HRW World Report 2008

Chapter European Union

EU states show an increasing willingness to categorize as terrorism actions only remotely connected to the planning and commission of violent attacks, with damaging consequences for expression, privacy, and in some cases liberty.


The arrest of two academics in July raised questions about academic freedom and free speech in the context of counterterrorism. The federal police arrested Andrej Holm, a professor from the University of Humboldt, and another academic identified only as “Mattias B.,” citing their academic writings and accusing them of being intellectual supporters of a militant left-wing faction allegedly responsible for a series of arson attacks since 2001. Neither of the men is a suspect in the arson investigation, but Holm is accused of meeting with one of the suspected arsonists earlier in 2007. Holm was detained and placed in solitary confinement until bail was granted in August. Charges of membership in a terrorist organization are pending against both men.


And elsewhere?

In Denmark an activist who unexpectedly returned home interrupted a secret house search by the police recently. Now who believes this is a singular event that would take place only in Denmark?

In the UK, if you’re of muslim origin, admittely anarchist and e.g. have taken part in protests against the G8 summit in Germany, be ready to expect to regularly be questioned by the Special Branch at the airport. At least. Regular surveillance measures included.


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