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Irish Government; cheerleaders for human rights violations - Martina Anderson MEP

20 December, 2015 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said the Irish Government are cheerleaders for  human rights violations, given their support for the Passenger Name Record (PNR) programme.

Responding to comments made by Fine Gael representatives, Ms Anderson said

"PNR is not an anti-terror law, it is an expensive and unnecessary violation of basic civil liberties.

"It is the mass collection and sharing of personal information of airline passengers by security agencies in the EU and beyond. 

"The mass collection of information from passengers who are not involved in terrorism or international organised crime has been condemned as unnecessary by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

"A single PNR system imposed on Member States,  can contain information about your home address, your mobile phone number, your date of birth, your credit card number,your passport number  and personal details about your travel preferences
and your associations with other people.

It also enables profiling - did you ask for a halal meal or a Kosher meal?  

Did you ask for one bed or two?  Did you pay for someone else?  

A member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Ms Anderson continued:

“What is clear is that the perpetrators of terrorism and international crime are well knowing to various member states but the information is not being properly exchange. I argued that the scope of the PNR should focus on those areas and not capture everyone.

“EU PNR needs to comply with the Data Retention judgement of the European Court of Justice which stated that mass collection of data that is not targeted to certain categories is disproportionate and thus in violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

"PNR is currently subject to a pending case in the European Court of Justice in relation to its fundamental rights compatibility.

"We in Sinn Féin find it deeply regrettable that the European Council, including the Irish Government, continues to cheerlead for this initiative in advance of the court ruling.

“We wholly opposed the text during the plenary, in defence of the fundamental rights of millions of people in the fight against terrorism.” ENDS

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