Quello che si è sperimentato sulla pelle degli immigrati ora viene allargato all'intera popolazione.

Tra le nuove leggi che sta discutendo la Commissione Europea ce n'è una che prevede che vengano obbligatoriamente rilevate le impronte digitali a partire dai 12 anni con la scusa ufficiale di adeguarsi agli standard statunitensi in materia di visti, mentre il Regno Unito già da quest'anno rileva le impronte su bambini anche di 5 anni figli di richiedenti asilo politico.




Millions of children to be fingerprinted

Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
Sunday July 30, 2006
The Observer

British children, possibly as young as six, will be subjected to compulsory fingerprinting under European Union rules being drawn up in secret. The prints will be stored on a database which could be shared with countries around the world.


The prospect has alarmed civil liberties groups who fear it represents a 'sea change' in the state's relationship with children and one that may lead to juveniles being erroneously accused of crimes. Under laws being drawn up behind closed doors by the European Commission's 'Article Six' committee, which is composed of representatives of the European Union's 25 member states, all children will have to attend a finger-printing centre to obtain an EU passport by June 2009 at the latest.

The use of fingerprints and other biometric data is designed to prevent passport fraud and allow European member states to meet US entry visa requirements, but the decision to fingerprint children has disturbed human rights groups.

The civil liberties group Statewatch last night accused EU governments of taking decisions in which 'people and parliaments have no say'. It said the committee's decisions were simply based on 'technological possibilities - not on the moral and political questions of whether it is right or desirable.'

'This is a sea change,' said Ben Hayes, spokesman for Statewatch. 'We are going from fingerprinting criminals to universal fingerprinting without any real debate. In the long term everyone's fingerprints will be stored on a central database. You have to ask what will be the costs to a person's privacy.'

According to secret documents obtained by Statewatch, the committee will make it compulsory for all children from the age of 12 to be fingerprinted. However, several of the committee's member states are lobbying to bring the compulsory age limit down. Sweden tells the committee it 'could agree with a minimum age of six years for passports'.

The UK, meanwhile, observes that it has collected the fingerprints of five-year-old asylum seekers with no 'significant problems'. Since February the Home Office has been fingerprinting children as young as five at asylum centres in Croydon and Liverpool. It took the decision amid concerns children were being registered by several families in order to claim more benefits.

Refugee support groups, including the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, have described the action as 'intrusive'. The JCWI also expressed concerns that fingerprints kept on file could be held against children if they tried to return to the UK in later life.

Fingerprinting young children is considered difficult because their fingers have yet to fully develop. The European Commission notes: 'Scientific tests have confirmed that the paillary ridges on the fingers are not sufficiently developed to allow biometric capture and analysis until the age of six.'

A commission spokesman said initially only member states would have access to their citizens' fingerprint data. However, after the Madrid bombings the commission signalled its intention for all fingerprints to be stored on one database that could one day be accessed by each EU state. 'Whether access for third countries will be allowed has to be decided by the EC at a later stage,' the spokesman said. 'Nevertheless, full interoperability is ensured, should the EU decide to give access to third countries.'

Such a move opens up the possibility that the fingerprints of British children could one day be accessed by foreign intelligence services. 'Secure passports make a lot more sense than ID cards,' said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty. 'But only as long as the information that is kept is no more than necessary and is not shared with other countries.'




New York Times

July 30, 2006

Images of Lebanese Death Intensify Arab Anger


DAMASCUS, Syria, July 30 — The images of the dead children in southern Lebanon played across the television screens on Sunday over and over again — small and caked in dirt and as lifeless as rag dolls as rescuers hauled them from the wreckage of several residential buildings pulverized hours earlier by the Israeli Air Force.

The images were broadcast on all of the Arab-language satellite channels, but it was the most popular station, Al Jazeera, that made the starkest point. For several hours after rescuers reached Qana, Lebanon, the station took its anchors off the air and just continuously played images of the little bodies there.

“This is the new Middle East,” one report from the shattered town began, making a sarcastic reference to a phrase Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice uttered last week when visiting Beirut, Lebanon, and rejecting calls for an immediate cease-fire.

American weapons caused the deaths, the report intoned. Men from the village were shown weeping over the children as they were laid out under blankets in front of the shattered buildings.

The anger the deaths caused in Lebanon and elsewhere was palpable. Within hours, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets in downtown Beirut, smashing windows at the United Nations headquarters, one of the few foreign buildings readily accessible.

“American-made bombs, dropped by Israeli planes, with Arab cover,” said one sign in Arabic. The last phrase referred to the initial criticism of Hezbollah by the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan when the fighting erupted nearly three weeks ago. Already worried about the growing appeal of political Islam, those governments worried that Hezbollah’s success would only bolster the strength of Islamists.

Arab public opinion, already convinced that Americans do not really care about Arab lives given the dozens killed daily in Iraq, will undoubtedly sour even more on the United States.

“There is a feeling right now that this war is not really an Israeli war against Hezbollah, but an American war to get rid of Hezbollah,” said Hussein Amin, the chairman of the journalism department at the American University in Cairo. “I think most of the coverage, in showing the dead children repeatedly, is something that is going to provoke rage and anger throughout the Arab world.”

Protesters marched through downtown Cairo, too, chanting support for “the resistance,” as Arabs call the increasingly popular Hezbollah, and “to liquidate Zionists.”

Shaimaa Mohamed, 23, walked by the demonstration with her fiancé, though they did not take part. As they went past, she broke down into tears. “You see the images of what’s happening: wouldn’t you cry when you see these images?” she said. “Then there is absolutely nothing that you can do!”

One of the demonstrators, Faweya Ali, wearing a traditional head scarf, held up a yellow Hezbollah flag in one hand and a picture of the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah. “We are with the resistance, all of the Egyptian people are with the resistance in Iraq, in Palestine, and in Lebanon!” she shouted. “All Arab rulers and our ruler here is an oppressor and an agent and a conspirator!”

Arab leaders were quick to criticize the attack. The leaders of Egypt and Jordan, which have peace treaties with Israel but face mounting public anger over their close ties with the Bush administration, condemned Israel for the deaths.

King Abdullah II of Jordan called the attack “an ugly crime,” while President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt labeled it “irresponsible.”

The official Syrian news agency released a brief statement from President Bashar al-Assad, made during a condolence call to his Lebanese counterpart, in which he labeled the attack “state terrorism.”

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, called for an international investigation.

Hassan M. Fattah contributed reporting from Beirut for this article, and Mona El Naggar from Cairo.



Hundreds of anti-war protestors in Haifa and TA


Hundreds demonstrate in Haifa against IDF operations: Wave Palestinian flags, call Olmert murderer. Thousands protest in similar rally in Um al-Fahem. Gush Shalom and Hadash activists in TA protest Qana incident; labor party youth movement rallies in support of government
Attila Somflavi


More than a hundred leftists, Jewish and Arab, demonstrated in Haifa against IDF operations in Lebanon and Gaza. The protestors, who participated in a number of anti-war rallies in recent weeks, called for an immediate ceasefire, release of kidnapped soldiers, and negotiations with Hizbullah and Hamas.


The recent killings in Qana intensified the reactions of the protestors, who referred to PM Ehud Olmert as a murderer, and blamed the IDF for the targeted killing of Lebanese civilians. Protestors carried signs expressing harsh disapproval of the government and yelled anti-government slogans.


Relatively few Israelis 


Originally, there were only a few dozen demonstrators in Haifa, but they were later joined by Arab residents of Haifa. These residents carried Palestinian flags and also censured the government, particular the prime minister and defense minister.


Rally organizers said that they intended to continue protesting until the war ends, and appealed to other Israeli to join them. They conceded that, up until now, few Israelis had joined them in their efforts.


Thousands of Um al-Fahem residents participated in a demonstration that took place in the village, carrying signs against Israeli occupation and against Israeli policy. The mayor of the village spoke at the conclusion of the rally, pointing an accusing finger at leaders of Arab countries for not condemning Israel's 'massacre' in Lebanon. He also accused Israeli leaders of "also harming Muslims in Israel".


Protestors in Um al-Fahem rally (Photo: Aved Mahmid)


In Tel Aviv, some 300 people demonstrated outside the ministry of defense building, in three separate protests: On one side of the street stood Meretz members, including former MKs Yael Dayan and Naomi Hazan. Next to them, members of the Arab 'Hadash' party and the Gush Shalom movement protested against the deaths in Qana and demanded a cessation of the fighting. On the opposite side of the street, the Labor party's youth movement held a counter-protest in support of the government.


Public being brainwashed


Gush Shalom representative, Uri Avneri, regretted that the voice of the left was not heard in the media and claimed that "the public is being brainwashed." Former MK Tamar Gozanski, who was also present, responded to the claim that the former unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 led to the current situation: "We, who don't want even one day of war, are responsible for war? Both sides have armed themselves in the past five years. We can't acquire missiles and demand for them not to."


Despite demonstrating on the same sidewalk, Meretz members made sure to distinguish between themselves and the other ralliers. "We're a Zionist party, that's the difference," explained Yael Dayan. "I would never in my life voice some of the statements that the Gush Shalom members are yelling. We're looking out for the good of Israeli residents in the north and think that there is an opportunity to use negotiation."


The protest drew responses from passing vehicles, some who honked in support, some who yelled in dissent. One stone was even thrown, ironically, at the less radical Meretz crowd. At a certain point, police arrived to protect the protestors.


Likud supporter Roee Sasa quarreled with the Gush Shalom-Hadash protestors, in an argument that almost came to blows. "What they're doing undermines the IDF and the residents of the north. When hospitals were hit, I didn't hear the radical left. This is collusion with then enemy; Nasrallah is rejoicing." Sasa declared.


Meirav Crystal and Sharon Roffe-Offir contributed to the report