Democratic Rights in Europe

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

By Alex Lantier, 12 December 2014

Officials across Europe are reacting to confirmation of CIA torture by insisting that they should enjoy total immunity for their role in the program.

Rolling Stone magazine and the University of Virginia rape allegations

By David Walsh, 11 December 2014

The unraveling of the Rolling Stone feature story sheds a good deal of light on the upper-middle class individuals and groups obsessed with identity politics.

Munich police evict refugees from protest camp

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 3 December 2014

Refugee protests have been met with violence from Munich police.

Britain joins campaign to revoke passports

Political dissidents to be rendered stateless

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2014

Once again, under the guise of the “war against terror”, the state is accruing authoritarian powers, including the ability to effectively render a British citizen stateless.

German intelligence agency plans major expansion of spying powers

By Johannes Stern, 14 November 2014

In an attempt to catch up with US and UK spy agencies, the BND is implementing a major upgrade.

Film director Roman Polanski questioned, released in Poland

By David Walsh, 3 November 2014

Washington’s vindictive effort is the latest episode in a campaign to return the director to the US based on his having pled guilty in 1977 to having sex with an underage girl.

Woman wearing a niqab forced to leave Paris Opera

By Antoine Lerougetel, 31 October 2014

This anti-democratic and discriminatory action is the product of constant anti-Muslim agitation by the French political establishment.

Anti-terror law passed by the French Senate attacks democratic rights

By Anthony Torres, 28 October 2014

The bill is an attack on freedom of movement as defined by international law and vastly expands the state’s ability to censor political speech.

Google report documents surge in electronic surveillance requests by governments worldwide

By Thomas Gaist, 20 September 2014

Google complies with at least 84 percent of US government data requests, which have risen by 250 percent during the past five years.

UK government attempts to conceal its involvement in rendition and torture

By Robert Stevens, 9 August 2014

The British government has approached the US in an attempt to censor information regarding Britain’s involvement in rendition and torture.

What lies behind the warmongering by Der Spiegel?

By Christoph Dreier, 8 August 2014

Germany’s leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, is demanding a confrontation with Russia.

Police attack immigrant camp in Calais, France

By Pierre Mabut, 29 May 2014

Stepped-up attacks on immigrants are the Socialist Party government’s response to the victory of the French neo-fascists in last week’s European elections.

The Detroit model: Permanent rule by the banks

By Jerry White, 13 May 2014

The Michigan legislature is debating a series of bills to impose a permanent financial authority on Detroit that would remain in place long after the city emerges from bankruptcy.

German government thwarts investigation of NSA scandal

By Sven Heymanns, 3 May 2014

While Chancellor Merkel was being welcomed at the White House Friday by President Obama, the Bundestag (parliamentary) Committee of Inquiry into the NSA received a government file opposing the questioning of whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

French intelligence collects all data of France Telecom/Orange

By Anthony Torres, 17 April 2014

French intelligence services are collecting all the data of Orange’s customers with no restrictions, oversight, or legal foundation.

Spanish government attacks democratic rights

By Alejandro López, 15 April 2014

Madrid is escalating its attacks on democratic rights in response to widespread opposition to the social catastrophe produced by its austerity measures.

UK campaigners against police killings hold demonstration and rally

By our reporters, 12 April 2014

The protest reflected growing anger at police brutality and impunity.

Spokane, Washington police kill man as he surrenders

By Hector Cordon, 31 March 2014

Police officers in Spokane, Washington shot and killed a man Wednesday as he was walking out of his house in compliance with their orders.

Greek students face prosecution for protests

By Katerina Selin, 13 March 2014

Students in Greece protesting for the right to an education are facing prosecution and possible imprisonment.

Spanish government abolishes prosecutions under universal jurisdiction laws

By Alejandro López, 13 March 2014

As the result of a new Spanish law, dozens of investigations will be dropped into crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and torture.

NSA listens in on the German chancellor’s contacts

By Konrad Kreft, 1 March 2014

After President Obama’s promise not to listen in on Angela Merkel’s phone calls, the NSA has stepped up its operations against everybody she speaks to.

Initiative to restrict immigration passed in Swiss referendum vote

By Marianne Arens, 11 February 2014

The initiative commits the government to renegotiate the agreement on freedom of movement with the EU within three years.

Appeal by family of Roma schoolgirl to return to France rejected

By Pierre Mabut, 4 February 2014

On January 28, a French administrative tribunal rejected the request for a resident’s permit by the family of Leonarda Dibrani.

European governments stir up anti-Roma prejudice

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 3 February 2014

The impoverishment of the Roma is a direct result of the restoration of capitalism after 1989 in Eastern Europe.

Spanish government attacks abortion rights

By Alejandro López, 28 December 2013

With the new legislation, the Popular Party has accepted yet another demand of the Catholic hierarchy.

Former UK Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett’s anti-Roma rant

By Liz Smith, 21 November 2013

David Blunkett’s provocative remarks attacking Roma in Sheffield is reminiscent of Conservative MP Enoch Powell's notorious anti-immigrant “Rivers of Blood” speech in 1968.

Greek government threatens university employees with martial law

By Christoph Dreier, 20 November 2013

Four decades since the Greek junta attacked the Polytechnio in Athens, the Greek government is again threatening to attack protesting university staff and students.

Snowden revelations lead to decline in support for US in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 November 2013

The percentage of Germans who consider the United States to be a reliable partner has fallen from 50 percent in July to just 35 percent today.

Persecution of Roma stepped up after “blond angel” child trafficking allegations

By Julie Hyland, 9 November 2013

The discovery of “Maria” was the occasion for a hysterical campaign over alleged Roma child-trafficking.

German media, political parties debate granting Snowden asylum

By Peter Schwarz, 5 November 2013

The issue of the basic democratic right to asylum plays an entirely subordinate role in the debate in Germany on the plight of Edward Snowden.

Right-wing campaign against Roma spreads across Europe

By John Vassilopoulos and Jordan Shilton, 2 November 2013

The mass media and political establishment are stoking up centuries-old prejudices against Roma people, one of the most oppressed and vulnerable ethnic groups in Europe.

Mass student protests in France against deportation of Roma schoolgirl

By Antoine Lerougetel, 22 October 2013

The brutality of the seizure of Leonarda triggered social opposition that had been fermenting under the surface for a long time.

A letter from film producer Tony Garnett

“Edward Snowden has shone a light into the secret activities of the State”

2 September 2013

The following comment in defence of former National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was submitted to the World Socialist Web Site by film producer and author Tony Garnett.

Germany: All-party coalition defends the secret services

By Christoph Dreier, 26 August 2013

All the establishment parties are seeking to whitewash the intelligence agencies and cover over their role in building up the far right scene.

Protests at Greek detention camp highlight state violence against immigrants in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 August 2013

The EU’s agency for the protection of European borders, Frontex, has worked with the Greek state to set up centres that are characterized by subhuman conditions.

Chairman of German Pirate Party defends the secret services

By Johann Muller and Lucas Adler, 7 August 2013

The Pirate Party, founded only a few years ago on the basis of demands for transparency, data protection and privacy, is responding to the exposure of the largest surveillance machinery in human history by granting political legitimacy to the secret services.

European Union seeks drone and spy satellite network

By Chris Marsden, 6 August 2013

The European Union has proposed the creation of what amounts to a pan-European equivalent to the National Security Agency, armed with a European drone programme and a spy satellite network.

French government plans ban on Islamic veil in universities

By Alex Lantier, 6 August 2013

Offensive to promote anti-Islamic and xenophobic sentiment in France.

Germany: PSG holds meetings in defence of Edward Snowden

By our reporters, 31 July 2013

The Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) held well-attended meetings in defence of Edward Snowden in Berlin, Bochum and Frankfurt.

German report on horrendous treatment of refugees on Europe’s borders

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 July 2013

The German television news program “Report Mainz” broadcast a short film dealing with the plight of refugees trying to reach Europe.

German intelligence services work closely with NSA

By Christoph Dreier, 23 July 2013

NSA documents show that the German intelligence services are among the NSA’s closest partners, spying on both foreign targets and the German people.

European intelligence agencies carry out massive Internet spying

By Peter Schwarz, 6 July 2013

According to a report in the French daily Le Monde, the French foreign intelligence service, DGSE, spies on “all of our communications”.

Swiss referendum on asylum law

By Marianne Arens, 11 June 2013

A referendum was held Sunday on proposals to strengthen the law against asylum seekers.

European Union cites Boston attack to justify major anti-terrorist operation

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2013

On April 17 and 18, anti-terrorist units of numerous European Union member states participated in an operation involving simulated terrorist attacks in nine different countries.

Europe’s rulers whip up anti-immigrant chauvinism

By Julie Hyland, 18 March 2013

The rights of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have been targeted by the European Union.

British Labour Party steps up anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2013

To win support from the ultra-nationalist electoral constituency and from Murdoch, Labour has moved decisively in taking up anti-immigration propaganda.

Roma in Germany forced into abject poverty

By Sybille Fuchs, 14 February 2013

A recent report provides a shocking exposure of the contempt shown by local authorities and church institutions in Dortmund for workers from southeast Europe.

Why the SEP (Germany) rejects a state ban of the neo-fascist NPD

By the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (PSG), 10 January 2013

Last month, the German upper house of parliament agreed to take a case to the Supreme Court aiming to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

European Court orders damages for CIA torture victim

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 January 2013

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has condemned the Republic of Macedonia for its role in the CIA rendition of Khaled El-Masri.

Spanish government prepares repressive measures against social opposition

By Vicky Short and Alejandro López, 6 December 2012

Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party government is preparing to impose €90 billion in budget cuts over the next two years.

German Left Party opposes religious circumcision

By Justus Leicht, 9 October 2012

Opposition to laws that permit a religious practice carried out for thousands of years comes not only from the extreme right, but also from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party.

In response to Muslim protests

Europe strengthens repressive powers of the state

By Peter Schwarz, 26 September 2012

The aim of the anti-Islamic campaign is to divide the working class, suppress opposition to imperialist war, whip up right-wing forces, and direct growing social tensions into reactionary, racist channels.

French youth riot against police brutality in Amiens-Nord

By Antoine Lerougetel, 16 August 2012

Violent clashes youth and police took place on Sunday and Monday nights in the Amiens-Nord council estate.

Defend immigrants in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 August 2012

Last weekend, some 4,500 Athens police officers were mobilized to round up thousands of people believed to be immigrants.

France’s Socialist Party government plans to force Roma into ghettos

By Kumaran Ira, 3 August 2012

The new social-democratic government is threatening to dismantle Roma encampments and force the Roma into “integration villages.”

Letters in defense of the German Socialist Equality Party

27 April 2012

The following is a selection of readers’ letters on “Hands off the Socialist Equality Party in Germany!”

Hands off the Socialist Equality Party in Germany!

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2012

The assault on three meetings of the Socialist Equality Party in Germany in defence of Günter Grass represent an enormous intensification of the attacks on democratic rights.

Right-wing Zionist provocateurs and student council representative close down Leipzig meeting to defend Günter Grass

By our correspondents, 26 April 2012

As with previous meetings in Frankfurt and Berlin, a meeting in Leipzig held Tuesday was met with a huge and coordinated provocation.

European court’s extradition ruling and Guantanamo’s global reach

By Bill Van Auken, 13 April 2012

Tuesday’s ruling by the European human rights court allowing Britain’s extradition of five alleged terror suspects to the US speaks volumes about the erosion of basic democratic principles throughout Europe.

European Court’s extradition ruling: A major blow to democratic rights

By Julie Hyland, 12 April 2012

The decision by the European Court of Human Rights that five men detained on terror-related charges can be extradited to the United States marks a major assault on democratic rights.

Stop the warmongers! Defend Günter Grass!

By Wolfgang Weber, 11 April 2012

The campaign of defamation against one of the world’s best known writers, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature and many other awards, makes clear that the German ruling class and its counterparts in Washington and Tel Aviv are intent on intimidating and silencing anyone who dares criticise the preparations for war against Iran.

French police detain 19 alleged Islamist militants

By Kumaran Ira, 4 April 2012

Early Friday morning, French anti-terrorist police and domestic intelligence carried out raids in major cities across France, arresting 19 people.

German police killing of unemployed woman at job centre

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 2 April 2012

The police shooting death of an unemployed Nigerian woman again raises the question of why German authorities are so reluctant to indict those responsible for numerous cases of unwarranted deadly violence.

German government sets up neo-Nazi database

By Dietmar Henning, 23 January 2012

The German government has responded to revelations of neo-Nazi murders by the Zwickau terrorist cell by centralizing and expanding the security authorities.

UK: Police make brutal attack on Irish traveller camp

By Jordan Shilton, 21 October 2011

The eviction of an Irish traveller encampment at Dale Farm in southeast England began on Wednesday morning.

German state deploys illegal spy software

By Sybille Fuchs, 14 October 2011

Germany’s security services are placing spyware on personal computers, violating basic rights and the stipulations of the German Supreme Court.

Marseille mayor orders mass expulsion of Roma camp

By Kumaran Ira, 11 August 2011

On August 9, the city of Marseille in southern France announced that it had prepared a municipal order to forcibly evacuate some 100 Roma people.

France enforces burqa ban

By Antoine Lerougetel, 18 April 2011

Several women have been arrested in France after an anti-democratic ban on wearing the burqa took effect on April 11.

The alliance between the EU and Libya in the persecution of refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 March 2011

For years the European Union has collaborated closely with the dictatorships in Libya and Tunisia to stop refugees breaching the perimeter of “Fortress Europe”.

German defence minister adopts the political style of Italy’s Berlusconi

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 February 2011

Right-wing political and media forces are demagogically exploiting the extraordinary arrogance of Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to further undermine democratic rights in Germany.

German student arbitrarily detained in Afghan prison

By Marianne Arens, 18 February 2011

The US embassy in Kabul has claimed that the German government cooperated in the arrest and incarceration of a young German student in Afghanistan’s notorious Bagram prison.

Police agent Mark Kennedy was active throughout Europe

By Julie Hyland, 3 February 2011

Mark Kennedy, the police agent who worked undercover in the environmental movement for eight years, was active in his undercover guise as Mark Stone throughout Europe.

More evidence of police infiltration of UK political groups

By Julie Hyland, 1 February 2011

The UK government has announced plans intended to block further exposure of the work of undercover officers in political and protest groups.

German Supreme Court fails to defend right to asylum

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 1 February 2011

The German Supreme Court has accepted a manoeuvre by the Interior Ministry to prevent current asylum law being deemed unconstitutional.

Roma woman dies following deportation to Kosovo

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 19 January 2011

In what is a devastating indictment of German asylum practice, a Roma woman died following her deportation to Kosovo.

German Supreme Court overturns acquittal of officer implicated in asylum seeker’s death

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 18 January 2011

A new trial has been ordered in the case of Oury Jalloh, who burned to death while shackled to a mattress in a Dessau police cell.

Switzerland approves reactionary “Deportation Initiative”

By Marianne Arens, 30 November 2010

Just one year after a referendum banning the construction of minarets, another referendum in Switzerland has sharply tightened the country’s immigration law.

German state exploits terror alert to expand police powers

By Dietmar Henning, 30 November 2010

With the support of the entire political establishment, the German government is using a recent terror alert to expand the use of armed police and attack democratic rights.

Shootings of immigrants in Sweden

By Jordan Shilton, 10 November 2010

A man was arrested in Malmö on Saturday in connection with a spate of shootings targeting immigrants.

Leading German politicians take up Thilo Sarrazin’s anti-Islamic campaign

By Justus Leicht and Peter Schwarz, 15 October 2010

Prominent German politicians, including the chancellor, Angela Merkel, have defamed those practising the Muslim faith, thereby challenging the fundamental right to freedom of faith and conscience.

French Constitutional Council approves burqa ban

By Kumaran Ira, 15 October 2010

On October 7, the French Constitutional Council approved the anti-democratic ban on wearing full-face veils, such as the burqa or niqab, in all public places.

Police action against demonstrators opposing “Stuttgart 21” rail project

By Peter Schwarz, 4 October 2010

Demonstrators in Stuttgart, Germany last Thursday were confronted by several hundred police officers using water cannon, tear gas and batons.

Poverty, segregation and discrimination for the Roma in Germany

By Martin Kriekenbaum, 2 October 2010

Germany is preparing to deport back to Kosovo 10,000 Roma and Sinti who had fled the country during the German-backed war in former Yugoslavia.

French Senate votes burqa ban into law

By Kumaran Ira, 20 September 2010

The Senate’s passage of the ban on the burqa, coinciding with mass deportations of Roma, marks a milestone in the French government’s attacks on democratic rights.

The persecution of Roma—under the Nazis and today

By Peter Schwarz, 18 September 2010

Efforts to stir up racist and anti-Muslim tendencies are increasing across Europe, with the deliberate promotion of far right and racist parties, backed by big financial interests.

Roma family gunned down in Slovakia

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 September 2010

The recent shooting of a Roma family in Slovakia is a product of the racial prejudice sanctioned by the Slovak state.

Nazi ideology from Germany’s Bundesbank

By Peter Schwarz, 3 September 2010

Thilo Sarrazin’s new book is a tirade of abuse against Muslim immigrants, spiced with the type of social Darwinist prejudices and racist theories associated with the criminals of the Nazi Third Reich.

French government seeks European backing for its anti-Roma policy

By Stefan Steinberg, 31 August 2010

The French government is seeking to win support from official European institutions for its racist policy of rounding up and deporting members of the Roma community.

Back to Vichy

By Alex Lantier, 25 August 2010

By scapegoating politically isolated minorities with measures last officially used in France by the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis in World War II, the French state is preparing to repress working class opposition to its policies.

France deports Roma en masse

By Antoine Lerougetel, 21 August 2010

In a high-profile attack on the Roma community, the French government deported 93 Roma gypsies to Romania on Thursday.

Spain joins anti-burqa witch-hunt

By Alejandro López, 21 August 2010

In Spain as in France, a wave of anti-democratic legislation and policies is being prepared against Muslims, including proposals to ban the burqa.

French government’s law-and-order measures threaten democratic rule

By Kumaran Ira, 20 August 2010

The raft of law-and-order measures announced in recent weeks in France highlights the far-right turn by the political establishment.

French National Assembly vote to ban the burqa: An attack on democratic rights

By Alex Lantier, 5 August 2010

The French National Assembly’s vote to ban full-face veils in all public places is a reactionary attack on democratic rights and a conscious step away from the rule of law.

French National Assembly debates burqa ban

By Antoine Lerougetel, 12 July 2010

Proposals to ban the burqa and niqab in France now being debated in the National Assembly constitute a major attack on democratic rule, sanctioned by the entire political establishment.

French government witch-hunts partner of niqab-wearing woman

By Antoine Lerougetel, 18 June 2010

Attempts to deprive Lies Hebbadj of French citizenship are an act of political retaliation for his partner’s opposition to the government’s reactionary campaign against the burqa and niqab.

Sarkozy proposes total ban on the burqa in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 April 2010

Sarkozy is moving to fast-track a total ban on the burqa in France over objections that the bill is unconstitutional, and despite widespread popular hostility to his recent “national identity” campaign.

French parliamentary commission advocates banning the burqa

By Kumaran Ira, 2 February 2010

After deliberating for six months, a parliamentary commission in France investigating a ban on the burqa, or niqab, has released a report that recommends passage of a law outlawing the wearing of the garment in any public facility run by the state.

Anti-burqa campaign marks turn away from democratic rule in France

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 15 January 2010

Presented in defiance of public opinion and disregarding constitutional objections, preparations to institutionalize state discrimination against forms of Muslim religious belief mark a turn towards overtly anti-democratic forms of rule.

France: parliamentary mission against burqa promotes anti-Muslim prejudice

By Antoine Lerougetel, 19 September 2009

The French parliamentary mission of inquiry on the burqa held its second session September 9. It is widely assumed to be preparing a law banning women from wearing the body-covering burqa in public.

France: Racist campaign against burqa threatens democratic rights

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 14 July 2009

President Nicolas Sarkozy and a commission of parliamentarians from across the political establishment are moving ahead with plans to ban conservative Muslim dress for women in France.