Democratic Rights in Europe

German court authorises extradition of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain on embezzlement charges

By Alejandro López, 16 July 2018

In Spain, the newly installed minority Socialist Party (PSOE) government announced it would abide by the ruling, although it is a rebuke to the party's line in the Catalan crisis.

Human right groups reveal French complicity in torture in Egypt

By Francis Dubois, 14 July 2018

French corporations and governments are active accomplices in the bloody Egyptian military junta’s mass surveillance and repression of the Egyptian people.

Twenty thousand demonstrate in Düsseldorf, Germany against police state attacks on democratic rights

By our correspondents, 12 July 2018

Last Saturday, 20,000 workers and young people marched from Düsseldorf Central Station to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament to protest the new police law planned by the state government.

German interior minister’s “Master Plan” for refugees: Internment camps and mass deportations

By Johannes Stern, 12 July 2018

With its “Migration Master Plan,” the grand coalition government has adopted the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against inhumane anti-refugee policies

By Gustav Kemper, 10 July 2018

The protests Saturday were organised within the space of a few days almost exclusively via social media.

German Social Democratic Party backs brutal offensive against refugees

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2018

The SPD has lined up behind the refugee policy of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer: sealing off the country’s borders, accelerating deportations and establishing closed detention camps.

Riots erupt in Nantes in western France after police murder

By Alex Lantier, 5 July 2018

Multiple witnesses to the killing, including journalists, stated that police coldly executed the victim at point-blank range even though he posed no danger to them.

Persecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange continues

By James Cogan, 5 July 2018

The US, British and Australian governments are utilising the Ecuadorian government to try and break Assange by denying him any external communication or visitors.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.

More than 200 people drown in the Mediterranean at the weekend

By Marianne Arens, 4 July 2018

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people drowning while attempting to enter Europe has risen to over a thousand.

European Union intensifies campaign of terror against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 2 July 2018

The EU summit at the end of last week marked a dangerous turning point in post-World War II European history.

US Democratic senators demand eviction of Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy

By James Cogan, 28 June 2018

Leading Democratic senators, including Diane Feinstein and Mark Warner, have declared they are “extremely concerned about Ecuador providing asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”

EU citizens must register, carry ID cards, in post-Brexit Britain

By Steve James, 27 June 2018

As the Home Office scheme currently stands, EU citizens will be required to carry identity cards, which have never been enforced in Britain.

Three months on: Oxford Union refuses to tell truth about why whistleblowing panel debate is censored

By Zach Reed, 26 June 2018

The only explanation for deciding not to publish the video is that ex-CIA operative David Shedd demanded its suppression.

The far right determine Europe’s refugee policy

By Peter Schwarz, 15 June 2018

Following the entry of extreme right-wing parties into the Austrian and Italian governments, the European Union and all other European governments are adopting their ruthless refugee policy.

New report reveals Assange under 24/7 surveillance in Ecuadoran embassy

By Eric London, 13 June 2018

The Spanish El Diario writes: “The government of Ecuador spied on every movement of Julian Assange in its embassy in London.”

Committee For Public Education urges participation in June 17 Assange rally

13 June 2018

The governments attempting to silence Assange are attacking the right of students and educators to a fully-resourced public education.

The end of net neutrality: The US ruling elite escalates campaign of internet censorship

By Andre Damon, 12 June 2018

The move marks a major milestone in the efforts of the US intelligence agencies, technology monopolies, and both political parties to undermine free speech.

Australian government has obligation to protect Julian Assange

By Richard Hoffman, 11 June 2018

The Turnbull government must exercise its discretion to request from Britain the safe passage of Julian Assange to Australia.

Spanish Socialist Party Prime Minister Sánchez appoints right-wing cabinet

By Alejandro López, 11 June 2018

The makeup of the new cabinet indicates a restructuring of bourgeois politics even further to the right.

US activist Kevin Zeese calls for demonstrations against the persecution of Julian Assange

6 June 2018

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press is being defined by the treatment of Julian Assange.”

Ten weeks incommunicado: Conspiracy builds to force Assange out of Ecuadorian embassy

By James Cogan, 6 June 2018

Demonstrations and vigils must be understood not as one-off protests, but the renewal of a determined campaign to win Assange’s freedom.

Free Julian Assange! Support the June 19 vigil in London

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 6 June 2018

Workers and young people must demand that the Conservative government of Theresa May end its persecution of Assange, drop the bail-related issues against him and allow him to leave the embassy and, if he chooses, the UK, without fear of arrest.

Journalist Antony Loewenstein: “Heavy pressure” needed to win freedom and justice for Assange

6 June 2018

The following statement was sent by journalist and filmmaker Antony Loewenstein, a consistent defender of WikiLeaks.

Ecuadorian foreign minister asserts treatment of Assange is “not censorship”

By James Cogan, 5 June 2018

Assange is not only being censored, but faces imminent danger of being forced into the hands of his persecutors.

John Pilger and Courage Foundation announce “urgent campaign” to free Assange

5 June 2018

The Courage Foundation, which raises funds for the legal defence of persecuted whistleblowers and journalists, has endorsed protests and vigils in defence of Julian Assange later this month.

Dozens drown in Mediterranean as Europe cracks down on immigrants

By Eric London, 4 June 2018

At least 55 people died at sea over the weekend—the direct product of the anti-immigrant policies implemented by the governments of Europe.

Singer-songwriter Roger Waters calls for defence of Assange

By our reporters, 4 June 2018

Waters emailed the World Socialist Web Site last month to convey his support for international action to defend Julian Assange.

The working class must mobilize to free Julian Assange!

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2018

The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange must be connected to the developing international movement of workers against inequality, oppression and exploitation.

The abortion vote in Ireland: A blow against reaction

By Patrick Martin, 29 May 2018

The referendum vote demonstrates that working people, and broad sections of the middle class, are fully prepared to fight for the extension and expansion of democratic rights.

For international action to defend Julian Assange!

By The ICFI and WSWS international editorial board, 28 May 2018

The June 17 demonstration in Sydney will demand that the Australian government immediately act to secure Assange’s unconditional freedom and return to Australia.

Julian Assange “in jeopardy” of being forced into UK and US detention

By Mike Head, 25 May 2018

Reports allege that the WikiLeaks founder could be removed from Ecuador’s London embassy “any day now.”

WikiLeaks and whistleblowers condemn new allegations against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 May 2018

Beside WikiLeaks and the WSWS, only a handful of other websites and individuals have stepped forward to denounce the Guardian for serving as the conduit for the anti-Assange vendetta.

Munich: 40,000 demonstrate against new police law

By Markus Salzmann, 15 May 2018

The new Bavarian Police Law is unprecedented in Germany’s history since the fall of the Nazi regime.

Australian meetings to call for Julian Assange’s freedom

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 20 April 2018

The Australian political and media establishment bears major responsibility for the outrages perpetrated against Julian Assange.

UK government’s racist targeting of Caribbean migrants provokes backlash

By Robert Stevens and Thomas Scripps, 19 April 2018

The tightening of immigration legislation was in line with a policy of creating, in Prime Minister May’s words, a “really hostile environment” for “illegal” immigrants.

Swiss whistleblower Falciani arrested in Spain on order from Switzerland

By Marianne Arens, 11 April 2018

Hervé Falciani, who exposed thousands of cases of tax evasion, now faces extradition to Switzerland, in a deal that could include the extradition of two Catalonian politicians.

Spain responds to German court decision on Puigdemont with threats of stepped-up repression

By Alejandro López, 9 April 2018

The court’s decision is a setback for Madrid, which was confident Puigdemont would be returned to Spain and the possibility of 30 years in jail, with the German government’s tacit agreement.

Spanish parties unite to demand repression against Catalan nationalists

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2018

The Catalan crisis is being used to criminalise all political and social opposition under conditions of intensification of the class struggle.

“The people are behind you!”

Students, faculty and staff at University of Michigan oppose persecution of Julian Assange

By Zac Corrigan, 3 April 2018

On Monday, an IYSSE campaign team spoke to students and faculty at the University of Michigan about the confinement and persecution of Julian Assange.

Spanish judiciary accuses former Catalan President Puigdemont of “mobilising the masses”

By Peter Schwarz, 30 March 2018

If the German government extradites Puigdemont to Spain, it will set a precedent for the suppression of all forms of protest and opposition.

Perpetrator of Carcassonne and Trèbes terrorist attacks known to French intelligence agencies

By Anthony Torres, 29 March 2018

The bloody attack raises more questions about the responsibility of the French state, which has infiltrated Islamist terror networks in their war in Syria.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange’s access to the outside world

By Mike Head, 29 March 2018

Julian Assange’s confinement in the Ecuadoran embassy increasingly resembles that of a prisoner.

Google sets up “news initiative” to censor political opposition and promote mainstream media

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2018

Google announced its latest censorship initiative as Facebook came under pressure from the media and Congressional Democrats to crack down on political opposition.

Northern Ireland: Loyalist killer was a police agent

By Steve James, 19 March 2018

Gary Haggarty was working as a British agent when he killed five people on what the government still insists is the “British soil” of Northern Ireland.

Why the far-right won in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 7 March 2018

Decades of austerity and attacks on democratic rights by the official “left” in Italy, aided and abetted by its pseudo-left apologists, have produced an electoral victory by the far-right parties.

European Union demands Google, Facebook step up Internet censorship

By Kumaran Ira, 5 March 2018

The EU’s call for the automatic removal of online content is part of an international attempt to censor social opposition to austerity and war.

French neo-fascist Marine Le Pen indicted for tweeting pictures of IS killings

By Francis Dubois, 3 March 2018

The indictment of two National Front deputies for posting pictures on Twitter is an act of political censorship threatening basic democratic rights.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Berlin Senate plans increase in police powers

By Katerina Selin, 8 February 2018

Last week, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, discussed a far-reaching security plan for the German capital.

Belgium: terror trial begins of Saleh Abdeslam, “Europe’s most wanted man”

By Anthony Torres, 8 February 2018

The trial of the sole survivor of the team that carried out the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, Saleh Abdeslam, opened Monday in Belgium.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

From Facebook to Policebook

By Andre Damon, 2 February 2018

Facebook is being transformed into an instrument of censorship and surveillance, monitoring the actions and thoughts of its users.

For an international coalition to fight Internet censorship

An open letter from the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site to socialist, anti-war, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists

23 January 2018

An open letter from the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site to socialist, antiwar, left-wing and progressive websites, organizations and activists

Twitter warns users: We’re watching you

By Andre Damon, 22 January 2018

In an overt act of political intimidation, Twitter emailed hundreds of thousands of users informing them that they had shared or followed “Russian propaganda.”

German newspaper Die Zeit and SPD back #MeToo witch-hunt

By Verena Nees, 19 January 2018

It is no accident that the German #MeToo campaign is being led by a newspaper close to the SPD, which has adopted the issue in the wake of its disastrous result in last autumn’s federal election.

Statement to the World Socialist Web Site webinar

Julian Assange calls effort of corporations to control Internet discourse “an existential threat to humanity”

18 January 2018

This statement was sent by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the January 16 webinar, “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship.”

World Socialist Web Site calls for international coalition of socialist and anti-war websites to counter Internet censorship

By Niles Niemuth, 18 January 2018

The WSWS hosted a livestreamed discussion between David North and Chris Hedges that reviewed the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and the necessary steps for an effective fight-back.

Statement by Julian Assange opposing Internet censorship will be read at WSWS “Organizing Resistance” Webinar

16 January 2018

The webinar featuring David North and Chris Hedges will be broadcast live on January 16 at 7:00 pm EST.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

French artists rebuff #MeToo witch-hunt

By Linda Tenenbaum, 10 January 2018

An open letter signed by actress Catherine Deneuve and other prominent women emphasizes the anti-democratic nature of the #MeToo movement and its repudiation of due process.

Twitter censors German satirical magazine

By Johannes Stern, 10 January 2018

The German censorship law is part of a comprehensive global campaign to control the Internet.

Governments and corporations escalate Internet censorship and attacks on free speech

By Andre Damon, 6 January 2018

Technology companies and governments all over the world have kicked off the New Year with a massive assault on freedom of expression on the Internet.

Germany’s “Network Enforcement Law” goes into effect: A move to censor the Internet

By Johannes Stern, 4 January 2018

The new law is part of an international offensive to attack free speech online, aimed at suppressing left-wing and socialist views.

Christian Democratic student association calls for the banning of the IYSSE at German universities

By Christoph Vandreier, 22 November 2017

The denial of working group status for the IYSSE in Leipzig sets a precedent to deprive socialist student organizations of standing as university groups across the country, an attack on basic democratic rights.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Did an undercover agent incite the Berlin Christmas Market attack?

By Dietmar Henning, 26 October 2017

An undercover agent from the State Criminal Bureau in North Rhine-Westphalia is alleged to have had close contact with the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market attack.

Catalan government in turmoil over Spain’s suppression of autonomy

By Paul Mitchell, 24 October 2017

The anti-democratic measures imposed under Article 155 are leading to a violent conflict with the Catalan population.

Over 5,000 sign WSWS petition against Google blacklisting

By Trévon Austin, 23 October 2017

The broad and passionate response from workers, students and youth in the United States and internationally is indicative of widespread opposition to censorship and attacks on democratic rights.

Google escalates blacklisting of left-wing web sites and journalists

By Andre Damon, 20 October 2017

In a sweeping expansion of its moves to censor the Internet, Google has blacklisted leading left-wing websites and journalists from its news aggregation platform.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Germany’s Network Enforcement Act: Legal framework for censorship of the Internet

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2017

The assumption behind the law, which took effect October 1, is that companies will delete controversial posts rather than risk severe financial penalties.

Defenders of imperialist “human rights” hail Spanish government’s crackdown in Catalonia

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

The United States and the EU leapt to the defence of the Spanish government as it sent police to savagely beat and arrest anyone who dared to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2017

New statistics expose the growing impact of Google’s attack on free speech.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Germany: Trial of neo-Nazi terror group whitewashes role of intelligence services

By Dietmar Henning, 16 September 2017

It is evident that, despite the attention to detail in the case of the five accused, the aim of the NSU trial was to conceal the role played by the secret services.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

Germany: 60,000 people evacuated as WWII bomb is defused in Frankfurt

By Marianne Arens, 7 September 2017

The largest evacuation in post-war German history led to many lively discussions about war and dictatorship.

Candidates denounce refugees, demand state build-up at German election debate

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2017

Merkel and Schulz agreed on virtually every issue and appealed for a crackdown on refugees, more police, and a more aggressive German and European foreign policy.

German federal police illegally collect data to blacklist journalists and activists

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 September 2017

The extent of surveillance and the arbitrary and unconstitutional storage of data on thousands of “left-wing political extremists” are typical characteristics of an authoritarian police state.

German SGP election candidate speaks at student protest against deportations

By our reporters, 4 September 2017

Marianne Arens, an election candidate of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), spoke at a demonstration of students in the town of Offenbach protesting against the deportation of classmates to Afghanistan.

German government raids and shuts down left-wing Indymedia site

By Johannes Stern, 26 August 2017

The shutdown of linksunten.indymedia.org is the latest step in a crackdown on left-wing politics in Germany ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Youth clashes with police in Paris suburbs point to explosive social tensions

By Francis Dubois, 22 August 2017

The incidents at Aulnay-sous-Bois point to growing tensions between police and the population of the estate where police sexually assaulted a youth in February.

More than two thousand sign petition to stop Google censorship

By Zac Corrigan, 22 August 2017

The number of signatures jumped over the weekend, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a link to the WSWS’s exposure of Google’s actions.

Rajoy threatens to deploy army inside Spain after Barcelona attack

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 19 August 2017

This would be the first time that the army was deployed inside Spain since the country was ruled by the fascist regime of Francisco Franco.

SPD wages law-and-order campaign in Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2017

Adopting many slogans of the extreme right, Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz is calling for more police and a crackdown on immigrants.

Law to “moralize” French politics: A fig leaf for austerity

By Francis Dubois, 15 August 2017

The law is a cynical attempt to sow illusions in the ruling elite, an operation supported by Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 August 2017

In the autumn, Internet company Facebook will open a new censorship centre employing 500 people in Essen, Germany.

Catalan independence referendum sparks growing concerns in Europe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2017

On both sides of the Atlantic, sections of the ruling elite fear a confrontation between Barcelona and Madrid could spark a crisis engulfing Spain.

German politicians call for quicker deportations after attacks in Hamburg and Konstanz

By Justus Leicht, 31 July 2017

The blood of the victims in Hamburg and Konstanz has barely had time to dry and the background to both attacks remains unclear, but politicians from all of the major parties are already seeking to outdo each other with right-wing demagogy.