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PNR is not the way to counter terrorist attacks – Martina Anderson MEP

14 April, 2016 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed her concern as the Passenger Name Record(PNR) Directive, is passed during the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg.

Speaking after the vote, Ms Anderson said,

"We must all unite to tackle the terrorist attacks that we have seen recently on the streets of Brussels and Paris. However we cannot allow the people behind these attacks to undermine our way of life or our basis civil and human rights. 

"The measures in the Bill have been rejected by the European Court of Justice and in addition have failed in practise.  

"France's PNR system didn't stop foreign terrorists involved in the January 2015 attacks and in the recent tragic Brussels attacks, the Belgian judiciary and police commissariat have stated multiple times that they are drowning in an excess of data for which they have nowhere near enough manpower and human logistics to follow up on.

"The institutions of the European Parliament this week have given with one hand and taken away with the other. The robust data protection packages adopted today are welcome steps whilst PNR is a huge step backwards.

"There is no concrete evidence on the actual usefulness of PNR collection for the tackling of serious crime or terrorist offences, yet in 2013, before this was even voted on in plenary, the European Commission made funding of €50 million available to member states to adopt Passenger Name Recording.  

"This process undermines civil rights without providing any real protections to our people.

"There can be no hiding place for those responsible for the outrageous attacks in places such as Paris and Brussels and Sinn Féin will support any just mechanisms that will counter terrorism, but PNR is not the answer." ENDS

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