out on-the-spot visits. The executive director is now obliged to respond “as to how concerns regarding possible violations of fundamental rights… have been addressed,” and the management board “shall ensure that action is taken with regard to recommendations of the fundamental rights officer.” [18] The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation.

      The state-of-play report says that “legal analyses and exchanges” are ongoing, and will inform an eventual management board decision, but no timeline for this is offered. [19] The agency will also need to adapt its much criticised individual complaints mechanism to fit the requirements of the 2019 Regulation; executive director Fabrice Leggeri’s first-draft decision on this process is currently undergoing internal consultations. Even the explicit requirement set out in the 2019 Regulation for an “independent and effective” complaints mechanism,[20] does not meet minimum standards to qualify as an effective remedy, which include institutional independence, accessibility in practice, and capacity to carry out thorough and prompt investigations.[21]

      Frontex has entered into a service level agreement (SLA) with the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) for support in establishing and training the team of fundamental rights monitors introduced by the 2019 Regulation. These monitors are to be statutory staff of the agency and will assess fundamental rights compliance of operational activities, advising, assisting and contributing to “the promotion of fundamental rights”.[22] The scope and objectives for this team were finalised at the end of March this year, and the agency will establish the team by the end of the year. Statewatch has requested clarification as to what is to be included in the team’s scope and objectives, pending with the Frontex Transparency Office.

      Regarding data protection, the agency plans a package of implementing rules (covering issues ranging from the position of data protection officer to the restriction of rights for returnees and restrictions under administrative data processing) to be implemented throughout 2020.[23] The management board will review a first draft of the implementing rules on the data protection officer in the second quarter of 2020.

      Returns

      The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) – a network of 15 European states and the Commission facilitating cooperation over return operations “as part of the EU efforts to manage migration” – is to be handed over to Frontex. [24] A handover plan is currently under the final stage of review; it reportedly outlines the scoping of activities and details of “which groups of returnees will be eligible for Frontex assistance in the future”.[25] A request from Statewatch to Frontex for comment on what assistance will be provided by the agency to such returnees was unanswered at the time of publication.

      Since the entry into force of its new mandate, Frontex has also been providing technical assistance for so-called voluntary returns, with the first two such operations carried out on scheduled flights (as opposed to charter flights) in February 2020. A total of 28 people were returned by mid-April, despite the fact that there is no legal clarity over what the definition “voluntary return” actually refers to, as the state-of-play report also explains:

      “The terminology of voluntary return was introduced in the Regulation without providing any definition thereof. This terminology (voluntary departure vs voluntary return) is moreover not in line with the terminology used in the Return Directive (EBCG 2.0 refers to the definition of returns provided for in the Return Directive. The Return Directive, however, does not cover voluntary returns; a voluntary return is not a return within the meaning of the Return Directive). Further elaboration is needed.”[26]

      On top of requiring “further clarification”, if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate. Statewatch has launched an investigation into the agency’s activities relating to voluntary returns, to outline the number of such operations to date, their country of return and country of destination.

      Frontex is currently developing a module dedicated to voluntary returns by charter flight for its FAR (Frontex Application for Returns) platform (part of its return case management system). On top of the technical support delivered by the agency, Frontex also foresees the provision of on-the-ground support from Frontex representatives or a “return counsellor”, who will form part of the dedicated return teams planned for the standing corps from 2021.[27]

      Frontex has updated its return case management system (RECAMAS), an online platform for member state authorities and Frontex to communicate and plan return operations, to manage an increased scope. The state-of-play report implies that this includes detail on post-return activities in a new “post-return module”, indicating that Frontex is acting on commitments to expand its activity in this area. According to the agency’s roadmap on implementing the 2019 Regulation, an action plan on how the agency will provide post-return support to people (Article 48(1), 2019 Regulation) will be written by the third quarter of 2020.[28]

      In its closing paragraph, related to the budgetary impact of COVID-19 regarding return operations, the agency notes that although activities will resume once aerial transportation restrictions are eased, “the agency will not be able to provide what has been initially intended, undermining the concept of the EBCG as a whole”.[29]

      EUROSUR

      The Commission is leading progress on adopting the implementing act for the integration of EUROSUR into Frontex, which will define the implementation of new aerial surveillance,[30] expected by the end of the year.[31] Frontex is discussing new working arrangements with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). The development by Frontex of the surveillance project’s communications network will require significant budgetary investment, as the agency plans to maintain the current system ahead of its planned replacement in 2025.[32] This investment is projected despite the agency’s recognition of the economic impact of Covid-19 on member states, and the consequent adjustments to the MFF 2021-27.

      Summary

      Drafted and published as the world responds to an unprecedented pandemic, the “current challenges” referred to in the report appear, on first read, to refer to the budgetary and staffing implications of global shut down. However, the report maintains throughout that the agency’s determination to expand, in terms of powers as well as staffing, will not be stalled despite delays and budgeting adjustments. Indeed, it is implied more than once that the “current challenges” necessitate more than ever that these powers be assumed. The true challenges, from the agency’s point of view, stem from the fact that its current mandate was rushed through negotiations in six months, leading to legal ambiguities that leave it unable to acquire or transport weapons and in a tricky relationship with the EU protocol on privileges and immunities when operating in third countries. Given the violence that so frequently accompanies border control operations in the EU, it will come as a relief to many that Frontex is having difficulties acquiring its own weaponry. However, it is far from reassuring that the introduction of new measures on fundamental rights and accountability are being carried out internally and remain unavailable for public scrutiny.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Note: this article was updated on 26 May 2020 to include the European Commission’s response to Statewatch’s enquiries.

      It was updated on 1 July with some minor corrections:

      “the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states... under which” replaces “the agency has entered into working agreements with Balkan states, under which”
      “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in any detail in the Regulation beyond monitoring the agency’s ’compliance with fundamental rights, including by conducting investigations’” replaces “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation”
      “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it further exposes the haste with which legislation written to deny entry into the EU and facilitate expulsions was drafted” replaces “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate”

      Endnotes

      [1] Frontex, ‘State of play of the implementation of the EBCG 2.0 Regulation in view of current challenges’, 27 April 2020, contained in Council document 7607/20, LIMITE, 20 April 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/may/eu-council-frontex-ECBG-state-of-play-7607-20.pdf

      [2] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [3] Section 1.1, state of play report

      [4] Jane Kilpatrick, ‘Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards’, Statewatch Analysis, March 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-355-frontex-recruitment-standing-corps.pdf

      [5] Section 7.1, state of play report

      [6] EDA, ‘EU SatCom Market’, https://www.eda.europa.eu/what-we-do/activities/activities-search/eu-satcom-market

      [7] Article 55(5)(a), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex 2019 Regulation), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [8] Pursuant to Annex IX of the EU Staff Regulations, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01962R0031-20140501

      [9] Chapter III, state of play report

      [10] Section 2.5, state of play report

      [11] Protocol (No 7), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2016.202.01.0001.01.ENG#d1e3363-201-1

      [12] Chapter III, state of play report

      [13] ‘Border externalisation: Agreements on Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro heading for parliamentary approval’, Statewatch News, 11 March 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/frontex-status-agreements.htm

      [14] Europol, ‘EU policy cycle – EMPACT’, https://www.europol.europa.eu/empact

      [15] ‘NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex’s respect for fundamental rights’, Statewatch News, 5 March 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/fx-consultative-forum-rep.htm; ‘Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations’, Statewatch News, 21 May 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-fr-rep.htm

      [16] Article 110(6), Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [17] Article 110, 2019 Regulation

      [18] Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [19] Section 8, state of play report

      [20] Article 111(1), 2019 Regulation

      [21] Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan, ‘Complaint Mechanisms in Border Management and Expulsion Operations in Europe: Effective Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations?’, CEPS, 2018, https://www.ceps.eu/system/files/Complaint%20Mechanisms_A4.pdf

      [22] Article 110(1), 2019 Regulation

      [23] Section 9, state of play report

      [24] ERRIN, https://returnnetwork.eu

      [25] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [26] Chapter III, state of play report

      [27] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [28] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [29] State of play report, p. 19

      [30] Matthias Monroy, ‘Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders’, Statewatch Analysis, February 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-354-frontex-drones.pdf

      [31] Section 4, state of play report

      [32] Section 7.2, state of play report
      Next article >

      Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/eu-guns-guards-and-guidelines-reinforcement-of-frontex-runs-into-problem

      #EBCG_2.0_Regulation #European_Defence_Agency’s_Satellite_Communications (#SatCom) #Communications_and_Information_System (#CIS) #immunité #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #Fundamental_Rights_Officer (#FRO) #European_Return_and_Reintegration_Network (#ERRIN) #renvois #expulsions #réintégration #Directive_Retour #FAR (#Frontex_Application_for_Returns) #RECAMAS #EUROSUR #European_Aviation_Safety_Agency (#EASA) #European_Organisation_for_the_Safety_of_Air_Navigation (#EUROCONTROL)

    • Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards

      On 4 January 2020 the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) adopted a decision on the profiles of the staff required for the new “standing corps”, which is ultimately supposed to be staffed by 10,000 officials. [1] The decision ushers in a new wave of recruitment for the agency. Applicants will be put through six months of training before deployment, after rigorous medical testing.

      What is the standing corps?

      The European Border and Coast Guard standing corps is the new, and according to Frontex, first ever, EU uniformed service, available “at any time…to support Member States facing challenges at their external borders”.[2] Frontex’s Programming Document for the 2018-2020 period describes the standing corps as the agency’s “biggest game changer”, requiring “an unprecedented scale of staff recruitment”.[3]

      The standing corps will be made up of four categories of Frontex operational staff:

      Frontex statutory staff deployed in operational areas and staff responsible for the functioning of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Central Unit[4];
      Long-term staff seconded from member states;
      Staff from member states who can be immediately deployed on short-term secondment to Frontex; and

      A reserve of staff from member states for rapid border interventions.

      These border guards will be “trained by the best and equipped with the latest technology has to offer”.[5] As well as wearing EU uniforms, they will be authorised to carry weapons and will have executive powers: they will be able to verify individuals’ identity and nationality and permit or refuse entry into the EU.

      The decision made this January is limited to the definition of profiles and requirements for the operational staff that are to be recruited. The Management Board (MB) will have to adopt a new decision by March this year to set out the numbers of staff needed per profile, the requirements for individuals holding those positions, and the number of staff needed for the following year based on expected operational needs. This process will be repeated annually.[6] The MB can then further specify how many staff each member state should contribute to these profiles, and establish multi-annual plans for member state contributions and recruitment for Frontex statutory staff. Projections for these contributions are made in Annexes II – IV of the 2019 Regulation, though a September Mission Statement by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urges the recruitment of 10,000 border guards by 2024, indicating that member states might be meeting their contribution commitments much sooner than 2027.[7]

      The standing corps of Frontex staff will have an array of executive powers and responsibilities. As well as being able to verify identity and nationality and refuse or permit entry into the EU, they will be able to consult various EU databases to fulfil operational aims, and may also be authorised by host states to consult national databases. According to the MB Decision, “all members of the Standing Corps are to be able to identify persons in need of international protection and persons in a vulnerable situation, including unaccompanied minors, and refer them to the competent authorities”. Training on international and EU law on fundamental rights and international protection, as well as guidelines on the identification and referral of persons in need of international protection, will be mandatory for all standing corps staff members.

      The size of the standing corps

      The following table, taken from the 2019 Regulation, outlines the ambitions for growth of Frontex’s standing corps. However, as noted, the political ambition is to reach the 10,000 total by 2024.

      –-> voir le tableau sur le site de statewatch!

      Category 2 staff – those on long term secondment from member states – will join Frontex from 2021, according to the 2019 Regulation.[8] It is foreseen that Germany will contribute the most staff, with 61 expected in 2021, increasing year-by-year to 225 by 2027. Other high contributors are France and Italy (170 and 125 by 2027, respectively).

      The lowest contributors will be Iceland (expected to contribute between one and two people a year from 2021 to 2027), Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Liechtenstein is not contributing personnel but will contribute “through proportional financial support”.

      For short-term secondments from member states, projections follow a very similar pattern. Germany will contribute 540 staff in 2021, increasing to 827 in 2027; Italy’s contribution will increase from 300 in 2021 to 458 in 2027; and France’s from 408 in 2021 to 624 in 2027. Most states will be making less than 100 staff available for short-term secondment in 2021.

      What are the profiles?

      The MB Decision outlines 12 profiles to be made available to Frontex, ranging from Border Guard Officer and Crew Member, to Cross Border Crime Detection Officer and Return Specialist. A full list is contained in the Decision.[9] All profiles will be fulfilled by an official of the competent authority of a member state (MS) or Schengen Associated Country (SAC), or by a member of Frontex’s own statutory staff.

      Tasks to be carried out by these officials include:

      border checks and surveillance;
      interviewing, debriefing* and screening arrivals and registering fingerprints;
      supporting the collection, assessment, analysis and distribution of information with EU member and non-member states;
      verifying travel documents;
      escorting individuals being deported on Frontex return operations;
      operating data systems and platforms; and
      offering cultural mediation

      *Debriefing consists of informal interviews with migrants to collect information for risk analyses on irregular migration and other cross-border crime and the profiling of irregular migrants to identify “modus operandi and migration trends used by irregular migrants and facilitators/criminal networks”. Guidelines written by Frontex in 2012 instructed border guards to target vulnerable individuals for “debriefing”, not in order to streamline safeguarding or protection measures, but for intelligence-gathering - “such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences,” said an internal document.[10] It is unknown whether those instructions are still in place.

      Recruitment for the profiles

      Certain profiles are expected to “apply self-safety and security practice”, and to have “the capacity to work under pressure and face emotional events with composure”. Relevant profiles (e.g. crew member) are required to be able to perform search and rescue activities in distress situations at sea borders.

      Frontex published a call for tender on 27 December for the provision of medical services for pre-recruitment examinations, in line with the plan to start recruiting operational staff in early 2020. The documents accompanying the tender reveal additional criteria for officials that will be granted executive powers (Frontex category “A2”) compared to those staff stationed primarily at the agency’s Warsaw headquarters (“A1”). Those criteria come in the form of more stringent medical testing.

      The differences in medical screening for category A1 and A2 staff lie primarily in additional toxicology screening and psychiatric and psychological consultations. [11] The additional psychiatric attention allotted for operational staff “is performed to check the predisposition for people to work in arduous, hazardous conditions, exposed to stress, conflict situations, changing rapidly environment, coping with people being in dramatic, injure or death exposed situations”.[12]

      Both A1 and A2 category provisional recruits will be asked to disclose if they have ever suffered from a sexually transmitted disease or “genital organ disease”, as well as depression, nervous or mental disorders, among a long list of other ailments. As well as disclosing any medication they take, recruits must also state if they are taking oral contraceptives (though there is no question about hormonal contraceptives that are not taken orally). Women are also asked to give the date of their last period on the pre-appointment questionnaire.

      “Never touch yourself with gloves”

      Frontex training materials on forced return operations obtained by Statewatch in 2019 acknowledge the likelihood of psychological stress among staff, among other health risks. (One recommendation contained in the documents is to “never touch yourself with gloves”). Citing “dissonance within the team, long hours with no rest, group dynamic, improvisation and different languages” among factors behind psychological stress, the training materials on medical precautionary measures for deportation escort officers also refer to post-traumatic stress disorder, the lack of an area to retreat to and body clock disruption as exacerbating risks. The document suggests a high likelihood that Frontex return escorts will witness poverty, “agony”, “chaos”, violence, boredom, and will have to deal with vulnerable persons.[13]

      For fundamental rights monitors (officials deployed to monitor fundamental rights compliance during deportations, who can be either Frontex staff or national officials), the training materials obtained by Statewatch focus on the self-control of emotions, rather than emotional care. Strategies recommended include talking to somebody, seeking professional help, and “informing yourself of any other option offered”. The documents suggest that it is an individual’s responsibility to prevent emotional responses to stressful situations having an impact on operations, and to organise their own supervision and professional help. There is no obvious focus on how traumatic responses of Frontex staff could affect those coming into contact with them at an external border or during a deportation. [14]

      The materials obtained by Statewatch also give some indication of the fundamental rights training imparted to those acting as deportation ‘escorts’ and fundamental rights monitors. The intended outcomes for a training session in Athens that took place in March 2019 included “adapt FR [fundamental rights] in a readmission operation (explain it with examples)” and “should be able to describe Non Refoulement principle” (in the document, ‘Session Fundamental rights’ is followed by ‘Session Velcro handcuffs’).[15] The content of the fundamental rights training that will be offered to Frontex’s new recruits is currently unknown.

      Fit for service?

      The agency anticipates that most staff will be recruited from March to June 2020, involving the medical examination of up to 700 applicants in this period. According to Frontex’s website, the agency has already received over 7,000 applications for the 700 new European Border Guard Officer positions.[16] Successful candidates will undergo six months of training before deployment in 2021. Apparently then, the posts are a popular career option, despite the seemingly invasive medical tests (especially for sexually active women). Why, for instance, is it important to Frontex to know about oral hormonal contraception, or about sexually transmitted infections?

      When asked by Statewatch if Frontex provides in-house psychological and emotional support, an agency press officer stated: “When it comes to psychological and emotional support, Frontex is increasing awareness and personal resilience of the officers taking part in our operations through education and training activities.” A ‘Frontex Mental Health Strategy’ from 2018 proposed the establishment of “a network of experts-psychologists” to act as an advisory body, as well as creating “online self-care tools”, a “psychological hot-line”, and a space for peer support with participation of psychologists (according to risk assessment) during operations.[17]

      One year later, Frontex, EASO and Europol jointly produced a brochure for staff deployed on operations, entitled ‘Occupational Health and Safety – Deployment Information’, which offers a series of recommendations to staff, placing the responsibility to “come to the deployment in good mental shape” and “learn how to manage stress and how to deal with anger” more firmly on the individual than the agency.[18] According to this document, officers who need additional support must disclose this by requesting it from their supervisor, while “a helpline or psychologist on-site may be available, depending on location”.

      Frontex anticipates this recruitment drive to be “game changing”. Indeed, the Commission is relying upon it to reach its ambitions for the agency’s independence and efficiency. The inclusion of mandatory training in fundamental rights in the six-month introductory education is obviously a welcome step. Whether lessons learned in a classroom will be the first thing that comes to the minds of officials deployed on border control or deportation operations remains to be seen.

      Unmanaged responses to emotional stress can include burnout, compassion-fatigue and indirect trauma, which can in turn decrease a person’s ability to cope with adverse circumstance, and increase the risk of violence.[19] Therefore, aside from the agency’s responsibility as an employer to safeguard the health of its staff, its approach to internal psychological care will affect not only the border guards themselves, but the people that they routinely come into contact with at borders and during return operations, many of whom themselves will have experienced trauma.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Endnotes

      [1] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [2] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [3] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [4] The ETIAS Central Unit will be responsible for processing the majority of applications for ‘travel authorisations’ received when the European Travel Information and Authorisation System comes into use, in theory in late 2022. Citizens who do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for authorisation to travel to the Schengen area.

      [5] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [6] Article 54(4), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [7] ‘European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more’, 29 January 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_124; “Mission letter” from Ursula von der Leyen to Ylva Johnsson, 10 September 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/mission-letter-ylva-johansson_en.pdf

      [8] Annex II, 2019 Regulation

      [9] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [10] ‘Press release: EU border agency targeted “isolated or mistreated” individuals for questioning’, Statewatch News, 16 February 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/feb/eu-frontex-op-hera-debriefing-pr.htm

      [11] ‘Provision of Medical Services – Pre-Recruitment Examination’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-documents.html?cftId=5841

      [12] ‘Provision of medical services – pre-recruitment examination, Terms of Reference - Annex II to invitation to tender no Frontex/OP/1491/2019/KM’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-document.html?docId=65398

      [13] Frontex training presentation, ‘Medical precautionary measures for escort officers’, undated, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-presentation-medical-precautionary-measures-deportation-escor

      [14] Ibid.

      [15] Frontex, document listing course learning outcomes from deportation escorts’ training, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-deportation-escorts-training-course-learning-outcomes.pdf

      [16] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [17] Frontex, ‘Frontex mental health strategy’, 20 February 2018, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/89c168fe-e14b-11e7-9749-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

      [18] EASO, Europol and Frontex, ‘Occupational health and safety’, 12 August 2019, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/17cc07e0-bd88-11e9-9d01-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-103142015

      [19] Trauma Treatment International, ‘A different approach for victims of trauma’, https://www.tt-intl.org/#our-work-section

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/frontex-launches-game-changing-recruitment-drive-for-standing-corps-of-b
      #gardes_frontières #staff #corps_des_gardes-frontières

    • Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders (27.02.2020)

      Instead of providing sea rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean, the EU is expanding air surveillance. Refugees are observed with drones developed for the military. In addition to numerous EU states, countries such as Libya could also use the information obtained.

      It is not easy to obtain majorities for legislation in the European Union in the area of migration - unless it is a matter of upgrading the EU’s external borders. While the reform of a common EU asylum system has been on hold for years, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to reshape the border agency Frontex with unusual haste shortly before last year’s parliamentary elections. A new Regulation has been in force since December 2019,[1] under which Frontex intends to build up a “standing corps” of 10,000 uniformed officials by 2027. They can be deployed not just at the EU’s external borders, but in ‘third countries’ as well.

      In this way, Frontex will become a “European border police force” with powers that were previously reserved for the member states alone. The core of the new Regulation includes the procurement of the agency’s own equipment. The Multiannual Financial Framework, in which the EU determines the distribution of its financial resources from 2021 until 2027, has not yet been decided. According to current plans, however, at least €6 billion are reserved for Frontex in the seven-year budget. The intention is for Frontex to spend a large part of the money, over €2 billion, on aircraft, ships and vehicles.[2]

      Frontex seeks company for drone flights

      The upgrade plans include the stationing of large drones in the central and eastern Mediterranean. For this purpose, Frontex is looking for a private partner to operate flights off Malta, Italy or Greece. A corresponding tender ended in December[3] and the selection process is currently underway. The unmanned missions could then begin already in spring. Frontex estimates the total cost of these missions at €50 million. The contract has a term of two years and can be extended twice for one year at a time.

      Frontex wants drones of the so-called MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class. Their flight duration should be at least 20 hours. The requirements include the ability to fly in all weather conditions and at day and night. It is also planned to operate in airspace where civil aircraft are in service. For surveillance missions, the drones should carry electro-optical cameras, thermal imaging cameras and so-called “daylight spotter” systems that independently detect moving targets and keep them in focus. Other equipment includes systems for locating mobile and satellite telephones. The drones will also be able to receive signals from emergency call transmitters sewn into modern life jackets.

      However, the Frontex drones will not be used primarily for sea rescue operations, but to improve capacities against unwanted migration. This assumption is also confirmed by the German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch, which has been providing assistance in the central Mediterranean with various ships since 2015. “Frontex is not concerned with saving lives,” says Ruben Neugebauer of Sea-Watch. “While air surveillance is being expanded with aircraft and drones, ships urgently needed for rescue operations have been withdrawn”. Sea-Watch demands that situation pictures of EU drones are also made available to private organisations for sea rescue.

      Aircraft from arms companies

      Frontex has very specific ideas for its own drones, which is why there are only a few suppliers worldwide that can be called into question. The Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1, which Frontex tested for several months on the Greek island of Crete[4] and which is also flown by the German Bundeswehr, is one of them. As set out by Frontex in its invitation to tender, the Heron 1, with a payload of around 250 kilograms, can carry all the surveillance equipment that the agency intends to deploy over the Mediterranean. Also amongst those likely to be interested in the Frontex contract is the US company General Atomics, which has been building drones of the Predator series for 20 years. Recently, it presented a new Predator model in Greece under the name SeaGuardian, for maritime observation.[5] It is equipped with a maritime surveillance radar and a system for receiving position data from larger ships, thus fulfilling one of Frontex’s essential requirements.

      General Atomics may have a competitive advantage, as its Predator drones have several years’ operational experience in the Mediterranean. In addition to Frontex, the European Union has been active in the central Mediterranean with EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. In March 2019, Italy’s then-interior minister Matteo Salvini pushed through the decision to operate the EU mission from the air alone. Since then, two unarmed Predator drones operated by the Italian military have been flying for EUNAVFOR MED for 60 hours per month. Officially, the drones are to observe from the air whether the training of the Libyan coast guard has been successful and whether these navy personnel use their knowledge accordingly. Presumably, however, the Predators are primarily pursuing the mission’s goal to “combat human smuggling” by spying on the Libyan coast. It is likely that the new Operation EU Active Surveillance, which will use military assets from EU member states to try to enforce the UN arms embargo placed on Libya,[6] will continue to patrol with Italian drones off the coast in North Africa.

      Three EU maritime surveillance agencies

      In addition to Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) are also investing in maritime surveillance using drones. Together, the three agencies coordinate some 300 civil and military authorities in EU member states.[7] Their tasks include border, fisheries and customs control, law enforcement and environmental protection.

      In 2017, Frontex and EMSA signed an agreement to benefit from joint reconnaissance capabilities, with EFCA also involved.[8] At the time, EMSA conducted tests with drones of various sizes, but now the drones’ flights are part of its regular services. The offer is not only open to EU Member States, as Iceland was the first to take advantage of it. Since summer 2019, a long-range Hermes 900 drone built by the Israeli company Elbit Systems has been flying from Iceland’s Egilsstaðir airport. The flights are intended to cover more than half of the island state’s exclusive economic zone and to detect “suspicious activities and potential hazards”.[9]

      The Hermes 900 was also developed for the military; the Israeli army first deployed it in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The Times of Israel puts the cost of the operating contract with EMSA at €59 million,[10] with a term of two years, which can be extended for another two years. The agency did not conclude the contract directly with the Israeli arms company, but through the Portuguese firm CeiiA. The contract covers the stationing, control and mission control of the drones.

      New interested parties for drone flights

      At the request of the German MEP Özlem Demirel (from the party Die Linke), the European Commission has published a list of countries that also want to use EMSA drones.[11] According to this list, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and also Greece have requested unmanned flights for pollution monitoring this year, while Bulgaria and Spain want to use them for general maritime surveillance. Until Frontex has its own drones, EMSA is flying its drones for the border agency on Crete. As in Iceland, this is the long-range drone Hermes 900, but according to Greek media reports it crashed on 8 January during take-off.[12] Possible causes are a malfunction of the propulsion system or human error. The aircraft is said to have been considerably damaged.

      Authorities from France and Great Britain have also ordered unmanned maritime surveillance from EMSA. Nothing is yet known about the exact intended location, but it is presumably the English Channel. There, the British coast guard is already observing border traffic with larger drones built by the Tekever arms company from Portugal.[13] The government in London wants to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel. The drones take off from the airport in the small town of Lydd and monitor the approximately 50-kilometre-long and 30-kilometre-wide Strait of Dover. Great Britain has also delivered several quadcopters to France to try to detect potential migrants in French territorial waters. According to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, eight gendarmes have been trained to control the small drones[14].

      Information to non-EU countries

      The images taken by EMSA drones are evaluated by the competent national coastguards. A livestream also sends them to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw.[15] There they are fed into the EUROSUR border surveillance system. This is operated by Frontex and networks the surveillance installations of all EU member states that have an external border. The data from EUROSUR and the national border control centres form the ‘Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture’,[16] referring to the area of interest of Frontex, which extends far into the African continent. Surveillance data is used to detect and prevent migration movements at an early stage.

      Once the providing company has been selected, the new Frontex drones are also to fly for EUROSUR. According to the invitation to tender, they are to operate in the eastern and central Mediterranean within a radius of up to 250 nautical miles (463 kilometres). This would enable them to carry out reconnaissance in the “pre-frontier” area off Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Within the framework of EUROSUR, Frontex shares the recorded data with other European users via a ‘Remote Information Portal’, as the call for tender explains. The border agency has long been able to cooperate with third countries and the information collected can therefore also be made available to authorities in North Africa. However, in order to share general information on surveillance of the Mediterranean Sea with a non-EU state, Frontex must first conclude a working agreement with the corresponding government.[17]

      It is already possible, however, to provide countries such as Libya with the coordinates of refugee boats. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the nearest Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) must be informed of actual or suspected emergencies. With EU funding, Italy has been building such a centre in Tripoli for the last two years.[18] It is operated by the military coast guard, but so far has no significant equipment of its own.

      The EU military mission “EUNAVFOR MED” was cooperating more extensively with the Libyan coast guard. For communication with European naval authorities, Libya is the first third country to be connected to European surveillance systems via the “Seahorse Mediterranean” network[19]. Information handed over to the Libyan authorities might also include information that was collected with the Italian military ‘Predator’ drones.

      Reconnaissance generated with unmanned aerial surveillance is also given to the MRCC in Turkey. This was seen in a pilot project last summer, when the border agency tested an unmanned aerostat with the Greek coast guard off the island of Samos.[20] Attached to a 1,000 metre-long cable, the airship was used in the Frontex operation ‘Poseidon’ in the eastern Mediterranean. The 35-meter-long zeppelin comes from the French manufacturer A-NSE.[21] The company specializes in civil and military aerial observation. According to the Greek Marine Ministry, the equipment included a radar, a thermal imaging camera and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for the tracking of larger ships. The recorded videos were received and evaluated by a situation centre supplied by the Portuguese National Guard. If a detected refugee boat was still in Turkish territorial waters, the Greek coast guard informed the Turkish authorities. This pilot project in the Aegean Sea was the first use of an airship by Frontex. The participants deployed comparatively large numbers of personnel for the short mission. Pictures taken by the Greek coastguard show more than 40 people.

      Drones enable ‘pull-backs’

      Human rights organisations accuse EUNAVFOR MED and Frontex of passing on information to neighbouring countries leading to rejections (so-called ‘push-backs’) in violation of international law. People must not be returned to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Frontex does not itself return refugees in distress who were discovered at sea via aerial surveillance, but leaves the task to the Libyan or Turkish authorities. Regarding Libya, the Agency since 2017 provided notice of at least 42 vessels in distress to Libyan authorities.[22]

      Private rescue organisations therefore speak of so-called ‘pull-backs’, but these are also prohibited, as the Israeli human rights lawyer Omer Shatz argues: “Communicating the location of civilians fleeing war to a consortium of militias and instructing them to intercept and forcibly transfer them back to the place they fled from, trigger both state responsibility of all EU members and individual criminal liability of hundreds involved.” Together with his colleague Juan Branco, Shatz is suing those responsible for the European Union and its agencies before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Soon they intend to publish individual cases and the names of the people accused.

      Matthias Monroy

      An earlier version of this article first appeared in the German edition of Le Monde Diplomatique: ‘Drohnen für Frontex Statt sich auf die Rettung von Bootsflüchtlingen im Mittelmeer zu konzentrieren, baut die EU die Luftüberwachung’.

      Note: this article was corrected on 6 March to clarify a point regarding cooperation between Frontex and non-EU states.

      Endnotes

      [1] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/PE-33-2019-INIT/en/pdf

      [2] European Commission, ‘A strengthened and fully equipped European Border and Coast Guard’, 12 September 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-coast-guard_en.pdf

      [3] ‘Poland-Warsaw: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Medium Altitude Long Endurance Maritime Aerial Surveillance’, https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:490010-2019:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1

      [4] IAI, ‘IAI AND AIRBUS MARITIME HERON UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS) SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED 200 FLIGHT HOURS IN CIVILIAN EUROPEAN AIRSPACE FOR FRONTEX’, 24 October 2018, https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-airbus-maritime-heron-unmanned-aerial-system-uas-successfully-complet

      [5] ‘ European Maritime Flight Demonstrations’, General Atomics, http://www.ga-asi.com/european-maritime-demo

      [6] ‘EU agrees to deploy warships to enforce Libya arms embargo’, The Guardian, 17 February 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/17/eu-agrees-deploy-warships-enforce-libya-arms-embargo

      [7] EMSA, ‘Heads of EMSA and Frontex meet to discuss cooperation on European coast guard functions’, 3 April 2019, http://www.emsa.europa.eu/news-a-press-centre/external-news/item/3499-heads-of-emsa-and-frontex-meet-to-discuss-cooperation-on-european-c

      [8] Frontex, ‘Frontex, EMSA and EFCA strengthen cooperation on coast guard functions’, 23 March 2017, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-emsa-and-efca-strengthen-cooperation-on-coast-guard-functions

      [9] Elbit Systems, ‘Elbit Systems Commenced the Operation of the Maritime UAS Patrol Service to European Union Countries’, 18 June 2019, https://elbitsystems.com/pr-new/elbit-systems-commenced-the-operation-of-the-maritime-uas-patrol-servi

      [10] ‘Elbit wins drone contract for up to $68m to help monitor Europe coast’, The Times of Israel, 1 November 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/elbit-wins-drone-contract-for-up-to-68m-to-help-monitor-europe-coast

      [11] ‘Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission’, https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/12/E-2946_191_Finalised_reply_Annex1_EN_V1.pdf

      [12] ‘Το drone της FRONTEX έπεσε, οι μετανάστες έρχονται’, Proto Thema, 27 January 2020, https://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/968869/to-drone-tis-frontex-epese-oi-metanastes-erhodai

      [13] Morgan Meaker, ‘Here’s proof the UK is using drones to patrol the English Channel’, Wired, 10 January 2020, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-drones-migrants-english-channel

      [14] ‘Littoral: Les drones pour lutter contre les traversées de migrants sont opérationnels’, La Voix du Nord, 26 March 2019, https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/557951/article/2019-03-26/les-drones-pour-lutter-contre-les-traversees-de-migrants-sont-operation

      [15] ‘Frontex report on the functioning of Eurosur – Part I’, Council document 6215/18, 15 February 2018, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6215-2018-INIT/en/pdf

      [16] European Commission, ‘Eurosur’, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/eurosur_en

      [17] Legal reforms have also given Frontex the power to operate on the territory of non-EU states, subject to the conclusion of a status agreement between the EU and the country in question. The 2016 Frontex Regulation allowed such cooperation with states that share a border with the EU; the 2019 Frontex Regulation extends this to any non-EU state.

      [18] ‘Helping the Libyan Coast Guard to establish a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre’, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-000547_EN.html

      [19] Matthias Monroy, ‘EU funds the sacking of rescue ships in the Mediterranean’, 7 July 2018, https://digit.site36.net/2018/07/03/eu-funds-the-sacking-of-rescue-ships-in-the-mediterranean

      [20] Frontex, ‘Frontex begins testing use of aerostat for border surveillance’, 31 July 2019, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-begins-testing-use-of-aerostat-for-border-surveillance-ur33N8

      [21] ‘Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission’, 7 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002529-ASW_EN.html

      [22] ‘Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission’, 8 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002654-ASW_EN.html

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/drones-for-frontex-unmanned-migration-control-at-europe-s-borders

      #drones

    • Monitoring “secondary movements” and “hotspots”: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency (16.12.2019)

      The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “situational awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

      The establishment of a new ’standing corps’ of 10,000 border guards to be commanded by EU border agency Frontex has generated significant public and press attention in recent months. However, the new rules governing Frontex[1] include a number of other significant developments - including a mandate for the surveillance of migratory movements and migration “hotspots” within the EU.

      Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”[2] New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU. While this is only supposed to deal with “trends, volumes and routes,” rather than personal data, it is intended to inform operational activity within the EU.

      This may mean an increase in operations against ‘unauthorised’ migrants, bringing with it risks for fundamental rights such as the possibility of racial profiling, detention, violence and the denial of access to asylum procedures. At the same time, in a context where internal borders have been reintroduced by numerous Schengen states over the last five years due to increased migration, it may be that he agency’s new role contributes to a further prolongation of internal border controls.

      From external to internal surveillance

      Frontex was initially established with the primary goals of assisting in the surveillance and control of the external borders of the EU. Over the years it has obtained increasing powers to conduct surveillance of those borders in order to identify potential ’threats’.

      The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) has a key role in this task, taking data from a variety of sources, including satellites, sensors, drones, ships, vehicles and other means operated both by national authorities and the agency itself. EUROSUR was formally established by legislation approved in 2013, although the system was developed and in use long before it was subject to a legal framework.[3]

      The new Frontex Regulation incorporates and updates the provisions of the 2013 EUROSUR Regulation. It maintains existing requirements for the agency to establish a “situational picture” of the EU’s external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or the ports of non-EU states – which is then distributed to the EU’s member states in order to inform operational activities.[4]

      The new rules also provide a mandate for reporting on “unauthorised secondary movements” and goings-on in the “hotspots”. The Commission’s proposal for the new Frontex Regulation was not accompanied by an impact assessment, which would have set out the reasoning and justifications for these new powers. The proposal merely pointed out that the new rules would “evolve” the scope of EUROSUR, to make it possible to “prevent secondary movements”.[5] As the European Data Protection Supervisor remarked, the lack of an impact assessment made it impossible: “to fully assess and verify its attended benefits and impact, notably on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data.”[6]

      The term “secondary movements” is not defined in the Regulation, but is generally used to refer to journeys between EU member states undertaken without permission, in particular by undocumented migrants and applicants for internal protection. Regarding the “hotspots” – established and operated by EU and national authorities in Italy and Greece – the Regulation provides a definition,[7] but little clarity on precisely what information will be gathered.

      Legal provisions

      A quick glance at Section 3 of the new Regulation, dealing with EUROSUR, gives little indication that the system will now be used for internal surveillance. The formal scope of EUROSUR is concerned with the external borders and border crossing points:

      “EUROSUR shall be used for border checks at authorised border crossing points and for external land, sea and air border surveillance, including the monitoring, detection, identification, tracking, prevention and interception of unauthorised border crossings for the purpose of detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime and contributing to ensuring the protection and saving the lives of migrants.”

      However, the subsequent section of the Regulation (on ‘situational awareness’) makes clear the agency’s new internal role. Article 24 sets out the components of the “situational pictures” that will be visible in EUROSUR. There are three types – national situational pictures, the European situational picture and specific situational pictures. All of these should consist of an events layer, an operational layer and an analysis layer. The first of these layers should contain (emphasis added in all quotes):

      “…events and incidents related to unauthorised border crossings and cross-border crime and, where available, information on unauthorised secondary movements, for the purpose of understanding migratory trends, volume and routes.”

      Article 26, dealing with the European situational picture, states:

      “The Agency shall establish and maintain a European situational picture in order to provide the national coordination centres and the Commission with effective, accurate and timely information and analysis, covering the external borders, the pre-frontier area and unauthorised secondary movements.”

      The events layer of that picture should include “information relating to… incidents in the operational area of a joint operation or rapid intervention coordinated by the Agency, or in a hotspot.”[8] In a similar vein:

      “The operational layer of the European situational picture shall contain information on the joint operations and rapid interventions coordinated by the Agency and on hotspots, and shall include the mission statements, locations, status, duration, information on the Member States and other actors involved, daily and weekly situational reports, statistical data and information packages for the media.”[9]

      Article 28, dealing with ‘EUROSUR Fusion Services’, says that Frontex will provide national authorities with information on the external borders and pre-frontier area that may be derived from, amongst other things, the monitoring of “migratory flows towards and within the Union in terms of trends, volume and routes.”

      Sources of data

      The “situational pictures” compiled by Frontex and distributed via EUROSUR are made up of data gathered from a host of different sources. For the national situational picture, these are:

      national border surveillance systems;
      stationary and mobile sensors operated by national border agencies;
      border surveillance patrols and “other monitoring missions”;
      local, regional and other coordination centres;
      other national authorities and systems, such as immigration liaison officers, operational centres and contact points;
      border checks;
      Frontex;
      other member states’ national coordination centres;
      third countries’ authorities;
      ship reporting systems;
      other relevant European and international organisations; and
      other sources.[10]

      For the European situational picture, the sources of data are:

      national coordination centres;
      national situational pictures;
      immigration liaison officers;
      Frontex, including reports form its liaison officers;
      Union delegations and EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions;
      other relevant Union bodies, offices and agencies and international organisations; and
      third countries’ authorities.[11]

      The EUROSUR handbook – which will presumably be redrafted to take into account the new legislation – provides more detail about what each of these categories may include.[12]

      Exactly how this melange of different data will be used to report on secondary movements is currently unknown. However, in accordance with Article 24 of the new Regulation:

      “The Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the details of the information layers of the situational pictures and the rules for the establishment of specific situational pictures. The implementing act shall specify the type of information to be provided, the entities responsible for collecting, processing, archiving and transmitting specific information, the maximum time limits for reporting, the data security and data protection rules and related quality control mechanisms.” [13]

      This implementing act will specify precisely how EUROSUR will report on “secondary movements”.[14] According to a ‘roadmap’ setting out plans for the implementation of the new Regulation, this implementing act should have been drawn up in the last quarter of 2020 by a newly-established European Border and Coast Guard Committee sitting within the Commission. However, that Committee does not yet appear to have held any meetings.[15]

      Operational activities at the internal borders

      Boosting Frontex’s operational role is one of the major purposes of the new Regulation, although it makes clear that the internal surveillance role “should not lead to operational activities of the Agency at the internal borders of the Member States.” Rather, internal surveillance should “contribute to the monitoring by the Agency of migratory flows towards and within the Union for the purpose of risk analysis and situational awareness.” The purpose is to inform operational activity by national authorities.

      In recent years Schengen member states have reintroduced border controls for significant periods in the name of ensuring internal security and combating irregular migration. An article in Deutsche Welle recently highlighted:

      “When increasing numbers of refugees started arriving in the European Union in 2015, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary quickly reintroduced controls, citing a “continuous big influx of persons seeking international protection.” This was the first time that migration had been mentioned as a reason for reintroducing border controls.

      Soon after, six Schengen members reintroduced controls for extended periods. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway cited migration as a reason. France, as the sixth country, first introduced border checks after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, citing terrorist threats. Now, four years later, all six countries still have controls in place. On November 12, they are scheduled to extend them for another six months.”[16]

      These long-term extensions of internal border controls are illegal (the upper limit is supposed to be two years; discussions on changes to the rules governing the reintroduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area are ongoing).[17] A European Parliament resolution from May 2018 stated that “many of the prolongations are not in line with the existing rules as to their extensions, necessity or proportionality and are therefore unlawful.”[18] Yves Pascou, a researcher for the European Policy Centre, told Deutsche Welle that: “"We are in an entirely political situation now, not a legal one, and not one grounded in facts.”

      A European Parliament study published in 2016 highlighted that:

      “there has been a noticeable lack of detail and evidence given by the concerned EU Member States [those which reintroduced internal border controls]. For example, there have been no statistics on the numbers of people crossing borders and seeking asylum, or assessment of the extent to which reintroducing border checks complies with the principles of proportionality and necessity.”[19]

      One purpose of Frontex’s new internal surveillance powers is to provide such evidence (albeit in the ideologically-skewed form of ‘risk analysis’) on the situation within the EU. Whether the information provided will be of interest to national authorities is another question. Nevertheless, it would be a significant irony if the provision of that information were to contribute to the further maintenance of internal borders in the Schengen area.

      At the same time, there is a more pressing concern related to these new powers. Many discussions on the reintroduction of internal borders revolve around the fact that it is contrary to the idea, spirit (and in these cases, the law) of the Schengen area. What appears to have been totally overlooked is the effect the reintroduction of internal borders may have on non-EU nationals or ethnic minority citizens of the EU. One does not have to cross an internal Schengen frontier too many times to notice patterns in the appearance of the people who are hauled off trains and buses by border guards, but personal anecdotes are not the same thing as empirical investigation. If Frontex’s new powers are intended to inform operational activity by the member states at the internal borders of the EU, then the potential effects on fundamental rights must be taken into consideration and should be the subject of investigation by journalists, officials, politicians and researchers.

      Chris Jones

      Endnotes

      [1] The new Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU in mid-November: Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [2] Article 12, ‘Common application of surveillance tools’, Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 establishing the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013R1052

      [3] According to Frontex, the Eurosur Network first came into use in December 2011 and in March 2012 was first used to “exchange operational information”. The Regulation governing the system came into force in October 2013 (see footnote 2). See: Charles Heller and Chris Jones, ‘Eurosur: saving lives or reinforcing deadly borders?’, Statewatch Journal, vol. 23 no. 3/4, February 2014, http://database.statewatch.org/article.asp?aid=33156

      [4] Recital 34, 2019 Regulation: “EUROSUR should provide an exhaustive situational picture not only at the external borders but also within the Schengen area and in the pre-frontier area. It should cover land, sea and air border surveillance and border checks.”

      [5] European Commission, ‘Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action no 98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) no 1052/2013 and Regulation (EU) no 2016/1624’, COM(2018) 631 final, 12 September 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-com-frontex-proposal-regulation-com-18-631.pdf

      [6] EDPS, ‘Formal comments on the Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard’, 30 November 2018, p. p.2, https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/18-11-30_comments_proposal_regulation_european_border_coast_guard_en.pdf

      [7] Article 2(23): “‘hotspot area’ means an area created at the request of the host Member State in which the host Member State, the Commission, relevant Union agencies and participating Member States cooperate, with the aim of managing an existing or potential disproportionate migratory challenge characterised by a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving at the external borders”

      [8] Article 26(3)(c), 2019 Regulation

      [9] Article 26(4), 2019 Regulation

      [10] Article 25, 2019 Regulation

      [11] Article 26, 2019 Regulation

      [12] European Commission, ‘Commission Recommendation adopting the Practical Handbook for implementing and managing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)’, C(2015) 9206 final, 15 December 2015, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/securing-eu-borders/legal-documents/docs/eurosur_handbook_annex_en.pdf

      [13] Article 24(3), 2019 Regulation

      [14] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [15] Documents related to meetings of committees operating under the auspices of the European Commission can be found in the Comitology Register: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regcomitology/index.cfm?do=Search.Search&NewSearch=1

      [16] Kira Schacht, ‘Border checks in EU countries challenge Schengen Agreement’, DW, 12 November 2019, https://www.dw.com/en/border-checks-in-eu-countries-challenge-schengen-agreement/a-51033603

      [17] European Parliament, ‘Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders’, https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2017/0245(COD)&l=en

      [18] ‘Report on the annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area’, 3 May 2018, para.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2018-0160_EN.html

      [19] Elpseth Guild et al, ‘Internal border controls in the Schengen area: is Schengen crisis-proof?’, European Parliament, June 2016, p.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571356/IPOL_STU(2016)571356_EN.pdf

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2019/monitoring-secondary-movements-and-hotspots-frontex-is-now-an-internal-s

      #mouvements_secondaires #hotspot #hotspots

  • EU ’covered up’ Croatia’s failure to protect migrants from border brutality

    Exclusive: Brussels officials feared disclosing Zagreb’s lack of commitment to monitoring would cause ‘scandal’

    EU officials have been accused of an “outrageous cover-up” after withholding evidence of a failure by Croatia’s government to supervise #police repeatedly accused of robbing, abusing and humiliating migrants at its borders.

    Internal European commission emails seen by the Guardian reveal officials in Brussels had been fearful of a backlash when deciding against full disclosure of Croatia’s lack of commitment to a monitoring mechanism that ministers had previously agreed to fund with EU money.

    Ahead of responding to inquiries from a senior MEP in January, a commission official had warned a colleague that the Croatian government’s failure to use money earmarked two years ago for border police “will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’”.

    Supervision of the behaviour of border officers had been the condition set on a larger grant of EU funds to Croatia. There have been multiple allegations of violent pushbacks of migrants and refugees by Croatian police on the border with Bosnia, including an incident in which a migrant was shot.

    In response to allegations of a cover-up, an EC spokesman told the Guardian that what was known had been withheld from MEPs as the information was believed to have been “incomplete”.
    Crosses on our heads to ’cure’ Covid-19: refugees report abuse by Croatian police
    Read more

    It throws a spotlight on both the Croatian government’s human rights record and the apparent willingness of the EU’s executive branch to cover for Zagreb’s failure.

    Croatia is seeking to enter the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone – a move that requires compliance with European human rights standards at borders.

    Despite heated denials by the Croatian authorities, the latest border incident has been described by aid workers as the most violent in the Balkan migration crisis. On 26 May, 11 Pakistani and five Afghan men were stopped by a group wearing black uniforms and balaclavas in the Plitvice Lakes, 16km (10 miles) into Croatia from the Bosnian border.

    “The men in uniforms tied each of the Pakistanis and Afghanis around a tree, so their wrists were bound and they had to turn their faces toward the trees,” according to a report from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), which provides healthcare for migrants in Bosnia. “Once these people were unable to move, the men in uniforms fired several shots in the air with guns placed close to the ears of the Pakistanis and Afghanis. There were also shots fired close to their legs.’’

    “They kept shooting. They were shooting so closely that the stones under our feet were flying and being blown to pieces,” one of the men told the Guardian. “They kept saying: ‘I want to beat and kill you.’ They tortured us for three to four hours.”

    The council’s report says electro-shockers were placed on people’s necks and heads. “One of the men in uniform was cutting several victims with knives and the same person inflicted cuts on both of the palms of one person.”

    One asylum seeker said that one of the men put his knee on his neck, then cut at him with a blade. ‘‘He sliced the index finger of my left hand, and blood started spurting out like a small shower,’’ he said. “Then he smiled and cut my middle finger followed by my palm with a larger cut. The whole hand is swollen beyond recognition.”

    After a while, the men in balaclavas called other uniformed officers.

    According to the victims and a report by the DRC, “before the police arrival, one of the men in uniform made a film with his mobile phone, while others in his company were laughing, yelling and provoking”.

    Upon the arrival of police officers, the migrants were put into vans and taken to the border at Šiljkovača, a village close to Velika Kladuša. Police officers did not beat them, but ordered them into Bosnian territory.

    “All of them had bleeding wounds on their heads and numerous bruises on various parts of the body,” Nicola Bay, the DRC country director for Bosnia, told the Guardian. “Four of them had broken arms and one had a broken leg and both arms.”

    Contacted by the Guardian, the Croatian police denied the allegations and suggested that asylum seekers could have fabricated the account and that the wounds could be the result of “a confrontation among migrants” that took place ‘‘on 28 May in the vicinity of the Croatian border, near Cazin’’.

    Volunteers and charities who have treated migrants involved in the fight in Cazin, said the two incidents are unrelated and happened two days apart. Those involved in the fight in Cazin have not claimed they were attacked by the police.

    The establishment of supervisory mechanisms to ensure the humane treatment of migrants at the border had been a condition of a €6.8m (£6.1m) cash injection announced in December 2018 to strengthen Croatia’s borders with non-EU countries.

    The mechanism was publicised by the European commission as a way to “ensure that all measures applied at the EU external borders are proportionate and are in full compliance with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws”.

    Croatian ministers claimed last year that the funds had been handed over to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Croatian Law Centre to establish the supervisory mechanism.

    Both organisations deny receiving the money.

    In January this year, the commission was asked by Clare Daly, an Irish MEP in the Independents 4 Change party, to account for the discrepancy.

    A commission official responded that the UNCHR and Croatian Law Centre had established the monitoring mechanism but from “their own funds” to ensure independence from the government.

    He added: “Hopefully [this] clarifies this matter once and for all”.

    But both organisations have again denied being involved in any monitoring project, clarifying that they had only been engaged in an earlier initiative involving the examination of police files.

    Beyond the apparent inaccuracy of the response to Daly, internal emails suggest the full facts of the “underspending” – as its known to the commission – were also withheld.

    The EC failed to inform Daly that the Croatian government had decided to ring-fence only €102,000 of the €300,000 provided for the monitoring mechanism and that ultimately only €84,672 was actually spent – €17,469.87 was given to the interior ministry and €59,637.91 went to NGOs. A roundtable conference accounted for €1,703.16.

    “While we know that there has been underspending on the €300,000 … we thought that around € 240,000 were nevertheless spent in the context of the monitoring mechanism,” an EU official had written while discussing how to deal with the MEP’s questions. “Having spent only EUR 102,000, will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’.”

    The commission did not pass on information on the spending to Daly but privately officials agreed to seek answers urgently. They also discussed in a phone and email exchange the possibility of intervening in the member state’s planned report due to the poor handling of the matter by the Croatian government.

    “Seeing how unfortunate [Croatia] is presenting this issue, [Croatia] definitively needs (your?) help in putting some ‘final touches’ to the report,” an official in the commission’s migration department wrote to a colleague. “Will [Croatia] provide you with an advance copy of the final report?”

    Daly told the Guardian: “It is outrageous – the commission appears to be colluding with the Croatian authorities in a cover-up.”

    An EC spokesperson said the EU’s executive branch was committed to the establishment of a fully independent border monitoring mechanism.

    The spokesperson said: “We would caution against drawing misleading conclusions from reading the internal email exchanges in isolation.”

    He added: “The Croatian authorities are explaining in their final implementation report how the monitoring mechanism was established, how it works in practice and outline the results.

    “Given that the report submitted by the Croatian authorities was incomplete, the commission asked the Croatian authorities for clarifications first in writing and orally regarding outstanding issues (eg factual data confirming the achievements of the project indicators relating to internal controls and trainings).”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jun/15/eu-covered-up-croatias-failure-to-protect-migrants-from-border-brutalit
    #complicité #EU #UE #Croatie #violence #réfugiés #asile #migrations #violence #violences #hauts_fonctionnaires #fonds #argent #gardes_frontière #route_des_Balkans #frontières #Plitvice_Lakes #commission_européenne #Union_européenne #couverture

    • Report from Centre for Peace Studies on the pushback of children

      On 29th May 2020, the Centre for Peace Studies – a key member of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) – presented a new report alongside the Welcome! Initiative. Addressing the Croatian Government, the “Report on violent and illegal expulsions of children and unaccompanied children” is based on testimonies collected by activists through the BVMN shared database. The publication shares the story of children who sought protection from Croatia, and how Croatia answered in violence.

      “We came to the door of Prime Minister Plenković and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Božinović, who have been turning their backs on testimonies and accusations for years and silently pursuing a policy of flattering the European Union. Even the most vulnerable are not excluded from violence – children “, said Tea Vidović on behalf of the Welcome! Initiative.

      The report submitted to the Government by the organizations provides testimonies of children and their families and unaccompanied children on violent and illegal methods that they had to experience at the hands of police authorities. This illegal and inhuman behavior violates national laws, international law and human rights, prevents access to international protection and, most importantly, marks children’s lives. Although the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of the Interior should take into account the special vulnerability of children, respect their rights and best interests, children experience police brutality and limitation of their freedom for hours without access to water and food.

      “While the government uses every opportunity to emphasize the importance of border protection, we wonder in which way is police protecting Croatian borders? By beating children, confiscating their personal belongings, locking children in police vans for several hours in which they are exposed to extremely high or extremely low temperatures, shooting and using electric shocks, is this how the police protect Croatian borders? ”, points out Ana Ćuća.

      The exact number of children who are victims of police brutality remains unknown. BVMN has reported 209 cases of violent and illegal expulsions of children from Croatia since 2017, while Save the Children recorded 2969 expulsions of children at the borders in the Western Balkans during the first 9 months of last year.

      Two cases are currently pending at the European Court of Human Rights against Croatia, both involving violence and pushback. The first is the case of the family of the tragically late six-year-old girl Madina Hussiny, who was killed at the Croatian-Serbian border. The second includes pushbacks, illegal detention and inhumane treatment of a 17-year-old Syrian boy by Croatian police, who was pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina despite seeking asylum in Croatia.

      The latest report presented is the sixth report on violent and illegal expulsions published in the last four years, and it is the collective work of the Centre for Peace Studies, the Society for Psychological Assistance, the Welcome! Initiative and the Border Violence Monitoring Network. It also brings a short graphic novel based on the story of little #Madina, a young girl killed in transit, for whose death no one has yet been held accountable.

      Therefore, the organisations ask the Government and the Ministry of the Interior to finally take responsibility and for those who sanction and carry out systematic violence. Responsible institutions are obliged to investigate those who commit violence and push back children in need of protection. All children deserve justice and protection.

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/report-from-centre-for-peace-studies-on-the-pushback-of-children
      #enfants #enfance #mineurs

      Pour télécharger le #rapport:
      https://www.cms.hr/system/article_document/doc/647/Pushback_report_on_children_and_unaccompanied_children_in_Croatia.pdf

    • Policiers croates accusés de violences contre des migrants : l’UE réclame une "enquête approfondie’’

      Après avoir été interpellée par Amnesty International sur la « violence » des policiers croates à l’égard des migrants, la Commission européenne a réclamé à Zagreb une « enquête approfondie ». L’institution prévoit d’envoyer une mission sur place, quand la situation sanitaire le permettra.

      L’Union européenne est sortie de son ’’silence’’ au sujet des accusations de violences contre des migrants perpétrées par la police croate. Vendredi 12 juin, la Commission européenne a réclamé à Zagreb une "#enquête_approfondie'' à la suite de la publication d’un rapport à charge de l’ONG Amnesty International dénonçant des #passages_à_tabac, des #tortures et des tentatives d’#humiliation de la part de policiers croates (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25339/on-les-suppliait-d-arreter-de-nous-frapper-ils-chantaient-et-riaient-l).

      « Nous sommes très préoccupés par ces allégations », a déclaré un porte-parole de l’exécutif européen, Adalbert Jahnz. « La #violence, l’humiliation et les #traitements_dégradants des demandeurs d’asile et migrants n’ont pas leur place dans l’Union européenne et doivent être condamnés », a-t-il assuré.

      L’Union européenne avait été directement interpellée par Amnesty International dans son rapport. Ce document affirme que 16 migrants, qui tentaient d’entrer illégalement en Croatie, ont été « ligotés, brutalement battus et torturés » pendant plusieurs heures par des forces de l’ordre, dans la nuit du 26 au 27 mai. « L’Union européenne ne peut plus rester silencieuse et ignorer délibérément les violences et les abus commis par la police croate à la frontière », avait déclaré Massimo Moratti, directeur adjoint de l’antenne européenne de l’ONG.

      https://twitter.com/Jelena_Sesar/status/1271044353629335553?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Une mission sur place quand la situation sanitaire le permettra

      L’exécutif européen a également indiqué être « en contact étroit » avec les autorités croates qui « se sont engagées à enquêter » sur ces accusations de mauvais traitements à leur frontière avec la Bosnie (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/18721/plusieurs-migrants-retrouves-blesses-a-la-frontiere-entre-la-bosnie-et). « Nous attendons que ces accusations fassent l’objet d’une enquête approfondie et que toutes les actions nécessaires soient prises », a poursuivi le porte-parole.

      La Commission prévoit aussi d’envoyer, quand la situation sanitaire le permettra, une mission sur place, dans le cadre d’un mécanisme de surveillance du respect des droits fondamentaux par les autorités aux frontières lié à l’allocation de fonds européens.

      Le ministère croate de l’Intérieur a, de son côté, immédiatement démenti ces accusations, en ajoutant cependant qu’une enquête serait ouverte.

      Des milliers de migrants empruntent chaque année la « route des Balkans » pour essayer de rejoindre l’Europe occidentale. La plupart passent par la Croatie, pays membre de l’UE, le plus souvent en provenance de la Bosnie.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25354/policiers-croates-accuses-de-violences-contre-des-migrants-l-ue-reclam

    • Croatia: Fresh evidence of police abuse and torture of migrants and asylum-seekers

      In a horrifying escalation of police human rights violations at the Croatian border with Bosnia, a group of migrants and asylum seekers was recently bound, brutally beaten and tortured by officers who mocked their injuries and smeared food on their bleeding heads to humiliate them, Amnesty International has revealed today.

      Amnesty International spoke to six men among a group of 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum-seekers who were apprehended by the Croatian police on the night between 26 and 27 May near Lake Plitvice, as they tried to cross the country to reach Western Europe.

      Between eight and ten people wearing black uniforms and balaclavas identical to those used by Croatia’s Special Police, fired their weapons in the air, kicked and repeatedly hit the restrained men with metal sticks, batons and pistol grips. They then rubbed ketchup, mayonnaise and sugar that they found in one of the backpacks on migrants’ bleeding heads and hair and their trousers. Amnesty International also spoke to doctors who treated the men and NGOs who witnessed their injuries.

      “The European Union can no longer remain silent and wilfully ignore the violence and abuses by Croatian police on its external borders. Their silence is allowing, and even encouraging, the perpetrators of this abuse to continue without consequences. The European Commission must investigate the latest reports of horrifying police violence against migrants and asylum-seekers.” said Massimo Moratti, Deputy Director of the Europe Office, following the latest incident on the Croatian border.

      Physical and psychological abuse

      Amir from Pakistan told Amnesty: “We were pleading with them to stop and show mercy. We were already tied, unable to move and humiliated; there was no reason to keep hitting us and torturing us.” He said the armed men showed no sympathy. “They were taking photos of us with their phones, and were singing and laughing.” Amir had a broken arm and nose, stiches on the back of his head, and visible bruising all over his face and arms.

      Ten men suffered serious injuries that night. Thirty-year-old Tariq now has both of his arms and a leg in a cast, visible cuts and bruises on his head and face and is suffering from severe chest pain.

      “They did not give us a chance to say anything at all when they caught us. They just started hitting us. While I was lying on the ground, they hit my head with the back of a gun and I started bleeding. I tried to protect my head from the blows, but they started kicking me and hitting my arms with metal sticks. I was passing in and out of consciousness the rest of the night.” Tariq is now forced to use a wheelchair to move around and it will take months before he is able to move on his own again.

      The men told Amnesty International how they felt humiliated as militia rubbed mayonnaise and ketchup on to their bloody heads and faces. One masked man squirted mayonnaise on an asylum-seeker’s trousers between his legs, while others laughed and sang “Happy Birthday” around them.

      After almost five hours of continuous abuse, the migrants were handed over to the Croatian Border Police who transported them close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina in two vans before ordering them to walk. “They were taken aback by our condition. We were drenched in blood and very shook up. We could barely stand, much less walk for hours to Bosnia. But they told us to go. They told us to carry the guys who couldn’t walk and just go.” Faisal told Amnesty.

      Some of the men eventually reached Miral, a reception centre run by the International Organization for Migration in Velika Kladusa in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but five, who were too weak to walk, stayed behind and were eventually picked up by an NGO operating in the camp.

      An emergency doctor at the medical clinic in Velika Kladusa who treated the men told Amnesty International that they all had injuries on the back of their heads which were consistent with a blow by a blunt object and required stiches. Most had multiple fractures, joint injuries, collapsed lungs, cuts and bruises and several were traumatized. Their recovery could take months.

      Routine violent pushbacks and torture by the Croatian police remain unpunished

      While only the latest in the series, the incident points to a new level of brutality and abuse by the Croatian police. In early May, the Guardian reported about a group of men who were forced across the Croatian border after being beaten and having orange crosses spray-painted on their heads. The Croatian Ministry of Interior dismissed the allegations, but the testimonies of violence and intimidation fit the trend of unlawful pushbacks taking place not only on the Croatian, but also on other external borders of the European Union.

      Numerous reports over the past three years have revealed how the Croatian border police routinely assault men, women and teenagers trying to enter the country, destroy their belongings and smash their phones before pushing them back to Bosnia. People are sometimes stripped of their clothes and shoes, and forced to walk for hours through snow and freezing cold rivers.

      A physician in the Velika Kladusa clinic told Amnesty International that approximately 60 per cent of migrants and asylum-seekers who required medical treatment reported that their injuries were inflicted by the Croatian police, while they were trying to cross the border. “Many injuries involve fractures of long bones and joints. These bones take longer to heal and their fractures render the patient incapacitated for extended periods of time. This appears to be a deliberate strategy – to cause injuries and trauma that take time to heal and would make people more reluctant to try to cross the border again or any time soon,” the physician told Amnesty International.

      The Croatian Ministry of Interior has so far dismissed these allegations, refusing to carry out independent and effective investigations into reported abuses or hold its officers to account. In a climate of pervasive impunity, unlawful returns and violence at the border have only escalated. Amnesty International has shared the details of this incident with the Ministry of Interior, but has not received an official response.

      The EU’s failure to hold Croatia to account

      The European Commission has remained silent in the face of multiple, credible reports of gross human rights abuses at the Croatian border and repeated calls by the European Parliament to investigate the allegations. Furthermore, Croatia remains a beneficiary of nearly EURO 7 million of EU assistance for border security, the vast majority of which is spent on infrastructure, equipping border police and even paying police salaries. Even the small proportion (EURO 300,000) that the Commission had earmarked for a mechanism to monitor that the border measures comply with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws, has been no more than a fig leaf. Last year, the Commission recommended Croatia’s full accession to the Schengen Area despite human rights abuses already being commonplace there.

      “The European Commission cannot continue to turn a blind eye to blatant breaches of EU law as people are being branded with crosses on their heads or brutally tortured and humiliated by Croatian police. We expect nothing less than the condemnation of these acts and an independent investigation into reported abuses, as well as the establishment of an effective mechanism to ensure that EU funds are not used to commit torture and unlawful returns. Failing urgent action, Croatia’s inhumane migration practices will turn the EU into an accomplice in major human rights violations taking place at its doorstep,” said Massimo Moratti.

      Violent pushbacks from Croatian border have been a regular occurrence since late 2017. The Danish Refugee Council recorded close to 7,000 cases of forcible deportations and unlawful returns to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019, most of which were accompanied by reported violence and intimidation by Croatian police. Despite the brief respite during the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, pushbacks continue with 1600 cases reported only in April. The figures are increasing daily, as the restrictions across the region are being lifted and the weather is turning milder.

      Amnesty International has interviewed over 160 people who have been pushed back or returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina since July 2018. Nearly one third reported being beaten, having their documents and telephones stolen, and verbally abused in what appears to be a deliberate policy designed to deter future attempts to enter the country.

      https://www.amnesty.eu/news/croatia-fresh-evidence-of-police-abuse-and-torture-of-migrants-and-asylum-se
      #rapport #Amnesty_international

    • Croatia, police abuse is systemic

      While the world is outraged and protests after George Floyd’s death to denounce institutionalised violence, migrants have been beaten and tortured on the Balkan route for years. A brutal practice often covered up, even by the EU itself.

      George Floyd’s death on May 25th sparked protests around the world against police violence and institutional racism. In the Balkans as elsewhere, sit-ins have been held in support of #BlackLivesMatter , followed by calls to report abuses committed locally by the police. And in the region there is no lack of such abuses. In fact, police violence is routine on the “Balkan route”, the flow of migrants and refugees that has crossed the peninsula since 2015 in the hope of reaching the European Union. The events of the past few weeks have unfortunately confirmed once again the link between police brutality and immigration, bringing us back to the Croatian-Bosnian border. It is a story of systemic abuse, both proven and covered up, which involves a member state of the EU, candidate for accession to the Schengen area and, according to the latest revelations of The Guardian, the European Commission itself.
      Torture in Croatia

      When it comes to police abuse on the Croatian-Bosnian border, one does not really know where to start. The accidents recorded in recent years are so many that we can no longer even speak of “accidents”, or unexpected events. On the contrary, violence is rather a common practice, the only news being the increase in brutality by the agents, who have gone from illegal pushbacks to outright torture.

      “We rarely use the word ’torture’ in Europe, but in this case we had to”, explains Massimo Moratti, deputy director of the Europe office of Amnesty International (AI). Last week, AI published yet another report of the mistreatment of migrants by the Croatian police along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mistreatment is an understatement. The testimonies collected no longer speak of broken mobile phones, or – as has happened more recently – destroyed with a screwdriver to prevent recharging, but instead contain “actual sadism”, as Moratti puts it.

      The case in question is that of 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers arrested by the Croatian police near the Plitvice lakes between May 26th and 27th. Their testimony is chilling. “We asked them to stop and show mercy. We were already tied up, there was no reason to continue hitting and torturing us", Amir told Amnesty International. Singing and filming on mobile phones, the agents continued to beat the 16 unfortunate men hard, finally smearing their wounds with ketchup and mayonnaise found in the backpack of one of the migrants. Eventually, the group was brought back to the border and forced to walk to Bosnia. Those who were unable to walk, because they are now in a wheelchair, had to be transported by others.

      “It is a pattern, a trend. These are the same practices that we have already seen in Hungary in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Dogs, sticks, broken bones... The goal is to intimidate and frighten so that no one tries to cross the border anymore", resumes Massimo Moratti, who adds: “the fractures we saw in the latter case will take months to heal”. The Amnesty International report and the attached photos tell the rest.
      Four years of violence

      How did we get to this? It is useful to make a brief summary of recent years to understand the evolution of violence. First, the “Balkan route” became a media phenomenon in the summer of 2015, when hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans began to travel up the Balkan peninsula to reach the European Union. At the beginning, the destination of the route was Hungary, then, with the closure of the Hungarian wall, it became Croatia, which leads to Slovenia and then to the Schengen area. In 2015, Croatian policemen showed themselves to be tolerant and benevolent, as reminded by this cover of Jutarnji List .

      In the spring of 2016, the agreement between the EU and Turkey led to the closure of the Balkan route and a change of pace. “The first case of pushback is registered in 2016 on the Serbo-Croatian border. In 2017, we have the first cases of violence", says Antonia Pindulić, legal advisor to the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) in Zagreb. At the end of 2017, Madina Hussiny, 6, died hit by a train while returning from Croatia to Serbia following the tracks. Together with her family, she had been illegally pushed back by the Croatian policemen.

      In the summer of 2018, the Croatian police fired on a van that carried 29 migrants and refused to stop. Nine people were injured and two minors ended up in hospital in serious conditions. Since then, it has been a crescendo of accidents, especially on the Croatian-Bosnian border, where what remains of the Balkan route passes. Here, the testimonies collected by NGOs speak of beatings, theft, destruction of mobile phones and, as always, illegal pushbacks. Then, the situation has deteriorated up to the torture of the last few weeks. All in the silence of the authorities.
      The silence of the institutions

      How could the Zagreb government not complete an investigation in four years, address the police abuse, punish the guilty? It just didn’t. In fact, Andrej Plenković’s government has just “denied everything” for four years, while “no investigation has produced results”, as Antonia Pindulić of CMS summarises. And this despite the fact that there have been complaints from NGOs and also the actions of the institutions themselves in Croatia.

      “In 2019, a group of policement wrote an anonymous letter to the Croatian Ombudswoman asking to be protected from having to carry out illegal orders”, recalls Pindulić. The agents then revealed the pushback technique: GPS off, communications only on Whatsapp or Viber, no official report. Also in 2019, then President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović had let slip , during an interview on Swiss television, that “of course, a little strength is needed when making pushbacks”. Later, she said she had been misunderstood.

      After dozens of complaints have fallen on deaf ears and after in 2018 the Ombudswoman, in her investigations, had been denied access to video surveillance videos with the excuse that they were lost, the CMS decided a couple of weeks ago to file a complaint “against unknown police officers” guilty of “degrading treatment and torture against 33 people” and “violent and illegal expulsion [of these people, ed.] from the territory of the Republic of Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina”. “We hope that the prosecutor will open an investigation and that people who have violated the law are identified. But since the institutions themselves have violated the law for four years, I don’t know what we can expect”, says Antonia Pindulić.

      The complaint filed brings together four cases, all of which occurred at the beginning of May 2020. “We suspect that the cases are linked to each other, as all the migrants and refugees involved have reported beatings, theft of their belongings, being stripped and, above all, having a cross drawn on their head with orange spray”, says Antonia Pindulić. This very detail had brought the story on the Guardian and sparked controversy in Croatia.
      Towards a turning point?

      In their brutality, the cases seem to repeat themselves without any change in sight. But the Croatian government may soon be forced to answer for what appears to be institutionalised violence. Not only the legal action taken by the CMS “could likely end in Strasbourg”, as Massimo Moratti of Amnesty International speculates, but a lawsuit filed by three Syrian refugees against Croatia reached the European Court of Human Rights at the end of the May . And last week, after the publication of the AI ​​report, the European Commission announced that an observation mission will be sent to Croatia.

      And there is more. This week, the Guardian also revealed that communications between officials of the European Commission show how the European body “covered up Croatia’s failure to protect migrants from brutality on the border”. In question are the European funding received from Zagreb for border security: 7 million Euros, of which 300,000 for the implementation of an independent control mechanism that should have supervised the work of the police. Not only has the mechanism never been implemented, but there have been contradictory communications in this regard, with the Commission declaring that UNHCR was part of the mechanism and the latter publicly denying at the end of 2019 .

      In short, although Brussels allocated a (small) budget for the control of the brutality of Croatian agents, the mechanism that was to be activated with those funds was never created. And the Commission is aware of this. How long, then, will the Plenković government manage to hide its system of violence on the Bosnian border?

      https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Croatia/Croatia-police-abuse-is-systemic-202952

      #violence_systémique

    • Croatia: Police brutality in migrant pushback operations must be investigated and sanctioned – UN Special Rapporteurs

      Croatia must immediately investigate reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel against migrants, including acts amounting to torture and ill-treatment, and sanction those responsible, UN human rights experts said today.

      “We are deeply concerned about the repeated and ongoing disproportionate use of force by Croatian police against migrants in pushback operations. Victims, including children, suffered physical abuse and humiliation simply because of their migration status,” Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, said in a joint statement.

      They said physical violence and degrading treatment against migrants have been reported in more than 60 percent of all recorded pushback cases from Croatia between January and May 2020, and recent reports indicate the number of forced returns is rising.

      Abusive treatment of migrants has included physical beatings, the use of electric shocks, forced river crossings and stripping of clothes despite adverse weather conditions, forced stress positions, gender insensitive body searches and spray-painting the heads of migrants with crosses.

      “The violent pushback of migrants without going through any official procedure, individual assessment or other due process safeguards constitutes a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement,” González Morales said.

      “Such treatment appears specifically designed to subject migrants to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as prohibited under international law. Croatia must investigate all reported cases of violence against migrants, hold the perpetrators and their superiors accountable and provide compensation for victims,” Melzer added.

      The UN Special Rapporteurs are also concerned that in several cases, Croatian police officers reportedly ignored requests from migrants to seek asylum or other protection under international human rights and refugee law.

      “Croatia must ensure that all border management measures, including those aimed at addressing irregular migration, are in line with international human rights law and standards, particularly, non-discrimination, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of arbitrary or collective expulsions,” they said.

      During his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2019, González Morales received information on violent pushback of migrants by Croatian police to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has exchanged views with relevant Croatian authorities on this issue on several occasions. Already during his official visit to Serbia and Kosovo* in 2017, Melzer had received similar information from migrants reporting violent ill-treatment during pushback operations by the Croatian police.

      * All references to Kosovo should be understood to be in compliance with Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

      https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25976&LangID=E

      #OHCHR

    • Dva policajca u pritvoru u Karlovcu zbog ozljeđivanja migranta - protiv njih pokrenut i disciplinski postupak

      Zbog sumnje u počinjenje kaznenih djela obojica su, uz kaznenu prijavu, dovedeni pritvorskom nadzorniku Policijske uprave karlovačke. Također, obojica su udaljeni iz službe, odgovoreno je na upit KAportala

      Dva policajca PU karlovačke nalaze se u pritvoru i to zbog sumnje u ozljeđivanje ilegalnog migranta, stranog državljanina.

      Na naš upit iz policije su nam rekli da je u četvrtak, 11. lipnja, u večernjim satima, tijekom utvrđivanja okolnosti nezakonitog ulaska u Republiku Hrvatsku, u policijsku postaju Slunj doveden strani državljanin na kojem su policijski službenici uočili da je ozlijeđen.

      https://kaportal.net.hr/aktualno/vijesti/crna-kronika/3836334/dva-policajca-u-karlovackom-pritvoru-zbog-ozljedjivanja-migranta-protiv

      Commentaire reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 23.06.2020

      two police officers were arrested this week for injuring migrants. This is a big step for the Ministry of the Interior, but small for all cases that have not yet been investigated. However, it is important to emphasize that the violence we are witnessing is not the result of isolated incidents, but of systemic violence for which those who issue and those who carry out these illegal orders should be prosecuted.

  • Les conseils d’une spécialiste pour éviter la psychose du coronavirus - Mieux-vivre - Le Télégramme
    https://www.letelegramme.fr/mieux-vivre/les-conseils-d-une-specialiste-pour-eviter-la-psychose-du-coronavirus-0


    Une des clefs pour éviter la psychose est de ne pas aller chercher l’information partout.
    Depositphotos

    Afin de mieux gérer ses émotions au quotidien face aux chiffres et à la peur grimpante du coronavirus, une thérapeute livre ses conseils. Le plus important : rester détaché et éviter d’aller chercher l’information partout.

    Thérapeute spécialisée dans les troubles anxieux, Sylvie Le Moullec a dû s’adapter à la situation, comme tout professionnel, et propose des séances par visio-conférence ou appel téléphonique, « c’est différent, forcément ».

    Mais ça n’a pas suffi. « Mes patients ont annulé quasiment toutes les thérapies en cours, dans l’idée que le confinement ne durerait pas longtemps ». Avant qu’elle n’observe, depuis l’annonce du prolongement des mesures, une augmentation de la demande. « Il y a de plus en plus de personnes que ça inquiète, et qui viennent demander une consultation en visio ou par téléphone. Et ça va aller en augmentant », prédit même la psychologue qui tient deux cabinets à Quimper et Brest.

    Car, le confinement et la situation réveillent des troubles anxieux chez certains. Comment ne pas céder à la psychose de la contamination ? Résister à ses peurs profondes ? Sylvie Le Moullec a accepté de faire le tour de la question.

    Quel type de personnes vous sollicitent depuis le confinement ?
    Ce sont majoritairement les patients qui avaient déjà des thérapies en cours pour les tocs (troubles obsessionnels compulsifs), les phobies, l’alcoolisme, les prises excessives de médicaments ou les troubles alimentaires.

    La prise excessive de médicaments ?
    Oui, ça résulte d’une peur. Les médicaments permettent d’éviter de vivre, de se mettre en situation d’attendre et de vivre dans un monde parallèle. C’est pareil avec l’alcoolisme. Des patients que je suivais en thérapie recommencent à boire, ils sont gênés de faire une thérapie en ligne. En plus, ça paraît sociologiquement acceptable de boire en cette période de confinement, il n’y a qu’à voir les réseaux sociaux, avec les apéros en ligne… Il n’y a plus cette culpabilité qu’il y avait derrière.

    Vous confie-t-on régulièrement la peur d’être infecté par le coronavirus ?
    Pour ceux qui avaient déjà une phobie de la contamination et avec qui j’avais une thérapie en cours, ça se remet en place depuis le confinement. Ils mettent des gants, des masques depuis longtemps déjà, ils laissent séjourner leurs courses 48 heures à l’extérieur de chez eux, avant de les rentrer, pour que ce soit décontaminé.

    Comme si leur entrée était un sas, que c’était sain à l’intérieur et malsain à l’extérieur. Une personne m’a dit qu’elle lavait systématiquement les œufs avant de les casser, de peur que le virus ne rentre à l’intérieur de l’œuf. Ces peurs-là commencent à s’intensifier.

    La raison perd du terrain…
    Tout à fait. Le cerveau est ainsi fait qu’il est là pour nous protéger de ce qui pourrait arriver. Alors que les messages incessants, les flashs sur les téléphones portables font que les gens se mettent en état d’hyper-vigilance et se préparent à tout danger. Même à ceux qu’on invente. Car quand le cerveau n’en trouve pas, ils vont en chercher plus loin…

    À quoi répond l’automatisme d’associer le moindre symptôme à ce coronavirus ?
    Cela répond à l’information envoyée tout le temps. Les personnes se mettent à aller voir absolument toutes les infos, alors qu’elles sont souvent contradictoires. Mais ça finit par semer une impuissance, et c’est ce qui fait peur aux gens. Le fait de se dire « on ne peut rien faire ».

    Comment ne pas paniquer, sans sous-estimer cette maladie qui peut être grave ?
    Déjà, il y a le confinement (qu’il faut respecter). C’est contre-nature que de ne pas pouvoir échanger, toucher l’autre, c’est anti-humain. Ensuite, garder certains repères dans la vie. Tout le monde trouvait, au début, une super bonne raison à être confiné…
    Et plus maintenant ?
    C’est-à-dire que le confinement se prolonge. Et il devient, avec l’ennui, les incompréhensions face à la situation, qui empêchent de vivre selon la nature humaine, une agression sociale. Donc ça crée des conflits internes, et comme les gens sont confrontés à leur impuissance et à quelque chose qui les éloigne de leurs ressources, ils vont chercher à l’extérieur quelque chose qui pourrait leur prouver qu’ils n’ont pas le coronavirus. Mais se servir de ses ressources pour se prouver qu’on n’est pas atteint par quelque chose, c’est mettre son cerveau en échec.

    Quels conseils pratiques donneriez-vous au grand public pour éviter la psychose ?
    Déjà, continuer à faire comme avant. Parce que là, on va systématiquement chercher l’info partout, y compris sur les réseaux sociaux. C’est ce qui fait l’effet de panique, le cerveau est en alerte d’un danger inévitable, et il prend toutes les informations négatives pour augmenter l’insécurité.

    L’important, c’est de se sentir capable, de savoir qu’on a des ressources intérieures, qu’on peut aller les chercher. Il faut faire appel à son adaptabilité. Il y a des réponses à tout. Le but est de prendre du recul et rester détaché de la situation. Ce qui ne veut pas dire « je m’en fous », mais plutôt de ne pas s’impliquer personnellement dans le processus « je suis malade et je vais mourir ».

    Comment vos patients hypocondriaques vivent-ils cette période de crise ?
    C’est un peu paradoxal, parce que, d’un coup, on réinstalle leurs rituels. La personne hypocondriaque, ou atteinte de troubles, qui passait cinq heures par jour à se laver les mains, qui prenait quatre douches, voit ses pratiques légalisées. Alors, d’un côté, ils peuvent avoir ses pratiques sans culpabiliser derrière, mais quand le confinement va s’arrêter, le retour à la vie normale va être encore plus compliqué, parce qu’il va leur falloir réapprendre à vivre différemment.

    • C’est marrant, belle démonstration que les psys peuvent tout à fait servir de #gardes_chiourme du système dominant pour éviter que l’on se mette à creuser les raisons de cette pandémie, des fois qu’on y voit l’inaction criminelle des responsables politiques, et qu’on cherche des moyens de comprendre, par exemple pour commencer à penser et à mettre en place la révolte.
      Je ne dis pas qu’il ne faille pas gérer son angoisse en fonction de ses capacités, mais ce n’est certainement pas en coupant l’information vu qu’il y a toutes sortes de façon de réagir.

  • Une enquête accablante de l’ONU condamne le projet phare du WWF au #Congo et révèle l’ampleur massive des abus - Survival International
    https://survivalinternational.fr/actu/12341

    C’est la première fois que l’ONU enquête sur un projet du #WWF, et ses conclusions sont accablantes :

    – Les #gardes_forestiers armés soutenus par le WWF frappent et maltraitent fréquemment les « #Pygmées » #baka vivant à Messok Dja.

    – Le projet a causé « des traumatismes et des souffrances » aux Baka.

    – Le #PNUD, l’un des bailleurs de fonds du projet, a violé ses propres politiques et normes en soutenant le projet sans avoir obtenu au préalable l’accord des Baka. Ils n’ont pas pris la peine de demander ce consentement, car ils ont simplement supposé qu’un projet de « conservation » de la #nature serait bénéfique aux Baka.[...]

    – Le projet n’a eu aucun impact sur « le démantèlement des réseaux criminels qui se cachent derrière le commerce illégal de la faune et de la flore sauvages ».

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/07/armed-ecoguards-funded-by-wwf-beat-up-congo-tribespeople

    via @fil

  • Minima sociaux. La CAF lèse des bénéficiaires du RSA | L’Humanité
    https://www.humanite.fr/minima-sociaux-la-caf-lese-des-beneficiaires-du-rsa-678557

    Père divorcé, Frédéric a ses enfants en garde alternée. Pourtant, les allocations familiales ne lui versent qu’un revenu de solidarité active de célibataire. Un cas non isolé.

    Frédéric va enfin être fixé. C’est aujourd’hui, après la réunion d’une commission administrative, que le président du conseil départemental du Cher décidera si les deux enfants de ce cinquantenaire seront pris en compte dans le calcul de son RSA. Pour l’instant, leur présence chez lui, une semaine sur deux, dans le cadre d’une garde partagée, n’est pas reconnue. Calculé comme s’il était célibataire, son RSA s’élève à 559,74 euros par mois. Pourtant, son statut de père est pris en compte lorsqu’il s’agit du partage de l’allocation familiale avec son ex-femme. 66,11 euros, lesquels sont considérés comme un revenu et, à ce titre, comble de l’ironie, déduits de son RSA de célibataire… « Cette situation est complètement aberrante », s’étrangle Florie Gaeta, administratrice CGT de la Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF) du Cher.

    Avec la CAF, tout n’avait pourtant pas si mal commencé. Quand Frédéric, ex-père au foyer, fait au printemps dernier sa demande de RSA, ses deux garçons sont pris en compte comme étant à sa charge. Il reçoit un premier versement qui s’élève à 1 007,53 euros. Mais, dès le mois suivant, le montant de son allocation est divisé par deux.

    Commence alors pour lui une bataille afin de comprendre le sens de cette baisse. Selon la CAF, l’affaire est simple. En juillet, en remplissant un formulaire avec son ancienne compagne, Frédéric a renoncé aux prestations non divisibles octroyées par la CAF – toutes sauf les allocations familiales. En le faisant, estime l’organisme, il a accepté de ne plus rien recevoir au titre de parent d’enfants à charge, y compris le complément de son RSA. « C’est parce que vous avez souhaité que l’autre parent puisse bénéficier des autres prestations en faveur des enfants que vous ne pouvez prétendre à l’étude d’autres droits en faveur des enfants (c’est la raison pour laquelle votre revenu de solidarité active est calculé sur la base d’une seule personne) », lui ­explique la directrice de la CAF dans un courrier, le 16 septembre.

    « Tous les gens que j’ai consultés partagent mon point de vue »
    Frédéric conteste cette vision des choses. Sur le site officiel de l’administration service-public.fr, il est bien précisé dans un encadré que « selon le juge administratif, l’enfant en garde alternée est à la charge des deux parents. En conséquence, s’ils peuvent prétendre au RSA, chaque parent peut percevoir la moitié de la majoration pour enfant à charge ». Lecture confirmée par le Conseil d’État, la plus haute juridiction en matière administrative, dans un jugement rendu le 21 juillet 2017. De plus, ajoute Frédéric, la majoration au titre d’enfants à charge est financée par le conseil départemental, et ne peut donc être traitée comme une prestation de la CAF. Une analyse confirmée par la responsable technique du RSA au département. Sans effet. « Tous les gens que j’ai consultés partagent mon point de vue », assure Frédéric, ulcéré.

    #CAF #RSA #jurisprudence (pas appliquée) #gardes_alternées #AAH #parents_célibataires

  • Accord de Malte

    Nelle bozze dell’accordo di Malta si chiede a chi fa soccorso in mare di «conformarsi alle istruzioni dei competenti Centri di Coordinamento del Soccorso», e di «non ostruire» le operazioni della «Guardia costiera libica».

    Primo: la formula vi suona già sentita?

    Già, quando l’anno scorso il governo italiano negoziò fino a tarda notte al Consiglio europeo di giugno, le conclusioni contenevano queste parole:

    «Le imbarcazioni (...) non devono ostruire le operazioni della Guardia costiera libica».

    Nella bozza dell’accordo di Malta si va persino oltre, perché alle imbarcazioni di ricerca e soccorso si chiedono due cose:

    (1) non ostruite la Guardia costiera libica;
    (2) conformatevi alle richieste dello RCC competente.

    Quanto all’ostruzione delle operazioni della Guardia costiera libica, non si ricorda un caso recente.

    Al contrario, è generalmente la Guardia costiera libica a usare comportamenti aggressivi.
    @VITAnonprofit metteva in fila un po’ di fatti nel 2017.

    http://www.vita.it/it/article/2017/11/08/mediterraneo-tutti-gli-attacchi-della-guardia-costiera-libica-alle-ong/145042

    Ovviamente, non è che la Guardia costiera libica sia sempre aggressiva. C’è chi fa il suo lavoro in maniera professionale, chi no.

    Il punto è un altro: spesso non sappiamo chi operi dove. Come spiega @lmisculin, la Guardia costiera libica non esiste: https://www.ilpost.it/2017/08/26/guardia-costiera-libica

    Passando al «conformarsi alle istruzioni dei competenti Centri di Coordinamento del Soccorso», il discorso diventa ancora più spinoso.

    Si arriva rapidamente a un paradosso clamoroso, consentito da un diritto internazionale che ha più buchi di un groviera.

    Questo: la Libia è l’unico paese al mondo ad avere costituito un proprio Centro di Coordinamento del Soccorso (a giugno 2018) e, allo stesso tempo, a non essere considerato da @Refugees
    un «luogo sicuro» per lo sbarco delle persone soccorse.

    Pensateci un attimo: se soccorro qualcuno in quel tratto di mare amplissimo che è la zona #SAR libica, il diritto internazionale mi obbliga a contattare lo RCC libico.

    Ma lo stesso diritto internazionale obbliga lo #RCC libico a NON INDICARE SÉ STESSO come luogo di sbarco!

    Cosa succede di solito, invece? Prendiamo #OceanViking.

    Il 17 settembre dopo un salvataggio, manda un’email allo RCC libico chiedendo un «luogo sicuro» di sbarco.

    Dopo diverse ore, dalla Libia rispondono: perfetto, venite da noi, ad al Khums.

    Sarebbe un respingimento.

    Non è un evento raro, anzi, accade costantemente: se e quando lo RCC libico risponde, indica un suo porto come «luogo sicuro».

    Da #OceanViking rispondono che non si può fare. Certo che no: sbarcare le persone in Libia sarebbe un respingimento.

    Notate l’estrema pazienza.

    In questa situazione di estrema incertezza, chiedere a chi effettua soccorsi nel tratto di mare in cui il coordinamento del soccorso è tecnicamente di competenza libica di «conformarsi» senza condizioni alle richieste di Tripoli rischia di legittimare i respingimenti.

    CONCLUSIONE /1.

    «Non ostruire» le operazioni della «Guardia costiera libica» è una richiesta corretta solo se molto qualificata.

    Dipende da molte condizioni, prima tra tutte di quale Guardia costiera libica stiamo parlando, e da come si stia comportando.

    CONCLUSIONE /2.

    Con il suo linguaggio tranchant, la bozza di Malta chiede a chi effettua un soccorso in zona SAR libica di «conformarsi» alle richieste libiche.

    Senza specificare altro, gli Stati europei stanno implicitamente chiedendo alle Ong di effettuare respingimenti.

    source : https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1177518357773307904?s=19
    #Matteo_Villa
    #accord_de_Malte #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Méditerranée #gardes_côtes_libyens #Méditerranée #port_sûr #pays_sûr #mer_Méditerranée

    ping @isskein

  • Assistantes maternelles, crèche, à domicile… Des modes de garde inégaux pour les moins de 3 ans

    Près d’un quart des parents n’ont pas accès à la solution qu’ils souhaitent pour faire garder leur enfant. 230 000 places supplémentaires seraient nécessaires dans les cinq ans à venir.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2019/09/09/assistantes-maternelles-creche-a-domicile-des-modes-de-garde-inegaux-pour-le
    #inégalités #gardes_d'enfants #crèches #France #inégalités_territoriales #cartographie #visualisation #enfants #enfance

  • « Gilets jaunes » : 800  peines de prison ferme prononcées depuis le 17 novembre
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/04/03/01016-20190403ARTFIG00124-gilets-jaunes-800peines-de-prison-ferme-prononcee

    Selon les chiffres très officiels de la Chancellerie, les autorités policières ont procédé, depuis le 17 novembre dernier, à 8645 gardes à vue. Elles ont notamment donné lieu à 1665 comparutions immédiates. Ces dernières ne se sont pas toutes traduites par des peines d’incarcération. Seules 800 condamnations à de la prison ferme ont été prononcées sur toute la période. Les politiques de la majorité n’ont pas manqué de jouer sur les mots en affirmant, sans ciller, que 40% des comparutions immédiates ont donné lieu à des peines de prison ferme. Certes, mais cela ne signifie pas effectuées. Car, compte tenu des quantums de peines infligées, beaucoup ont fait l’objet d’aménagement ab initio, indépendamment du prononcé lui-même lors des audiences de jugement.

    En réalité, il y a seulement eu 388 mandats de dépôt - qui certifient en quelque sorte le passage par la case prison (...).

    #gilets_jaunes #répression #prison

  • LE #MANIFESTE ACADÉMIQUE POUR LA GRÈVE FÉMINISTE DU 14 JUIN 2019 EN SUISSE

    Nous sommes des #scientifiques de différentes disciplines et nous allons nous mettre en grève le 14 juin 2019. Les femmes* sont systématiquement et massivement sous-représentées au sein des universités et des hautes écoles spécialisées suisses. Cet état de fait a des conséquences fondamentales sur les processus de production et de transmission du savoir. Nous portons les revendications suivantes en lien avec notre environnement de travail :

    – Jusqu’à ce que 50 pourcent des postes professoraux soient occupés par des femmes* dans toutes les disciplines, chaque université et haute école suisse doit pourvoir les #postes_professoraux nouvellement mis au concours par des femmes* à hauteur de 50 pourcent. Les femmes* ne doivent pas être renvoyées à des emplois moins bien dotés. Le même principe vaut pour tous les organes directeurs et postes académiques des hautes écoles et des universités.
    – Nous exigeons un #salaire égal pour un travail égal, sans distinction de genre. Pour cela les classifications salariales individuelles et les #barèmes_salariaux doivent être rendus transparents.
    – Chaque poste professoral doit permettre le job sharing. Toutefois, le #job_sharing n’équivaut pas à fournir la même quantité de travail pour la moitié du salaire. Seule une réelle réduction de la charge de travail permet une meilleure compatibilité des activités professionnelles et extra-professionnelles.
    – Au minimum 50% des postes faisant suite au doctorat et financés par les universités doivent être de durée indéterminée.
    – L’#enseignement et la #recherche doivent être rémunérés à leur juste valeur. Le fait que les privat-docents doivent enseigner gratuitement afin de ne pas perdre leur titre doit être immédiatement aboli. Les titulaires de contrats d’enseignement et de mandats ne doivent pas avoir à attendre la fin du semestre pour recevoir leur rémunération.
    – La #parité de genre est requise au sein de chaque commission de recrutement, de chaque jury et de chaque organe décisionnel du Fonds national suisse #FNS de la recherche scientifique, ce pour chaque discipline.
    – Afin de garantir des procédures de recrutement équitables et une gestion du personnel sensible aux dimensions de genre, nous exigeons des #formations_continues obligatoires pour les personnes siégeant dans des commissions de recrutement ou qui occupent des fonctions de cadres.
    – L’enseignement de même que les procédures administratives au sein des universités et hautes écoles suisses doivent être attentives aux questions de genre. Nous exigeons pour cela des mesures de #sensibilisations adaptées aux fonctions de chaque groupe professionnel concerné au sein des hautes écoles et des universités suisses. L’enseignement doit sensibiliser à un usage de la langue prenant en compte les questions de genre.
    – Nous appelons à des mesures globales pour une meilleure compatibilité des activités professionnelles et extra-professionnelles.
    – La #mobilité (notamment pour les mesures d’encouragement) doit être promue, mais ne doit pas constituer un impératif.
    – Les #obligations_professionnelles régulières, telles que les réunions ou les séances administratives liées à l’institution doivent avoir lieu durant la semaine et se terminer à 17 heures.
    – La #vie_familiale doit être rendue possible dans les universités et les hautes écoles et les familles doivent être soutenues. Nous exigeons l’introduction et le développement du #congé_parental, afin qu’un partage équitable des #gardes_d’enfants et des tâches éducatives soit réellement possible.
    – La couverture légale et financière du congé parental doit également être assurée dans le cadre des projets financés par des fonds tiers. Le congé parental ne peut être déduit de la période de recherche définie pour le projet au détriment des chercheuses et chercheurs.
    – Les infrastructures pour la garde d’enfants au sein des hautes écoles et des universités doivent être renforcées. Un nombre suffisant de places de #crèche à des prix abordables doit être garanti, de même qu’une offre suffisante d’espaces parents-enfants.
    – Nous exigeons que les acquis pour lesquels le mouvement féministe s’est battu - comme la mise en place d’études genre dans les universités ainsi qu’au sein de différentes disciplines - soient étendus et non pas démantelés.
    – Nous exigeons davantage de moyens pour la prévention et la répression du #harcèlement_sexuel au sein des institutions universitaires.
    – L’instrument d’encouragement qui soutenait spécifiquement les femmes* en lien avec leur situation familiale aux niveaux doctoral et post-doctoral (Marie Heim-Vögtlin) a été aboli par le FNS au profit d’un format se réduisant à l’#excellence à partir du niveau post-doctoral. Nous appelons à la création de nouveaux instruments d’encouragement et au renforcement des instruments existants, afin que les jeunes chercheuses et chercheurs indépendamment de leur situation familiale ou de leur genre et des réseaux professionnels liés au genre, bénéficient des mêmes perspectives professionnelles.
    – Les #coming_out forcés, les imputations erronées de genre et les assignations de genre superflues doivent être combattues au sein des hautes écoles et des universités. Nous exigeons des adaptations administratives et institutionnelles pour les personnes non-binaires, trans et inter ; par ex. adaptations simplifiées ou suppression de l’indication de genre et toilettes non-genrées. Nous exigeons des formations à destination du personnel ainsi que des services compétents sur ces questions dans toute université et haute école.
    – Les #discriminations liées au genre et à l’#identité_de_genre sont étroitement liées à d’autres types de discriminations telles que celles fondées sur la racialisation, la religion, les origines sociales ou géographiques, l’orientation sexuelle, l’âge ou le handicap. Nous demandons à ce que les discriminations liées au genre au sein des établissements de recherche soient combattues dans une perspective multidimensionnelle et intersectionnelle.
    – Enfin, nous exigeons des mécanismes et des mesures de contrôle réels et contraignants pour mettre en œuvre l’#égalité des genres.

    Nous nous solidarisons avec le personnel non-académique des hautes écoles et des universités qui s’engage pour des conditions de travail meilleures et égalitaires, ainsi qu’avec les étudiant-e-s en grève. Nous soutenons par ailleurs toutes les autres revendications émises dans le cadre de la grève des femmes*.

    https://www.feminist-academic-manifesto.org
    #grève #grève_féministe #Suisse #14_juin_2019 #université #femmes #féminisme #lutte #résistance #genre #rémunération #travail #salaire

    • La grève des femmes, Suisse repetita

      Il y a vingt-huit ans, le 14 juin 1991, en Suisse, plus de 500000 femmes descendaient dans la rue pour réclamer l’application de l’article constitutionnel sur l’égalité entre hommes et femmes. Au bureau, à l’usine, à la maison, à l’école, elles décident de pas travailler pendant une journée, pour montrer que sans leur travail, la société ne peut continuer à fonctionner… Vingt-huit ans plus tard, l’égalité n’ayant toujours pas été obtenue, de très nombreuses femmes préparent une nouvelle journée de grève qui aura lieu le 14 juin prochain. Au pays de la « paix du travail », c’est un événement absolument exceptionnel, pour lequel se mobilisent particulièrement les jeunes générations de femmes.

      Victoire Tuaillon du podcast Les Couilles Sur La Table, et Emilie Gasc, journaliste à la Radio Télévision Suisse, ont interrogé ces femmes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui qui incarnent ce combat. Un documentaire en trois épisodes, à retrouver à partir du 11 juin dans Programme B pour Binge Audio, et sur Play RTS, Apple Podcasts et Spotify pour la RTS.

      https://www.binge.audio/la-greve-des-femmes-suisse-repetita

  • "La justice des « gilets jaunes » en chiffres" [encore un titre délirant où on écrit "des gilets" au lieu de "contre les gilets"]
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2019/03/21/01016-20190321ARTFIG00061-la-justice-des-gilets-jaunes-en-chiffres.php

    Les mandats de dépôt représentent près d’un quart des comparutions immédiates et 5% des gardes à vue.

    Comment la justice traite-t-elle les dérives violentes de certains « #gilets_jaunes » ? Nous dévoilons les chiffres de la Chancellerie :
    Depuis le 17 novembre dernier, les autorités policières ont procédé à 8645 #gardes_à_vues. Certes, toutes ne se sont pas traduites par des #comparutions_immédiates. Ces dernières se sont élevées, sur la France entière, à 1665. Elles ont débouché sur 388 mandats de dépôt exactement, c’est-à-dire à de l’emprisonnement immédiat après l’annonce du jugement. Cela représente très exactement 23,3% des condamnations, soit près d’un quart.

    En tout, 1800 affaires sont en attente de jugement. Un chiffre en constante évolution qui grossit samedi après samedi, au fil des exactions. Au nombre de ces dernières, les convocations ultérieures devant les chambres correctionnelles, au nombre de 1655, certains auteurs présumés étant sous #contrôle_judiciaire.

    Actuellement, on compte 111 informations judiciaires - des affaires dont la complexité exige l’enquête longue de juges d’#instruction -. C’est notamment le cas pour le saccage de l’Arc de Triomphe et les destructions du week-end dernier qui ont donné lieu à plusieurs interpellations. Mais l’on ignore le nombre de #détentions_provisoires.
    Sur ces près de 9000 gardes à vues, il faut retrancher le cas particulier des mineurs : pas moins de 349 d’entre eux ont été présentés à un juge pour enfants.

    Par ailleurs, la justice a classé sans suite, souvent faute de preuves suffisantes, 1725 dossiers. Elle a déjà infligé 1796 mesures alternatives aux poursuites, soit près de 20% des gardes à vues, et a déclenché 518 comparutions sur reconnaissance préalable de culpabilité, qui n’ont pas vocation à déboucher sur des incarcérations.

    On notera l’us et l’abus des "mesures alternatives aux poursuites soit des #rappel_à_la_loi, une reconnaissance de culpabilité extorquée sous la menace de procès voire d’emprisonnement (élision radicale du "contradictoire", supposé régir le droit)..

    #justice #prison #répression

    • Vol au Fouquet’s : les deux Gilets Jaunes tourangeaux en comparution immédiate samedi Info Tours.fr l’actualité de Info Tours.fr
      http://www.info-tours.fr/articles/tours/2019/03/23/10738/vol-au-fouquet-s-les-deux-gilets-jaunes-tourangeaux-en-comparution-immedi

      Après leur arrestation jeudi.

      Une semaine après les dégradations du célèbre restaurant parisien le Fouquet’s sur les Champs-Elysées, deux personnes se retrouvent devant la #justice ce samedi 23 mars : un couple de Gilets Jaunes tourangeau (Ambre et Franck). Ils sont accusés d’avoir volé des éléments de l’établissement. Arrêtés jeudi matin à leur domicile, ils ont été identifiés par la gendarmerie suite à la publication de photos sur #Facebook, la jeune femme posant avec un tabouret ramené de Paris après l’Acte XVIII du mouvement. Des proches avaient pourtant conseillé de retirer rapidement les clichés.

      Prévenus par la gendarmerie, les policiers parisiens sont venus interpeller la jeune femme avec son compagnon jeudi matin dès 8h aux portes de l’agglomération tourangelle, avant de ramener les deux jeunes gens dans la capitale pour des interrogatoires dans les locaux du commissariat du Ier arrondissement.

      La garde à vue a été prolongée pour la journée de vendredi, et on apprend ce samedi que les deux militants très impliqués depuis le 17 novembre (où on les décrit comme pacifistes et modérateurs) sont convoqués devant le tribunal dès ce week-end. Ils devront s’expliquer sur la présence du tabouret mais aussi de couverts à leur domicile. Selon leurs proches, ils n’auraient pas participé aux violences et ne se seraient pas non plus rendus coupables de vol, ils pourraient même avoir reçu un accord tacite d’un membre du personnel du Fouquet’s pour emporter les objets.

      Depuis la révélation de l’arrestation, de nombreux messages de soutien ont été publiés sur les réseaux sociaux. Notons que le couple a la possibilité de demander un délai pour affiner sa défense.

      On rappellera également que la jeune femme a été placée en garde à vue 10h mercredi pour une action [tentative de blocage du centre de stockage pétrolier de La Sotrapid] à La-Ville-aux-Dames, une interpellation qui avait déjà entraîné bon nombre de commentaires hostiles aux forces de l’ordre. Néanmoins, les deux affaires n’auraient pas de lien entre elles.

      #gilets-jaunes

    • « Gilets jaunes » : près de 2 000 condamnations depuis le début des manifestations
      Environ 40 % des jugements ont abouti à une peine de prison ferme
      https://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2019/03/24/2-000-condamnations-en-justice-depuis-le-debut-du-mouvement-des-gilets-jaune

      (...) la garde des sceaux a précisé que « 390 mandats de dépôt [avaient été] prononcés », représentant le nombre de personnes à être effectivement allées en prison, soit dans le cadre d’une condamnation, soit dans le cadre d’une détention provisoire dans l’attente d’un procès.
      Lors d’une condamnation à de la prison ferme sans mandat de dépôt, la personne concernée est laissée libre avant d’être convoquée à une rencontre avec le juge des libertés et de la détention, qui est chargé d’examiner les modalités de la peine et de possibles aménagements (placement sous bracelet électronique par exemple).

      1 800 personnes en attente d’être jugées

      Les quantums de peine prononcés sont très variés et s’étalent entre un mois et trois ans de prison, parfois avec une partie assortie d’une mise à l’épreuve, selon les données de la chancellerie :
      « Il peut par ailleurs être observé que la peine d’#interdiction_de_séjour, notamment à Paris, est fréquemment prononcée à titre complémentaire, notamment dans le cadre des comparutions immédiates. »
      « Près de 1 800 » personnes interpellées lors des manifestations, qui se tiennent tous les samedis depuis plus de quatre mois en France, doivent encore être jugées, selon la ministre, (...)

      #incarcération #détenus #interdits_de_séjour

  • Gilets jaunes : samedi à Paris, la police avait une arme secrète [du #liquide_incapacitant ? parole de flic et de journaliste, mais qui sait, ndc]
    https://www.marianne.net/societe/gilets-jaunes-paris-police-arme-secrete

    Selon nos informations, certains des blindés de la #gendarmerie disposés pour la première fois dans Paris ce samedi 8 décembre étaient secrètement équipés d’une réserve de liquide incapacitant. Un dispositif radical qui ne devait servir qu’en dernier recours.
    C’est dire si le pouvoir a eu peur. Samedi 8 décembre, certains des blindés de la gendarmerie disposés pour la première fois dans Paris étaient secrètement équipés d’un dispositif radical, qui n’aurait été utilisé « qu’en dernier recours » : une réserve de liquide incapacitant. Selon nos sources, la pulvérisation de ce liquide sur une foule de gilets jaunes aurait été capable de « les arrêter net, mettant les gens à terre, même avec des masques ». Chaque engin aurait pu « neutraliser » une surface de plusieurs terrains de football… « Heureusement, que l’on n’en est pas arrivé là », ajoute cette source haut placée dans le dispositif policier. « L’autorité politique », comme le disent les fonctionnaires, aurait approuvé l’éventuel emploi d’un tel produit, qui n’aurait été utilisé qu’en cas de « débordement ultime ». Une sorte de « dernier rempart », utilisable sur décision politique… Interrogée, la préfecture de police de Paris renvoie au #ministère_de_l'Intérieur.

    C’est le premier enseignement de la journée du 8 décembre : le préfet de police de Paris a perdu son leadership sur le maintien de l’ordre dans la capitale. La semaine dernière, le ministère de l’Intérieur, sous la double commande de Christophe Castaner et Laurent Nuñez, a pris les choses en main, largement épaulé en ce sens par les #syndicats_policiers. Cette mainmise du ministère de l’Intérieur ne s’est pas faite sans friction avec la préfecture de police de Paris, où le #préfet #Michel_Delpuech a grincé à plusieurs reprises devant la mise en place d’un dispositif mobile et décentralisé, contraire aux pratiques antérieures. Selon nos informations, le préfet a d’ailleurs réclamé en fin de semaine dernière « des instructions écrites », ce qui, en mœurs préfectoraux, consiste à « se couvrir » à l’approche d’une situation controversée. « D’un point de vue policier, le #maintien_de_l’ordre de samedi à Paris a finalement été un succès, ces frictions ne sont plus d’actualité », sourit une source à la préfecture de police. Bilan en six points.

    1 - Un nettoyage sans précédent. De mémoire de policier, aucune #manifestation parisienne contemporaine n’avait mobilisé autant de préparatifs en amont. Quasiment toute la rive droite avait tiré les stores, barricadé ses vitrines et rangé ses voitures. Le mobilier urbain avait été démonté et la plupart des chantiers de voirie vidés sur un large périmètre, pas seulement autour de la place de l’Etoile. Lors de la première manifestation sur les Champs-Elysées, celle du 24 novembre, un seul chantier sur l’avenue avait servi de combustible aux barricades. Lors de la deuxième manifestation, ce sont tous les chantiers autour de l’Etoile qui ont joué le même rôle… Samedi 8 décembre, pour ne pas fournir « armes et combustibles aux manifestants », la majeure partie de la rive droite ressemblait à une ville morte.

    2 - Des mesures d’exception aux abords. Autre initiative policière restée cachée jusqu’à samedi matin, les #fouilles_préventives. Vendredi, les #procureurs compétents, notamment aux péages de la région parisienne, avaient pris des réquisitions judiciaires autorisant les contrôles d’identité, invoquant les risques d’infractions liées à la manifestation sur Paris. Ces contrôles ont permis de saisir des objets potentiellement dangereux comme des boules de pétanque, des manches de pioche, ou d’autres signant la participation à un rassemblement, comme des masques de plongée. Résultat, samedi, Paris a battu son record de #gardes_à_vue. Le dispositif initial permettant d’en absorber 800 a même été dépassé. Il y en a finalement eu 974 en région parisienne. Mais « seulement » 278 ont donné lieu à un déferrement judiciaire. Dans la majorité des cas, les gardes à vue étaient levées ou se soldaient par un « #rappel_à_la_loi ». Autrement dit une admonestation [non, le rappel à la loi est la reconnaissance d’une infraction suite à laquelle les dispositions prévues pour la récidive légale sont applicables : aggravation de la peine encourue, ndc] , la simple possession d’un masque de plongée ou d’une bombe à peinture ne pouvant pas, en tant que tel, constituer un délit.

    Les interpellations de Julien Coupat, figure de l’ultragauche, ainsi que d’autres activistes d’extrême droite, dès samedi matin, participent du même « dispositif préventif » inédit et controversé. Henri Leclerc, ancien président de la Lige des droits de l’Homme, dénonce un potentiel usage « liberticide très grave ». En clair, une sorte d ’interdiction de manifester qui ne dirait pas son nom .

    « On assume, confie une source policière. Au moins, ces gens n’étaient pas dehors. Cela a fait dégonfler les effectifs de durs potentiels ». Autre dispositif en amont, la plupart des gilets jaunes, avant de rejoindre les principaux « spots » de manifestation (Champs-Elysées, Bastille, République), étaient systématiquement fouillés. La plupart y perdaient leurs masques de protection contre les lacrymogènes. Pour parvenir jusqu’au Champs-Elysées, avec toutes les stations de métro bloquées et les barrages de policiers disposés à certains endroits autour du périmètre interdit, la plupart des gilets jaunes ont dû marcher plusieurs heures… Résultat, une grosse partie des manifestants errait d’un point à un autre, sans parvenir à rejoindre aucun « point chaud ». De fait, durant la quasi-totalité de la journée, le rapport de force sur les lieux de friction est toujours resté à l’avantage des policiers [ en jouant sur la #mobilité et une certaine rapidité "on a évite la formation de #nébuleuses" disait un type du syndicat des commissaires, ndc] .

    3 - Un dispositif mobile et décentralisé. C’est la grande nouveauté de cette journée. Les policiers et gendarmes sur Paris étaient « mobiles » et leur commandement largement décentralisé, par secteur . « Bien sûr, il y avait toujours autant de galonnés autour du préfet, dans la salle de commandement de la préfecture de police, se désole un fonctionnaire, mais pour la première fois, c’est vraiment le commissaire de terrain qui menait sa troupe en fonction de ce qu’il voyait sur place » . Avec une efficacité spectaculaire, à l’œuvre sur les Grands Boulevards, où, avançant au milieu de deux canons à eau, des policiers et gendarmes « nettoyaient » au fur et à mesure les feux de poubelles moins de cinq minutes après leur déclenchement. « Comme à l’entraînement ! On avançait vite, sans leur laisser le temps de former une véritable barricade devenant vite un point de fixation », raconte un fonctionnaire. Ce dispositif a permis d’éviter la confrontation générale du 1er décembre, avec une place de l’Etoile occupée par les gilets jaunes et des forces de l’ordre assiégées des heures durant, en direct sous les yeux des caméras du monde entier. « Samedi, dans l’après-midi, il y a eu des moments de grande tension , notamment autour de l’Etoile, mais ils se sont moins vus », admet cette source.

    Jusque-là, le maintien de l’ordre parisien « habituel » privilégiait l’absence de contact avec la foule [ heu oui, toujours très variable ce principe, ndc] . « Pour ce genre de manifestation, la mobilité était souhaitable depuis longtemps, il y aura un avant et un après samedi 8 décembre », se réjouit un commissaire parisien, saluant pour sa part l’efficacité du dernier dispositif. « On nous rétorque depuis des années que le contact risque d’augmenter le nombre de blessés, cela n’a pas été le cas », ajoute-t-il. Le bilan de samedi est de 264 blessés dont 39 fonctionnaires. Un manifestant a eu une main arrachée à cause d’une grenade, une femme a perdu un œil sur les Champs-Elysées, vraisemblablement à cause d’un tir de flash-ball. Dès vendredi, après des premiers incidents liés à des #flash-ball lors de manifestations lycéennes, 200 personnalités, dont plusieurs députés de gauche, ont appelé à cesser immédiatement l’usage de ces armes.

    4 - Une mobilisation en hausse. Autre constat, malgré les appels incitant à ne pas manifester à Paris, la mobilisation des gilets jaunes a grossi d’une semaine sur l’autre. Le message envoyé par l’Elysée, selon lequel certains « venaient pour tuer » [ et que on va légitimement se défendre avec nos joujoux ; menaces de mort contre les manifestants, ndc] , n’est pas parvenu à inverser la tendance. Aucune arme n’a pourtant été saisie lors des contrôles de police. « La dramatisation n’a pas empêché le monde, de l’ordre de 10.000 personnes » [ quelle rigolade, encore une fois : qui informe les journalistes ? ndc] , admet un fonctionnaire. Ce 8 décembre, les #gilets_jaunes étaient visibles par grappes de Bastille à l’Etoile en passant par République et les grands Boulevards, quand le week-end précédent, ils n’étaient concentrés que sur l’Etoile. « Raison de plus pour se féliciter de notre dispositif », glisse un syndicaliste qui espère, sans trop y croire, « que la tension va désormais retomber ». « Si ce samedi, on avait fait comme le week-end d’avant, on aurait eu une nouvelle journée de chaos, dit-il. Mais je ne sais pas combien de samedis consécutifs on tient encore comme cela ». Face aux 136.000 gilets jaunes recensés dans toute la France, ce 8 décembre, le ministère de l’Intérieur avait déployé 89.000 policiers. Sans parler des effectifs d’agents municipaux pour ranger et réinstaller le mobilier urbain, et des efforts des commerçants pour barricader et débarricader leurs vitrines.

    5 - Un déséquilibre Paris-Province. Autre constat, la province trinque. Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Bordeaux notamment ont été le théâtre d’affrontements d’une rare violence. « Sur 150 unités, 50 étaient à Paris et cent en province », indique une source au ministère de l’Intérieur. Un tiers, deux tiers… Officiellement, pas question d’avouer que certaines zones avaient été dégarnies faute de troupes. Ce lundi matin, en déplacement à Bordeaux, Laurent Nuñez a estimé que les effectifs (4 unités) y avaient été suffisants. Une affirmation qui fait sourire certains syndicalistes. « Le ministre ne peut pas le dire, mais certains secteurs étaient très dégarnis. Samedi, on était à notre maximum. On ne peut pas plus… Au delà, c’est l’armée qu’il faut appeler », dit un policier. C’est d’ailleurs le paradoxe de ce mouvement. Etant durable, disséminé sur tout le territoire et violent, il met les forces de l’ordre au bord de la rupture. Samedi prochain, en cas d’acte V, Paris sera-t-il délaissé de certaines unités au profit de villes de province ? La décision politique, au ministère de l’Intérieur, ne sera pas facile à prendre.

    6 - Des pillages du soir en hausse. Le dernier constat concerne ce que certains policiers appellent la troisième mi-temps des manifestations de gilets jaunes : les #pillages. Samedi soir à Paris, ils ont été « deux fois plus nombreux encore que ceux du 1er décembre », selon un policier de terrain. « Ce sont des petits groupes, pour la plupart de #jeunes_de_banlieue, qui attendent la fin de la journée et la tombée de la nuit pour cibler des boutiques et se servir », se désole-t-il. De fait, les 90 mineurs arrêtés samedi à Paris l’ont tous été en flagrant délit de pillage, ainsi que bon nombre de « jeunes majeurs ». « Un gérant de bijouterie a tiré au flash-ball… Si ces pillages continuent, cela peut dégénérer », prévient ce policier, qui craint un « sérieux risque de bavure » de ce coté-là. « De toute façon, maintenant, on marche sur le bord d’un volcan », conclut-il. Jusqu’à quand ?

    Le message émis le 1er décembre à Paris, au Puy en Velay et ailleurs a été entendu et repris le 8 décembre dans de nombreuses grandes villes et villes moyennes. Ce que l’action de la police a parfois favorisé, comme dans le cas de ces bordelais qui avaient payé leur billet de train mais ont été empêchés de « monter à Paris » par la police.

    Avec sa tête de bon élève ce soir (la pitoyable scène de contrition est la seule que j’ai vue), et sa fausse hausse du SMIC, nul doute que nombreux seront ceux pour qui Jupiter fait à minima office de tête à claque.

    • Je vous rappelle qu’en Allemagne aussi la transformation de la Bundeswehr dans une armée de guerre civile est en cours. Le journal très conservateur Tagesspiegel y dédie un dossier entier sous son propre domaine internet.

      Afghanistan-Connection
      http://www.afghanistan-connection.de

      Sie waren zusammen im Afghanistan-Einsatz. Dem längsten und gefährlichsten seit Gründung der Bundeswehr.
      Jetzt sitzen sie auf entscheidenden Posten im Verteidigungsministerium, im Einsatzführungskommando, im Planungsamt.
      Ihr Wort hat Gewicht. Sie prägen das Bild, das sich die Ministerin macht.
      Sie bestimmen Ausrichtung, Struktur und Selbstverständnis der Truppe. Ihr Blick ist geprägt vom Erlebnis des Krieges.
      Vom Kampf gegen einen unsichtbaren Gegner. Vom Töten und Getötetwerden.
      Ein einseitiger Blick, der sich ausschließlich an Afghanistan orientiert. Mit gravierenden Folgen für die Sicherheit Deutschlands,
      wie Recherchen vom Tagesspiegel und dem ARD-Magazin FAKT zeigen.

      #Allemagne #armée #guerre_civile

    • Les précisions de la gendarmerie - Le 11.12.2018 à 17h30

      A la suite de la parution de notre article, la gendarmerie nationale a souhaité préciser que le dispositif dont nous vous rapportons l’existence n’est pas un liquide mais une « poudre »… Certains blindés déployés à Paris samedi étaient bien équipés d’un dispositif de « pulvérisation » d’un produit « incapacitant », de type « lacrymogène à dose forte », qui n’aurait été utilisé que sur « ordre d’une autorité ». Chacun des blindés équipés de ce dispositif de pulvérisation (visible en haut à droite face à l’engin) contient trois bouteilles de plongée dont deux sont chargées de la fameuse poudre sous pression. « Cela n’a jamais été utilisé en métropole », confie à Marianne le Sirpa gendarmerie, qui reconnaît qu’en « configuration normale », un blindé peut « pulvériser » sous forme d’épandage sur l’équivalent d’une surface de « un à deux terrains de football ». Marianne maintient que lors des réunions de crise au plus haut niveau, préparatoires à la manifestation du 8 décembre, il a bien été question de ce dispositif comme d’un « dernier rempart »… et qu’il aurait été capable « d’arrêter net une foule, mettant les gens à terre, même avec des masques ».

    • Capable de « neutraliser » une surface de plusieurs terrains de football…
      => Ce qui inclue les policiers en contact avec les manifestant.e.s. .
      Donc ne peut être utilisé facilement.

      – Réaction des policiers gazés envers leurs collègues et leur hiérarchie.

      – Si des policiers sont hors service, suite à l’utilisation de cette saloperie, les manifestants non touchés peuvent venir leur prendre leurs armes.

  • University lecturers must remain educators, not border guards

    The increasingly stringent control of student migration by the Home Office is damaging both the integrity of our relationships as teachers with students and the future of our universities. It was for this reason that 160 academics signed a letter published in The Guardian against the ways in which this crackdown corrodes relationships of trust that are essential to learning.

    https://theconversation.com/university-lecturers-must-remain-educators-not-border-guards-23948

    #home_office #frontières #frontières_mobiles #université #UK #Angleterre #gardes_frontières (#flexibilisation_introvertie, pour utiliser un concept de Paolo Cuttitta)

    Article de 2014, mais qui reste de très forte actualité !

    • UK academics oppose visa monitoring regime for foreign staff

      UK academics oppose visa monitoring regime for foreign staff
      UK university leaders are being urged to review their attitudes towards foreign staff and students, following fresh reports of visa holders being “unfairly monitored” and even threatened with home visits by nervous administrators.

      Institutions say that efforts to record the whereabouts of international employees and students on sponsored visas are necessary to comply with Home Office regulations, but union representatives argue that the requirements are being misinterpreted and create a “hostile environment” for foreign workers.
      One foreign academic employed by the University of Birmingham told Times Higher Education that they had become “confused and scared” after being told that they must report their attendance weekly or “risk deportation”.

      “I feel like I am not trusted, that I can’t do my job, that I’m assumed [to be] a criminal,” said the academic, who chose to remain anonymous. “Being constantly monitored in this way makes me feel like I don’t really want to be here…if I had an opportunity somewhere else I would consider leaving the UK.”

      A letter issued by Birmingham’s human resources department to international staff and seen by THE states that any individual who fails to report their attendance as well as any time spent off campus on a weekly basis will have their “name passed to the UK Border Agency”.

      Failure to comply may result in “disciplinary action and/or withdrawal of your certificate of sponsorship, and thereby your eligibility to remain in the UK”.

      Birmingham had to operate “within the requirements set out by the Home Office”, a university spokesman said. “Our priority is ensuring that we are supporting staff to remain in the UK.”

      Meanwhile, staff at the University of Sussex launched a petition last week calling on vice-chancellor Adam Tickell to “end the hostile environment” found towards “migrants, people of colour and Muslims” on campus, which they said had been made worse as a result of “immigration monitoring”.

      The Sussex branch of the University and College Union said that managers at the institution had chosen to interpret Home Office guidelines in a needlessly stringent manner. “Staff and students are made aware that if they are not able to attest to their whereabouts for 80 per cent of the semester, they risk having their [immigration] status withdrawn,” a spokesman said. “This is not necessary."

      Those on Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas were at one stage told to “expect home visits” if they chose to work out of the office, but the university has since admitted that this approach is “not feasible”, the UCU spokesman added.

      An email sent from one head of department on 10 April informs Sussex staff they must have “complete records of their movements at any given time” recorded via “electronic calendars, so if auditors turn up at any given time we can point to it”.

      “I found this procedure extraordinary,” said one academic, “and I am sure there would be revolt if this were imposed on everyone in the department.”

      A University of Sussex spokeswoman said that Professor Tickell was aware of the petition, and had “already clarified with members of our community why and how the university needs to comply with statutory regulations”.

      “Our policies and procedures are informed by UK and EU legislation, statutory regulations and duties and best practice,” she added.

      Separately, staff at UCL have written to the institution’s president, Michael Arthur, expressing “serious concerns” over rules that require staff to have “physical check-ins” with international students every three weeks in order to monitor visa compliance.

      The policy takes up staff time “in bureaucracy that is irrelevant”, “builds a culture of mistrust” and creates “added pressure...at a time when we have increasing evidence about risks to student wellbeing and mental health”, the letter says.

      A Home Office spokeswoman said it remained “the responsibility of individual sponsors to develop their own systems to ensure they meet their reporting responsibilities”.

      https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/uk-academics-oppose-visa-monitoring-regime-foreign-staff

  • Les véritables questions à se poser face à la mutilation de Maxime Collectif de soutien suite à l’opération du 22 Mai effectué par les forces de l’ordre sur la ZAD de Notre Dame des Landes, ayant causé la mutilation de notre ami.
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/collectif22mai/blog/250518/les-veritables-questions-se-poser-face-la-mutilation-de-maxime

    Cet article à pour but de mettre sous les projecteurs les véritables questions à se poser suite à ce qui est arrivé à Maxime et de répondre aux grands médias et leur acharnement médiatique.

    Tous les articles de presse sortis dans la hâte du sensationnel brodent autour d’un communiqué sans même plus d’informations, ou même d’accord auprès de la famille, constitués uniquement dans le but d’entacher la personne qui a été blessée et sa famille. Qu’il ait ou non ramassé la grenade n’est pas tant la question, celle que nous avons plutôt tendance à nous poser est la suivante : comment se fait-il que ce genre de grenade puisse faire tant de dégât ?

    Surtout après Sivens avec la mort de Rémi Fraisse ou à Bure avec la mutilation de Robin.

    Soulignons aussi dans les gros titres la redondance de l’identité du méchant zadiste, et donc du présumé coupable, bien plus encline à faire accepter les mutilations policières que lorsque qu’il s’agît d’un étudiant. A croire qu’un « zadiste » qui défend des terres et des constructions afin de bâtir un monde différent de celui qu’on nous propose mérite la répression qui accompagne son évacuation, la mutilation à Notre des Landes, à Bure, ou comme à Sivens la mort.

    Aux vues de la stratégie médiatique développée par l’état qui a été déployée dans nombre de cas de violences policières, la criminalisation des victimes et de leur famille au travers d’un processus de décrédibilisation et d’humiliation, ne nous étonne plus.

    #Zad #gardes_mobiles #maintien_de_l'ordre #armes_à_létalité_réduite #grenade_GLI_F4

  • [vidéo] Hommage à la ZAD
    http://www.lille43000.com/index.php/joomla-fr/en-santiags/889-hommage-a-la-zad

    « Ce qui se passe à Notre Dame des Landes illustre un conflit qui concerne le monde entier. Il met aux prises, d’une part, les puissances financières résolues à transformer en marchandise les ressources du vivant et de la nature et, d’autre part, la volonté de vivre qui anime des millions d’êtres dont l’existence est précarisée de plus en plus par le totalitarisme du profit. » Raoul Vaneigem. Durée : 18 min. Source : Lille 43000

  • Les safaris-chasse de Benjamin de Rothschild impliqués dans des abus contre les « Pygmées » - Survival International
    http://www.survivalfrance.org/actu/11491

    Survival International a découvert qu’une opération de #safaris de #chasse_à_l’éléphant, conjointement détenue par le milliardaire français Benjamin de #Rothschild, a été impliquée dans la #violation des droits de « #Pygmées » #baka locaux et de leurs voisins. Parmi ces violations figurent des #expulsions illégales et des #tortures.

    L’opération est basée au #Cameroun, dans deux « aires protégées » louées par Benjamin de Rothschild. Elle offre aux touristes la possibilité d’abattre, contre la somme de 55.000 euros, un éléphant de forêt.

    Afin de créer cette opération de #chasse aux #trophées, les Baka ont été expulsés de leur #territoire ancestral — ce qui est contraire au droit international. Des #soldats, #policiers et #gardes_armés patrouillent le territoire ; les Baka ont maintenant été informés que les patrouilleurs tireraient à vue si les Baka pénétraient sur le territoire pour chasser afin de nourrir leurs familles, ramasser des plantes ou se rendre sur des sites sacrés.

    ...

    Le Fonds mondial pour la nature (WWF) est très actif au Cameroun où les « aires protégées » permettant la chasse aux trophées font partie de l’un de ses « paysages écologiques » clefs. Le WWF doit encore commenter ces allégations ou annoncer s’il compte prendre des mesures.

    #monde_civilisé #terres #lamentable

  • Des migrants attaqués sous les yeux des secouristes au large de la Libye

    « Des hommes à bord d’un navire des gardes-côtes libyens », autrement dit des garde-côtes libyens, attaquent à coups de bâtons des migrants dans un canot en pleine nuit au large de la Libye, sous les yeux de secouristes allemands qui ne parviennent à sauver que 120 des quelque 150 personnes à bord.

    Commentaire de FRANCE 24 :

    « Ce nouvel incident illustre les défis auxquels fait face le projet européen de former et équiper les gardes-côtes libyens pour lutter contre le trafic qui a fait de cette partie de la Méditerranée l’une des frontières les plus mortelles au monde. »

    Défi. Projet européen. Lutter contre le trafic.

    http://www.france24.com/fr/20161021-migrants-attaques-sous-yeux-secouristes-large-libye?ns_campaign=r

    #migrants #réfugiés #Europe #Sophie #UE #gardes_côtes #Libye #trafic #Méditerranée #frontières

  • Comment l’Europe autorise ses garde-côtes à ouvrir le feu sur des bateaux de #réfugiés
    https://coutoentrelesdents.noblogs.org/post/2016/10/04/comment-leurope-autorise-ses-garde-cotes-a-ouvrir-le-feu

    Rien ne sera donc épargné aux réfugiés qui bravent la mer pour fuir les tragédies en cours en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. Pas même l’infamie. Dans les bras de mer qui séparent les îles grecques des côtes turques, les garde-côtes … Continue reading →

    #ACAB #ANTICAPITALISME #ANTIRACISME #armes_à_feu #balle #blessés #frontex #frontieres #gardes_côtes #immigrés #migrants #passeur #turquie

  • Border Patrol Accused of Profiling and Abuse

    TUCSON — The federal checkpoints on highways near the Mexican border, with trained dogs and expensive scanning equipment, are supposed to stop drugs and immigrants without legal status from heading north. But newly released complaints against United States Customs and Border Protection paint a disquieting portrait of the interactions between agents and many of those they stopped and searched.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/us/aclu-accuses-border-patrol-of-underreporting-civil-rights-complaints.html?_
    #frontières #violences #USA #Etats-Unis #profilage #profilage_racial #contrôles_frontaliers #gardes_frontière

  • Procès HSBC-Suisse : "Les Suisses font du mercenariat à grande échelle -« Hervé Falciani 5 janvier 2016

    L’ex-informaticien français de la banque HSBC Suisse, Hervé Falciani, à l’origine d’un des plus grands scandales fiscaux helvétiques, dénonce l’opacité du système bancaire mondialisé dans une interview au quotidien Sud Ouest à paraître mercredi.

    Hervé Falciani avait été condamné par contumace le 28 novembre 2015 à cinq ans de prison par la justice suisse pour "espionnage économique".

    Il s’agit d’ « une condamnation politique", déclare-t-il au quoditien régional en rappelant que l’espionnage économique "relève des délits politiques". "Je suis coupable car la Suisse défend le secret bancaire.

    Mais selon les intérêts de tout le reste de la communauté, ajoute-t-il, c’est la Suisse qui est coupable en protégeant ce genre d’activité  ».
     » Les Suisses ont développé à très grande échelle une activité de mercenariat"


    _ « On a fait, selon lui, la preuve de la dangerosité de ce secret tel qu’il est utilisé" et à cet égard HSBC représentera "un cas d’école » .

    L’ex-employé de HSBC affirme que la maison-mère de la banque « _ reconnaît qu’il y a eu de grosses et graves dérives en Suisse" sa filiale ayant dû acquitter 40 millions de francs suisses d’amende. "Cette affaire a montré (...) non seulement qu’une banque avait organisé un système massif de fraude fiscale mais aussi qu’il est permis de faire quelque chose contre ça » .

     « Pour survivre, les Suisses ont développé à très grande échelle une activité de mercenariat. Ce sont les fameux gardes suisses.

    Aujourd’hui, ce même principe est à l’oeuvre, mais au service des multinationales à travers la finance offshore (...) On pourrait dire la même chose du Luxembourg » , déclare Hervé Falciani.

    Il se dit « sceptique » sur l’idée d’une rémunération des indicateurs fiscaux que propose le projet de loi du ministre français des Finances, Michel Sapin : « Un indic transmet des informations. Mais les informations ne sont pas la vraie valeur. Elles ne sont que le symptôme de mécanismes qu’il faut décortiquer", estime-t-il. "Quelqu’un qui voit pourquoi ça ne marche pas, c’est beaucoup plus précieux » .

    Selon lui, « ce qui importe, ce n’est pas tant les informations que de savoir pourquoi ces informations continuent à nous échapper". "Pourquoi était-il impossible de sortir ces informations sans encourir des poursuites de la part de la justice suisse ? Pourquoi n’y a-t-il pas de statut de lanceur d’alerte » ?

    Aujourd’hui, l’homme à l’origine du scandale «  Swissleaks  » dit travailler «  pour une université en Argentine et avec des communes en Italie et Espagne, sur la mise en place de systèmes de paiement collaboratifs en euros « .
    Source : http://www.rtbf.be/info/economie/detail_proces-hsbc-suisse-herve-falciani-denonce-l-opacite-du-systeme-bancaire?

    #Mercenaire #guerre #hsbc #Hervé_Falciani #banques #finance #Swissleak #gardes_suisses

  • Dans le Val-d’Oise, récit d’une perquisition musclée
    http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2015/11/23/dans-le-val-d-oise-recit-d-une-perquisition-musclee_4815543_1653578.html
    Par Paul Barelli (Nice, correspondant), Richard Schittly (Lyon, correspondant) et Laurent Borredon

    Perquisitions au Pepper-Grill à Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, le 21 novembre. (...)
    A 20 h 31, un homme tente péniblement d’ouvrir la porte intérieure du sas d’entrée, (...) casque, gilet pare-balles, bouclier antiémeute. (...)

    Sous le regard ébahi des clients, des dizaines de policiers en tenue d’intervention déboulent dans la grande salle du restaurant. Une perquisition administrative commence...

    Les clients se figent. Les fonctionnaires ordonnent à la dizaine de salariés présents en salle de se rassembler autour d’une table libre. « Ordre du préfet ! », répondent-ils lorsqu’on les interroge.

    Braqué avec un fusil

    Puis les policiers tentent d’ouvrir les portes avec un bélier. Ils en défoncent une première. Elle donne sur les cuisines, par ailleurs accessibles par une porte battante : il suffisait de s’avancer de quelques mètres dans le couloir.

    Ils partent ensuite à l’#assaut d’une deuxième porte, celle-là bien fermée. Le propriétaire du restaurant leur propose de l’ouvrir avec sa clé. Pas de réponse, la porte est cassée. (...) Une dernière porte est attaquée. Un coup, deux coups, puis le policier qui tient le bélier se rend compte qu’il suffisait en fait de tourner la poignée. Derrière, une salle de douche.

    Le propriétaire, Ivan Agac, 28 ans, (...) découvre qu’« il existe des raisons sérieuses de penser que se trouvent des personnes, armes ou objets liés à des activités à caractère terroriste » dans le restaurant qu’il a lancé il y a deux ans. Il est estomaqué. Pendant la discussion, un policier en uniforme farfouille sans conviction dans les armoires, jetant les dossiers à terre sans même faire mine d’en examiner le contenu.

    Pas un seul contrôle d’identité

    « Vous avez de la chance, on n’a rien trouvé, vous n’allez pas partir en garde à vue », conclut l’officier. Puis la troupe s’en va. Il est 21 h 01. Les policiers n’ont découvert ni « armes » ni « objets liés à des activités à caractère terroriste ». Quant aux « personnes », en trente minutes de perquisition, ils n’ont pas procédé à un seul contrôle d’identité, ni d’employés, ni de clients, donc ils ne risquaient pas d’en trouver… (...)

    Pourquoi, alors ? Le maire PS, Alain Richard, ancien ministre de la défense de Lionel Jospin (1997-2002), ne souhaite pas commenter une perquisition « qui pourrait avoir des suites judiciaires ». Une source policière explique qu’une « #salle_de_prière_clandestine » était recherchée. Sauf qu’une salle de prière, il y en a bien une, mais elle n’est pas particulièrement clandestine, il s’agit d’une petite pièce indiquée par un pictogramme, située à côté du bureau de M. Agac, et destinée aux clients qui le souhaitent.

    « On ne fait pas mouche à tous les coups, loin de là. Le principe de ces perquisitions, c’est de taper large, justifie le préfet, Yannick Blanc. (...)

    « C’est de la communication »

    Dans la région lyonnaise, les responsables policiers évoquent ainsi un bilan des saisies « plutôt positif » : lance-roquettes, fusil d’assaut AK47, fusil-mitrailleur MAT49, 1 kg d’héroïne, 1,2 kg de cannabis… « On a bénéficié d’un effet de surprise, ces perquisitions nous ont donné une #liberté_d’action efficace, estime le patron d’un service d’enquête spécialisé. Nous avons ciblé des gens que nous n’avions pas réussi à accrocher dans nos investigations, nous en entendions parler en marge de nos enquêtes sans avoir de billes, notre intuition était bonne ! »

    (...) « C’est de la communication », commente un haut responsable policier à Paris. Et le risque de dommages collatéraux n’est jamais très loin. A Nice, vendredi 20 novembre, une fillette de 6 ans a été légèrement blessée lors d’une perquisition administrative menée dans le centre. (...)

    Lundi 23 novembre, la police avait procédé à 1 072 perquisitions en application de l’article 11 de la loi de 1955 sur l’état d’urgence. Elles ont donné lieu à 139 #interpellations, qui ont débouché sur 117 #gardes_à_vue. Ce qui signifie que, dans environ 90 % des cas, les policiers ont fait chou blanc. Comme au Pepper-Grill.

    Au niveau national, le ministère de l’intérieur affiche la saisie de 201 armes. Dans 77 cas, de la drogue a été découverte.

    #perquisitions_administratives #état_d'urgence

  • L’Union européenne va déployer plus de 400 gardes à ses frontières

    Pour réguler l’afflux de migrants dans l’ouest des #Balkans, l’#UE a décidé dimanche de déployer plus de 400 gardes à ses frontières d’ici une semaine. Jean-Claude Juncker a appelé à cesser le « laissez-passer ».

    http://www.rts.ch/info/monde/7198033-l-union-europeenne-va-deployer-plus-de-400-gardes-a-ses-frontieres.html
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #gardes_frontières #Europe

  • Refugees claim Greek coastguard are ROBBING them in the Mediterranean | Daily Mail Online
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3225321/Pirate-rogue-element-Greek-coastguard-ROBBING-migrants-gunpoint-punctur

    Masked gunmen from the Greek coastguard’s special forces have turned pirate and are robbing refugees in boats in the middle of the Mediterranean, migrants and aid-workers claim.

    Migrants have told MailOnline shocking stories of how ’commandos’ wearing balaclavas and armed with guns have struck in dozens of attacks between Turkey and Greece during July and August.

  • #Espagne
    Des #gardes_civils posent devant une statue de #Franco, avec le drapeau espagnol. Une question a été posée au gouvernement espagnol par un député basque...
    #Tout_va_bien_là_bas

    El diputado de Amaiur Jon Iñarritu ha registrado una pregunta dirigida al Gobierno español para que este responda por una fotografía difundida las en redes sociales en la que aparece una veintena de agentes uniformados de la Guardia Civil posando junto a una estatua de Franco en Melilla.
    ...

    http://www.naiz.eus/eu/actualidad/noticia/20150612/amaiur-pregunta-al-gobierno-espanol-por-la-fotografia-de-guardias-civiles-posa