Democratic Rights in Europe

Human Rights Watch report exposes French state of emergency

By Stéphane Hugues, 9 February 2016

The report points to systematic, arbitrary denials of basic democratic rights by police and the targeting of people of Muslim descent.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

UK and Swedish governments continue their persecution of Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2016

London and Stockholm have rejected the UN’s verdict that Assange has been arbitrarily detained.

Left Party founder Jean-Luc Mélenchon covers for French government’s authoritarian policies

By Anthony Torres, 6 February 2016

There are no fundamental differences between Mélenchon and the Socialist Party government, which is building a police state in France.

UN panel condemns detention of WikiLeaks founder

Stop the persecution of Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2016

Despite a ruling that Assange has been subjected to “arbitrary detention,” both the UK and Sweden vow to continue his persecution.

German government steps up attacks on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 February 2016

Germany’s grand coalition government is adopting ever more drastic measures against refugees and paving the way for far-right forces in the process.

Austrian municipalities impose ban on refugees using swimming pools

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2016

The ban on refugees in two Austrian cities, unless they are accompanied by an “escort,” recalls the darkest chapters in Austrian history.

Divisions mount in German government over refugee policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 February 2016

The swing to the right by the entire German political establishment has unleashed violent tensions within the government.

Sweden announces plans to deport up to 80,000 refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 29 January 2016

Sweden’s announcement came the same day as Human Rights Watch published a scathing indictment of the curtailment of democratic rights in Europe in response to the refugee crisis.

European governments step up offensive against refugees

By Marianne Arens, 28 January 2016

Proposals made at the EU meeting amount to the transformation of Greece into a giant concentration camp for refugees.

Prime Minister Valls pledges permanent state of emergency in France

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 26 January 2016

As if in a slow-motion military coup, the ruling elite is moving to transform political life in France, creating an authoritarian political regime.

Austria closes its borders to refugees

By Marianne Arens, 26 January 2016

As Europe is firmly in the grip of winter, one government after another is closing its borders.

Berlin town hall meeting protests discrimination against refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 January 2016

Many of those attending the mass meeting were appalled at the treatment of refugees, confined in airport hangars and other mass accommodation.

Danish and Swedish governments step up attacks on refugees

By Jordan Shilton, 20 January 2016

Measures once associated with fascist regimes are again being employed against refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.

Berlin police raid: A civil war exercise

By Gustav Kemper, 19 January 2016

The illegal raid involving hundreds of police officers was intended to intimidate an entire neighbourhood.

Hundreds of Neo-Nazis riot in Leipzig, Germany

By Christoph Dreier, 13 January 2016

Monday’s right-wing riot in Leipzig took place amid a racist anti-Muslim campaign promoted by German political parties and the media.

New Year’s message for refugees in Berlin: It will get worse!

By Verena Nees, 13 January 2016

The onset of winter has worsened conditions for the approximately 40,000 refugees in Berlin.

German media and politicians demand increased state powers in response to Cologne assaults

By Dietmar Henning, 11 January 2016

Alleged sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne are being used as a pretense for pumping out racist agitation and cracking down on refugees.

The refugee tragedy and the European Union: The balance sheet for 2015

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 January 2016

The mistreatment of refugees fleeing to Europe has assumed proportions that would have been unthinkable twelve months ago.

One year after Charlie Hebdo attack

Police gun down youth in poor Paris neighborhood

By Stéphane Hugues, 8 January 2016

Witnesses speaking to the media flatly contradicted official accounts of the shooting and said that police gunned down an unarmed man without warning.

French government considers deprivation of nationality as possible sentence to all citizens

By Alex Lantier, 6 January 2016

The Socialist Party is increasingly taking up positions associated with the extreme right and the traditions of 20th century European fascism.

The fracturing of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2015

In the last century, great power aspirations, nationalism and fascism made the continent the focus of two world wars, which claimed nearly 100 million victims. Now, these same tendencies are spreading once again.

Prince Charles and William granted access to top secret UK documents

By Margot Miller, 28 December 2015

While the documents in question have been freely handed to the British monarchy, the government insists that they not be released to the public for at least three decades.

French government proposes constitutional amendment on state of emergency, deprivation of citizenship

By Alex Lantier, 24 December 2015

Proposed moves to deprive people of French nationality were traditionally associated to the far-right National Front and were used against the Jews during the Nazi Occupation.

German government creates new “Anti-Terror Unit”

By Philipp Frisch, 24 December 2015

Under conditions of increasing class tensions in Germany and the revival of an aggressive foreign policy, the ruling elite is preparing for the suppression of popular opposition.

Mass police raids in French state of emergency find no terror networks

By Anthony Torres, 23 December 2015

Mass searches and house arrests are part of the preparation for the imposition of a permanent state of emergency by the Socialist Party government.

Weapon used in November 13 Paris attacks came from CIA-linked arms dealer

By Alex Lantier, 18 December 2015

Investigations of the November 13 attacks raise the question of whether elements in or around the state machine facilitated the commission of the terror attacks in Paris.

Violent attacks on refugees increase in Germany

By Philipp Frisch, 12 December 2015

Independent investigations by German media outlets suggest that the authorities probing right-wing anti-immigrant violence systematically downplay and even defend it.

An open letter

Socialist Equality Party (UK) demands the Undercover Police Inquiry release the names of all police agents and spies

By Socialist Equality Party, 10 December 2015

Even the small amount of information in the public domain makes clear that undercover officers were involved in and directed criminal activity.

Five years since the arrest of Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 8 December 2015

Assange is the victim of a transparent frame-up. His sole crime was to bring to global attention the heinous war crimes committed by the US and other imperialist powers in Iraq and Afghanistan—crimes authorised at the highest levels of government.

Employers push to use French state of emergency against workers

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 21 November 2015

As the government imposes a state of emergency, the employers federation is calling on businesses to report any suspect remark by workers to the police.

Paris terrorists operated “in plain sight”

By Patrick Martin, 21 November 2015

At least six of the nine men involved in the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were known to the French and Belgian security services.

The state of emergency and the collapse of French democracy

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2015

Hollande’s proposed amendments to the French Constitution provide the legal basis for transforming France into a presidential dictatorship.

Paris suburb of Saint Denis under military lockdown as gun battle plays out

By Stéphane Hugues, 19 November 2015

Residents in the center of Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, were woken up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning by an enormous explosion and heavy gunfire.

French government’s bill on state of emergency threatens democratic rights

By Anthony Torres, 19 November 2015

The modification of the French Constitution paves the way for security forces to ban strikes, demonstrations or any public meetings that displease the authorities.

Labour MPs side with Tory government against Corbyn on war and repression

By Robert Stevens, 19 November 2015

Leading Labour officials are seconding Tory and media denunciations of Labour leader Corbyn as a threat to “national security.”

German government exploits cancellation of football match to expand state powers

By Christoph Dreier, 19 November 2015

The interior ministry is using an alleged planned terrorist attack in Hannover to provoke hysteria and press ahead with the strengthening of the state.

EU Parliament votes nonbinding resolution to protect Edward Snowden

By Alex Lantier, 31 October 2015

While cynically bowing to mass support for Snowden’s exposure of state criminality, the EU offers him no protection from persecution by US and European spy agencies.

Dozens of refugees drown in the Aegean Sea as Fortress Europe is expanded

By Marianne Arens and Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 October 2015

Upwards of 50 refugees died on Wednesday in several boating accidents while making the journey from the Turkish coast to the nearby Greek Aegean islands.

Dangerous developments in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 29 October 2015

Recent weeks have seen an intensified effort to use the refugee crisis to build up and legitimize extreme right-wing forces in Germany.

Germany: IG Metall congress backs government in refugee crisis

By Ulrich Rippert, 26 October 2015

Trade unions are acting as a fifth column of the German state, scapegoating refugees and supporting the drive towards war.

Demonstrators condemn brutal treatment of refugees in Berlin, Germany

By our correspondents, 21 October 2015

About a thousand people demonstrated Saturday against the Berlin city government’s failure to provide even the most rudimentary social assistance to refugees.

As temperatures drop, thousands of refugees left stranded on Europe’s borders

By Andre Damon, 20 October 2015

With Serbia, Croatia, Austria and other countries moving to seal their borders, refugees have been left to brave the elements without shelter or warm clothes.

Germany: Cover-up of Oktoberfest bombing continues

By Dietmar Henning, 19 October 2015

Despite official investigations, state authorities continue to conceal the true identities of those behind the Oktoberfest bombing.

Volunteer for refugees in Hamburg: “If we do not do the work, no one will”

By Benjamin Hader and Ute Reissner, 14 October 2015

The refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and North Africa have been left to their fate by the Hamburg Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party and Greens.

French Interior Ministry blocks probe of Charlie Hebdo-Hyper Cacher attacks

By Anthony Torres, 8 October 2015

While exploiting the assault earlier this year to justify imposing police-state measures, the Socialist Party is trying to hide the French state’s own role in the attacks.

German president stirs up public opinion against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 30 September 2015

President Joachim Gauck regards the refugee crisis, brought about by Western war policy, as an opportunity to continue Germany’s imperialist course.

France to close borders, Germany to cut benefits as refugee crisis escalates

By Alex Lantier, 18 September 2015

The major European powers are intensifying their attacks on hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing from war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.

Hungary closes its border with Serbia

By Markus Salzmann, 16 September 2015

Hungary detained over 150 migrants Tuesday after closing its last remaining border crossing, leaving hundreds of refugees on the Serbian side of a razor wire fence.

German defence minister exploits refugee crisis to strengthen military

By Wolfgang Weber, 1 September 2015

Constraints on the domestic use of the German military, in place since the end of Nazi rule, are being wiped away.

The refugee crisis and the inhuman face of European capitalism

By Peter Schwarz, 28 August 2015

The horrors facing refugees are compounded by the day. On Thursday, two boats capsized near Libya, with hundreds feared dead. This follows the death of up to 50 Syrian refugees in a truck in Austria.

Fifty refugees die in ship’s hold in new Mediterranean migrant tragedy

By Robert Stevens, 27 August 2015

Around 50 refugees and asylum seekers were found dead in the hold of a boat off the coast of Libya Wednesday morning.

Troops fire on refugees trying to enter Macedonia

By Bill Van Auken, 22 August 2015

The vicious assault unfolded amid a crisis over how to deal with the growing numbers fleeing to Europe to escape war and poverty.

Sweden drops some allegations against Julian Assange but US-backed persecution continues

By James Cogan, 14 August 2015

The passing of five years has not dampened Washington’s vindictive pursuit of the WikiLeaks editor.

Background to the government attack on Netzpolitik.org

German court in 1992 upheld 1931 treason conviction of Carl von Ossietzky

By Andreas Kunstmann, 8 August 2015

The BGH judges in 1992 made the decisive factor the legal opinion of judges who later became supporters of the Nazi state.

German government fires prosecutor over treason charge against Internet blog

By Ulrich Rippert, 5 August 2015

The attack by the intelligence services on Netzpolitik.org has provoked a major political crisis.

German federal prosecutor investigates blog for treason

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 August 2015

If a similar procedure were implemented in the US it would mean that any journalist who wrote on the material exposed by Edward Snowden would be liable for prosecution.

Siemens boss Joe Kaeser calls for strong “leadership” and glorifies a dictator

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 July 2015

The international press is once again gripped by the question of how Germany can be kept under control and prevented from dominating Europe.

WikiLeaks email release reveals hacking by governments worldwide

By Mike Head, 13 July 2015

At least 46 countries are identified as seeking Hacking Team software to secretly access and monitor computers and smart phones.

Netherlands: Crackdown after police kill immigrant worker

By Stefan Steinberg, 7 July 2015

The recent protests in The Hague are a response to the poverty and years of police harassment prevailing in impoverished regions in the Netherlands.

On eve of referendum

Rumbles of military coup as Greek workers demand end to EU austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2015

Statements by retired military officers calling for a “yes” vote in Sunday’s Greek referendum carry the implied threat of a coup.

French president rejects bid to assist WikiLeaks founder

By Patrick Martin, 4 July 2015

President Hollande has rebuffed calls to grant asylum to Assange in the wake of revelations by Wikileaks of illegal NSA spying on several French leaders.

Germany arrests Al Jazeera journalist on warrant issued by Egyptian junta

By Alex Lantier, 22 June 2015

The arrest of Ahmed Mansour is a signal from Berlin that it views repressive measures by military dictatorships as politically legitimate.

Global refugee crisis worst since World War II

By Joseph Kishore, 16 June 2015

An Amnesty International report released Monday provides a sense of the disaster produced by global capitalism and the operations of imperialism throughout the world.

Trial collapses after threatened exposure of UK backing of Syrian terror groups

By Simon Whelan, 15 June 2015

Defendant Bherlan Gildo was essentially kidnapped by the British state and charged with crimes for which it was in fact culpable.

The Magna Carta and democratic rights

By Richard Hoffman and Mike Head, 15 June 2015

Today, 800 years after the Magna Carta, the international working class confronts an historic assault on its fundamental democratic rights.

European Union squabbles over refugee quotas

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 May 2015

While military intervention on the coast of Libya to destroy refugee boats is welcomed by all member states, the question of accepting refugees has unleashed a fierce dispute.

Ten years after riots, French police cleared in deaths of Clichy-sous-Bois youths

By Anthony Torres, 23 May 2015

The ruling reveals the impunity enjoyed by police, as the ruling class depends ever more directly on law-and-order hysteria to stabilize its rule.

UK government counter-terrorism bill would criminalize speech, political activity

By Jordan Shilton, 18 May 2015

The proposed legislation would give the state the power to require an “extremist” group or individual to submit any written publication to the police before it is printed.

Swedish Supreme Court rejects Julian Assange’s appeal of arrest warrant

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2015

The ruling is another blatant trampling on the democratic rights of Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

German foreign intelligence service aided NSA spying in Europe

By Sven Heymanns, 5 May 2015

The BND has been spying on leading European politicians and companies on behalf of the NSA for decades.

French police arrest student on charges of plotting Paris terror attack

By Kumaran Ira, 24 April 2015

The Socialist Party government is seizing on the recent terror plot in the French capital to legitimise anti-terror and spying measures.

German government plans new “anti-terrorism unit”

By Johannes Stern, 23 March 2015

The build-up of a paramilitary police force in Germany under the framework of the "war on terror" is part of a massive military expansion at home and abroad.

Massive police mobilization against anti-austerity protest in Frankfurt, Germany

By Christoph Dreier and Alex Lantier, 19 March 2015

Police arrested 350 people after thousands of protesters from across Europe converged on Frankfurt to protest austerity measures targeting Greece and other countries.

The Danish roots of the Copenhagen terror attack

By Jordan Shilton, 23 February 2015

Omar El-Hussein’s terrorist attack was a reactionary and demoralised response to growing anti-immigrant chauvinism, militarism and social inequality in Denmark.

Two detained on charges of aiding Copenhagen terror attack

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2015

More details have emerged regarding the alleged gunman's biography, confirming how well-known he was to police.

Report documents attacks on press freedom in US and Europe

By Nick Barrickman, 17 February 2015

Reporters Without Borders now ranks the United States below Niger and El Salvador on media freedom.

US official admits to UK role in rendition to Diego Garcia

By Jean Shaoul, 9 February 2015

Britain colluded in the use of the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia by the US for its criminal activities.

Mistreatment of detainees and asylum seekers widespread in Europe

By Jean Shaoul, 4 February 2015

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture visited detention centres in 25 of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe to examine detainee conditions.

UK: Blair government colluded in extraordinary rendition of Libyans

By Jean Shaoul, 2 February 2015

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that he was “disappointed” that Britain was unable to send more regime opponents back to Libya.

Thousands march against water charges in Dublin and other Irish cities

By our reporters, 2 February 2015

The water charges are supported by the Dublin government as part of the multi-billion euro bailout programme concluded with the Troika in 2010.

Europe faces political “earthquakes,” BBC warns on Democracy Day

By Paul Mitchell, 24 January 2015

A report commissioned by the BBC states that the rise of populist anti-establishment parties is set to cause political earthquakes across Europe in 2015.

After Charlie Hebdo attack, France announces draconian anti-terror law

By Alex Lantier, 22 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks to dramatically expand the machinery of police-state rule.

German TV documentary on the hunt for Edward Snowden

By Johann Müller, 21 January 2015

The programme details Snowden’s persecution by the US authorities and his search for a country that would grant him asylum.

UK to launch enhanced “anti-terror measures” and domestic use of troops

By Julie Hyland, 20 January 2015

Since 9/11, successive UK governments have introduced a series of “anti-terror” measures, each more draconian than its predecessor.

German city plans to accommodate refugees in former concentration camp

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 January 2015

The German city of Schwerte announced plans to accommodate around 20 refugees in a former SS barracks on one of the sites of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Police crackdown after Charlie Hebdo attack spreads across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2015

Security forces have been deployed across Europe in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo.

US drug enforcement agency acknowledges longstanding warrantless wiretapping program

By Thomas Gaist, 19 January 2015

The US Drug Enforcement Administration carried out mass surveillance of US telephone data over a period of more than a decade.

Arrests follow terror raids across Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe have lost no time in using anti-terror police raids in Belgium, France and Germany to whip up a climate of fear and justify demands for further repressive measures.

Obama, Cameron discuss war and state repression following Charlie Hebdo attack

By Chris Marsden and Jerry White, 16 January 2015

The two heads of state—whose countries have carried out a sustained attack on democratic rights—issued a jointly authored comment Thursday: “We won’t let the voice of freedom be muzzled.”

FBI accuses Ohio man of terror plot to attack US Capitol

By Niles Williamson, 16 January 2015

The FBI disclosed that the alleged plot did not represent a real threat as it had been developed with the direct participation of an undercover informant.

European powers implement police state measures in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the assault on Charlie Hebdo to push through policies that have long been prepared.

Imperialist war, the “war on terror” and the end of democracy

By Chris Marsden, 14 January 2015

For decades, the US, France and other imperialist powers have rained down bombs on defenceless civilians, carried out assassinations, and committed horrible war crimes.

Germany: Daimler screening workers for terrorist links

By Dietmar Henning, 13 January 2015

Daimler management and its works council have agreed to compare all its employees against EU and US terrorist watch lists every three months.

Who is responsible for the French terrorist attacks?

By Peter Symonds, 13 January 2015

No one should accept the explanations of police and intelligence agencies that the perpetrators of the attack on Charlie Hebdo simply slipped through the net.

Millions march in France after Charlie Hebdo shooting

By Alex Lantier, 12 January 2015

The French government and the European Union are seeking to exploit shock over the attacks on Charlie Hebdo to shift the entire framework of bourgeois politics sharply to the right.

French paramilitary police gun down three Islamist gunmen

By Patrick Martin, 10 January 2015

A two-day manhunt sparked by the massacre of 12 people at the editorial offices of the weekly Charlie Hebdo ended in twin shootouts in which another seven people died.

Le Pen at the Elysée Presidential Palace

By Alex Lantier, 10 January 2015

French President Hollande’s invitation to the neo-fascist leader is a warning that the ruling class intends to exploit the reactionary attack on Charlie Hebdo to legitimize fascist parties and prepare for dictatorship.

Massive police mobilization in France

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2015

In the wake of the massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, nearly 90,000 police, troops and civil servants have been mobilized to search for the two gunmen who escaped from the scene.