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May 09 2011


Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, & Spain Issue Joint Communiqué Regarding Response to North African Migration « | 2011-04-25

Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, met in Nicosia on 19 April and issued a Joint Communiqué.  Here is the full text (HT to EASO Monitor):

“Joint Communiqué II

(Nicosia, 19 April, 2011)

Following the meeting in Rome on the 23rd February 2011, the Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta as well as the representative of the Minister of Interior of Spain, met again today in Nicosia and discussed the continuing dramatic developments in the Southern Mediterranean region. At the end of the meeting it was decided to issue the following Joint Communiqué.

The Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU:

Recalling our February 23rd,2011 Joint Communiqué, we have repeated our utmost concern for the unfolding events in relation to the humanitarian situation as well as to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection that affect our countries;

Taking into account that the escalating events in countries of Northern Africa and the greater Middle East are destabilising the region and acknowledging that political reforms and democratic transitions will not take effect immediately and that their outcome is still uncertain;

Bearing in mind Europe’s longstanding tradition and commitment to the provision of international protection to people in need, in accordance with the Geneva Convention and in line with humanitarian principles and full respect of human rights;

Underlying that security and stability in the Mediterranean is directly linked to the security and stability of the EU as a whole and that effective response to this challenge requires joint efforts, commitment and solidarity from all EU Member States;

Stressing that the current emergency situation with regard to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection brings upon the Mediterranean Member States additional social, economic, administrative and demographic burden, to that already prevailing;

Recalling the already existing intense and continuous migratory pressure at the south eastern external borders of the EU;

Expressing deep concern about the conflict in Libya and its consequences in terms of sufferings of countless human beings and growing number of displaced persons fleeing the war and taking into account that huge number of people in need of international protection could arrive at the most exposed Mediterranean Member States in the immediate future;

Emphasizing that the possible prolongation of such influxes of illegal migrants and asylum seekers to the Mediterranean Member States, cannot be managed without the concrete and substantial support and solidarity from the rest of the EU’s Member States; alternatively, the situation will seriously jeopardize our ability, and subsequently the Union’s ability, to manage the displaced persons and provide those in need with international protection as well as undermine our common security;

Stressing that the arising situation will challenge and undermine the efforts of those Member States to reform their overburdened national asylum systems;

Reaffirming the urgent necessity for EU to provide concrete and immediate support to Member States on the EU southern external borders;

Stressing the need for additional actions and policies with a view to implement the EU principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility as expressed in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in line with the Stockholm Programme, the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the Global Approach to Migration, the relevant European Council Declaration of 11 March 2011 and Conclusions of 24 and 25 March 2011, the JHA Council Conclusions of 11and 12 April 2011 on the management of migration from the Southern Neighbourhood and the JHA Council Conclusions of 25 and 26 February 2010 on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration;

Therefore we, the Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security of the EU Mediterranean Countries, have adopted a common position on the emerging situation in our region and urge the European Union to practically offer operational as well as financial support to Member States which face mass and disproportionate mixed migration flows, by fully mobilizing all available EU assets, instruments and capabilities, either existing or additional ones,.

Particularly, as the competent Ministers of the EU Mediterranean Member States, urge the European Union to:

Urgently present and implement proposals on the Global Approach to Migration as well as on Mobility Partnerships, in a spirit of genuine cooperation with the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood Region, also to effectively control and manage the current and the anticipated mass migration flows as well as situation-specific schemes on return and readmission.

Call on FRONTEX to immediately implement the provisions set out in section 5 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April 2011, to speed up negotiations with the countries of the region – and in particular with Tunisia – with a view to concluding operational working arrangements, and organising joint patrolling operations in cooperation with Tunisian authorities and in application of all relevant international Conventions, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Montego Bay Convention”).

Call on FRONTEX to intensify the monitoring of the situation based on risk analysis and encourage Member States to provide the Agency with further human and technical resources so as to continue its ongoing operations (Joint Operation Hermes, Joint Operation Poseidon Land and Sea and the possible deployment of a RABIT operation in Malta) in the light of the emerging situation. Furthermore, call FRONTEX to expand its operations, where and when necessary, to prevent illegal flows in the eastern Mediterranean area of Egypt and Syria. To this end, further adequate financing of FRONTEX should be considered so as to increase the Organization’s capabilities to fulfil successfully its tasks.

Enhance the operational capacity and the coordinating role of the FRONTEX Operational Office in Piraeus in order to effectively deal with the situation;

Accelerate work on the FRONTEX Amending Regulation with a view to an agreement by June 2011 which will strengthen its capacity, make it truly operational and improve its synergy with other bodies.

Promote practical cooperation with the countries of origin or transit of illegal migrants in the region in preventing and fighting illegal migration flows, inter alia by concluding Readmission Agreements, developing Voluntary Return Programmes, enhancing their capacity of border management and surveillance, expanding the Immigration Liaison Officers Network, promoting legal migration by exploring the possibility of concluding mobility partnerships;

Encourage Member States to expedite discussions on the proposal for recasting the Dublin II Regulation, including a mechanism to suspend the transfers to Member States facing particular pressure on their national asylum systems.

Urgently mobilize all available financial assistance through the External Borders Fund and European Refugee Fund and in addition, as section 4 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April, 2011 reads, activate supplementary funds that can be made available to Member States or FRONTEX at short notice when needed. In this vein establish a special solidarity Fund, when necessary, to tackle exceptional emergency situations and humanitarian crisis.

Deploy every available possibility by the European Asylum Support Office to offer practical support to the Member States of the Mediterranean Region in need. A permanent specialised mechanism should be set up through the EASO, which, at exceptional emergency situations, will provide Member States in need with the necessary logistical and technical support.

As a matter of priority, present a proposal for implementing a coherent and comprehensive mechanism for distributing responsibilities, on a voluntary basis, specifically regarding the relocation of beneficiaries of international protection among member states, in case of European countries faced with particular pressures, as a consequence of their geographical or demographic situation, especially when facing the sudden arrival of third country nationals in need of international protection.

Commit to the work on establishing a Common European Asylum System with a view to respect the 2012 deadline.

We the Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU agreed to meet again soon, at a date to be agreed, in order to further coordinate our efforts before the European Council of June this year.”

April 25 2011

New on Herdict blog: National Science Foundation Blocks Global Voices Advocacy: Last Wednesday, Berkman Senior R...


// oA:nth


When GVA inquired NSF’s commercial filtering provider Blue Coat about the reason, they responded,

“The website has verbiage indicating how to avoid proxy filtering, which clearly violates our security policy and therefore will remain blocked.”

As a non-profit organization that tracks Internet censorship across the globe and spreads knowledge about online filtering, GVA publishes information to teach others—specifically, online activists in developing countries that place restrictions on Internet content—how to circumvent domestic Internet filtering. However, Zuckerman noted the circular reasoning of this specific incident:

“In other words, the National Science Foundation is spending taxpayer money to (ineffectively) prevent scientists from learning about a debate about ‘internet freedom’ tools the US State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors are spending taxpayer money to support and promote, again using taxpayer money. Is there a Federal irony department where I can lodge a complaint?”

Twitter / Herdict: New on Herdict blog: Natio ... | 2011-04-25
Sponsored post
"Ich glaube, wir werden verfolgt." Wie staatliche #Kontrolle und #Überwachung den #Widerstand blockiert:


// oA:nth


Was wäre, wenn das Ziel der staatlichen Überwachung bereits damit größtenteils erfüllt ist, dass wir uns kontrolliert fühlen? Wie verändert sich unser Verhalten, wenn wir unter dem Eindruck stehen, dass jeder Schritt überwacht, jeder Gedanken aufgezeichnet und jeder Kontakt protokolliert wird?

Das Gefühl unter ständiger Beobachtung zu stehen macht vorsichtig und misstrauisch. Diktaturen nutzen die Instrumente der Überwachung nicht nur zur konkreten Verfolgung politischer Widersacher. Sie profitieren alleine schon von der Atmosphäre der Kontrolle, die durch Misstrauen und Angst jeden Widerstand im Keim erstickt.

Angst und Misstrauen führen bei vielen Menschen dazu, dass sie ihre politischen Überzeugungen verbergen. Offen äußern sie sich nur im Kreise engster Freunde und achten ansonsten penibel darauf, dass ihre Position bei Arbeitgebern, Familiemitgliedern, Nachbarn oder Bekannten nicht erkennbar wird. Öffentliche Äußerungen erfolgen, wenn überhaupt, unter Pseudonym im Internet.


Twitter / Jacob Jung: "Ich glaube, wir werden ve ... | 2011-04-23
Reposted bykrekk krekk
Der baskische Regisseur Aitzol Aramaio (u.a. Kurzfilm Terminal ) ist mit nur 40 Jahren an Herzinfarkt gestorben.
Twitter / Markus Trapp: Der baskische Regisseur Ai ... | 2011-04-25
"Warum das Jiddische eine Renaissance erlebt" - Wiederentdeckung des Jiddischen in Tel Aviv: (welt online):

// oA:nth - zitiert aus den Leserkommentaren:

Ich hatte vor Jahren einmal ein schönes Erlebnis.
Auf einer Reise kam ich mit einem Niederländer ins Gespräch - in Englisch - und er erzählte mir, dass er kein Deutsch sprechen würde, von Deutschen aber immer angenommen würde, dass dies jedoch selbstverständlich wäre. Aber er verstand Deutsch, also zu um die "80%" wie er sich ausdrückte. Wir sind einfach einmal umgestiegen und er hat Holländisch gesprochen, während ich Deutsch sprach. Ein Israeli vom Nebentisch sprach uns an und sagte uns, dass ihn das Sprachgewirr an das Jiddish seiner Großeltern erinnert - "ich kann es nicht sprechen, aber ich verstehe was Ihr sagt".
Es ist schon eine sonderbare Welt.
Twitter / Öst.Jüdisches Museum: "Warum das Jiddische eine ... 2011-04-25
Bourdieu: On Television (essential reading for anyone who wants to use television to challenge the social order)
Twitter / Ben Geer: Bourdieu: On Television (e ... 2011-04-25

Playlist (4 yt-videos ~ 45min) permalink
yt-user: TheGravicembalo2

Heinrich Schütz SWV 50 Auferstehungshistorie - The Resurrection of Christ

Interprets: Musica Polyphonica - Louis Devos

The text - only in German - a pasticcio made by using the synopsis of the texts from the 4 Evangelists is complete available via:



1:10  From The Guardian:  Guantánamo Bay files: Obama grapples with fate of last 172 prisoners 

1:05  @wikileaks tweets:  "Domscheit, NYT, Guardian, attempted Gitmo spoiler against our 8 group coalition. We had intel on them and published first." May be technically true but -- NYT had coverage up first, not the others. 

1:00  WLCentral: 2011-04-25 The Gitmo Files: What Can Be Found in Each File 

From late Sunday

Who leaked the WikiLeaks files to The Times?  To summarize:  WikiLeaks gave its Gitmo files to 7 news outlets but not the NYT or The Guardian, probably due to falling out with them over previous leaks.  But someone leaked the files to the Times, which in turn gave them to The Guardian and NPR.  The Times decided to go ahead tonight with covering / publishing files tonight, and WikiLeaks and partners apparently then rushed to lift embargo and come out with their coverage an hour or two behind the Times.  At least that's all suggested by McClatchy and The Guardian.  Or did NYT learn that embarge was about to be broken and so moved "abruptly" first? In any  case:  WHO LEAKED THE FILES TO THE TIMES?     Remember, the Times is not claiming that it got them from a government or Gitmo or military source, or from the original leaker -- it says these ARE the WikiLeaks documents.  So does that mean they came from one of several disgruntled ex-WikiLeakers?

Guantánamo piled lie upon lie through the momentum of its own existence  by  Julian Glover  at The Guardian.

The @wikileaks feed at Twitter ontinues to link to individual detainee files, including Australia's David Hicks.

Assange tormenter David Leigh talks about The Guardian's take on the Gitmo files -- which he says they obtained from NYT, not WikiLeaks.   This is sure to make Assange get madder.  Here's site for Guardian coverage.

@wikileaks notes:  "If you read Wikileaks' 'Gitmo Files' please do so with extra caution. 'Confessions' made under torture are suspect."

Now McClatchy publishes ITS stories based on Gitmo files (co-author is my old friend and ace Iraq reporter Tom Lasseter).  Also reveals that 7 outlets in all got files on "embargoed" basis last month from WikiLeaks.  And mystery solved on timing and NYT getting first from another source: "WikiLeaks abruptly lifted the embargo Sunday night, after the organization became aware that the documents had been leaked to other news organizations, which were about to publish stories about them." 

NYT with "never before seen" photos of Gitmo detainees.

  Wash Post now out with its full package on the Gitmo files, with timelines, interactive features, more.  Says it got them from WikiLeaks.   Main story focuses on new details about al-Qaeda leaders.  So NYT scooped them by going with its own leak, or so it says.  

Interesting that NYT was the first and only place to go with stories based on Gitmo files for much of this evening --although it claims The Guardian and NPR have them.  In fact, NPR says it got them from the Times and just 5 minutes ago put up its first report.  

The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, says Wash Post has them (the Telegraph has had WikiLeaks docs for some time and did its own write up, see below).  Remember, the Times claims it got docs from an anonymous source, not WikiLeaks.   Which raises questions:   Was Times afraid to publish until it learned others -- opr WikiLeaks itself (see below) had them and were about to publish?  Did it publish now to scoop the others?  Are others now scrambling to catch up?   Did the Telegraph force their hand?  MOnths ago Assange was angry when The Guardian got its own leak of a previous major release, meaning it could do what it pleased -- same thing now with NYT

Here at the WikiLeaks site is their full story on, and release of, the Gitmo files.  Did this force NYT's hand?  The @wikileaks twitter feed is linking to individual files on prisoners from a wide variety of countries.

NYT 's editors' note on why they published Gitmo files, claim NPR and The Guardian also have.   Here's full response by U.S. government to NYT and others publishing Gitmo docs.  From Petnagon spokesman Geoff Morrell:  “It is unfortunate that The New York Times and other news organizations have made the decision to publish numerous documents obtained illegally b WikiLeaksconcerning the Guantanamo detention facility. These documents contain classified information about current and former GTMO detainees, and we strongly condemn the leaking of this sensitive information.

“The Wikileaks releases include Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) written by the Department of Defense between 2002 and early 2009. These DABs were written based on a range of information available then.

“The Guantanamo Review Task Force, established in January 2009, considered the DABs during its review of detainee information. In some cases, the Task Force came to the same conclusions as the DABs. In other instances the Review Task Force came to different conclusions, based on updated or other available information. The assessments of the Guantanamo Review Task Force have not been compromised to Wikileaks. Thus, any given DAB illegally obtained and released by Wikileaks may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee.

“Both the previous and the current Administrations have made every effort to act with the utmost care and diligence in transferring detainees from Guantanamo. The previous Administration transferred 537 detainees; to date, the current Administration has transferred 67. Both Administrations have made the protection of American citizens the top priority and we are concerned that the disclosure of these documents could be damaging to those efforts. That said, we will continue to work with allies and partners around the world to mitigate threats to the U.S. and other countries and to work toward the ultimate closure of the Guantanamo detention facility, consistent with good security practices and our values as a nation.”

More from the NYT on the Gitmo files (besides its main story, see link below).  Charlie Savage on how suicides "rattled" the prison.   Another  take on use of "flawed evidence" to "assess risk." 

  Breaking: NYT with story based on those long-rumored Gitmo files obtained by WikiLeaks -- but Times says it got them from another source.  Also, that other media have them too.  The Daily Telegraph in London claims to have been shown "thousands" of docs that WikiLeaks will publish soon.   It claims Wash Post also has. Sure to be controversial on several levels.  "The shocking human cost of obtaining this intelligence is also exposed with dozens of innocent people sent to Guantanamo – and hundreds of low-level foot-soldiers being held for years and probably tortured before being assessed as of little significance"

But: "The documents are largely silent about the use of the harsh interrogation tactics at Guantánamo — including sleep deprivation, shackling in stress positions and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures — that drew global condemnation."

New low prices for my book The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, or brand-new Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

Greg Mitchell
The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 149 | The Nation - Greg Mitchell -2011-04-25
Reposted bywikileaksfaseljawe

April 24 2011

Hungary: For Gyöngyöspata's Roma, Evacuation - or an Easter Excursion?

A village without a mayor

Northern Hungary has recently become the center of rising conflicts between the Roma and the Hungarian communities. In Gyöngyöspata, for example, paramilitary organizations were marching a month ago, claiming they were members of a neighborhood watch, even though their far-right stance was obvious.

On April 19, this video (HUN) was posted by a Roma news site So Si? (HUN), covering the rumors spreading in the Roma community of Gyöngyöspata about a paramilitary organization's plans to hold a training camp in the village. On the same day came the news of the resignation of the local mayor.

Piroslap blog, referring to a news agency, wrote (HUN) that the mayor had explained his decision to resign by health reasons. About the training camp, Piroslap wrote this:

[…] Now the group Véderő wants to hold a military camp at the settlement. On their website they define themselves as [a group] operating far from politics but on the national side, and after the elimination of conscription they would like to offer martial type of training to those who like this kind of education but wouldn't want to be professional soldiers. […]

The Roma have left

By Friday, April 22, some 300 Roma have left Gyöngyöspata, allegedly because they were afraid of the vigilante group arriving at the village for training. According to news reports, the departure of the Roma women and children was organized by the Hungarian Red Cross and Richard Field, an American businessman who had already expressed his concerns about the situation of the Roma in Hungary and even started an NGO to support them.

The Hungarian media used the word ‘evacuation' for what happened, whereas government officials claimed this wasn't an evacuation: according to them, the Roma had been taken on an Easter holiday trip for the weekend. Péter Szijjártó, the spokesman for the Prime Minister, and the Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér offered this explanation for what had happened.

This video (HUN) shows the Minister of the Interior at a press conference held in Gyöngyöspata on Friday. He said:

They [the members of the paramilitary group] took away the happiness which was offered by the charitable organization Red Cross. The national board of the Red Cross invited the women and children from the Gyöngyöspata families for an Easter excursion.

Gellért Rajcsányi of Mandiner wrote (HUN):

[…] Because of the threats, the Roma are afraid of atrocities. A leader for the action said the [Roma] men all stayed in the village trying to protect their valuables left at home. They are expecting members of the Parliament, representatives of embassies and international human right activists to arrive by Friday afternoon. According to János Farkas, the deputy of the Roma Hungarian Civil Rights Movement, the Red Cross contributed in moving out the people who were accommodated in different camps. A representative of the Red Cross told dpa [a German press agency] that this was the first time since World War II when the organization evacuated citizens threatened by a paramilitary group in Hungary. […]

Also on Friday, the Minister of the Interior announced that the government had designed a “decree to penalise civil guard activities conducted without prior approval by the police or feigning a right to act as a keeper of public order.”

By Friday afternoon, the police dismissed the paramilitary training of Véderő. According to news reports, the leader of the group Tamás Eszes was detained. Far-right news site re-published (HUN) these reports, adding an important piece of information: Tamás Eszes is a man who was disqualified from the Hungarian Guard. (Other sources wrote that Mr. Eszes would run for the mayor position now that Gyöngyöspata has no mayor.)

Gellért Rajcsányi wrote that the biggest responsibility is that of the government:

[…] We've been keeping the state for millennia to maintain the outside and inside security. The improvident promise (HUN) of making order in two weeks in those points of the country that looked hopeless was unavailing. We know it's impossible to meet close-to-perfect public security even in two-years time but at least there would be signs if we were heading that way! But today, on Good Friday, we have reached another touch bottom. Hungarian citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are longing for the presence of paramilitary organizations; [meanwhile] other citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are expecting the solution from leaders of civil rights movements and the Red Cross. The devil is raised in Gyöngyspata. In the international news [broadcasts] there will, hopefully, be good footage with crying children and vigilantes wearing uniforms among the news about Libya and Cote d'Ivoire. […]

Political action?

Photographer Levente Hernádi expressed his doubts (HUN) over whether there was no interest in motivating the events. He pointed out that the result of the events have been articles like this one on a Hungarian news site (HUN), illustrated with photos about the Roma leaving the village, members of Véderő, the Roma who stayed in the village and a Roma child. The article is a full report about the Roma who left Gyöngyöspata for the weekend and who applied for refugee status in the United States and Canada because of their threatened situation:

[… ] I think Gyöngyöspata was an extremely well-prepared play taking advantage of the always crying and ambiguously speaking Roma and of the national front that always acts nationalistic. It just had to be started and the rest went by itself.

Maximum respect to the one who [does stories] like this one […].

By Sunday, the Roma women and children were back in the village.

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