Prevent Watch

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AUDIT REVEALS THE U.S. IS POURING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO CVE INTERNATIONALLY

In 2015, the Obama administration hosted its first Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit, which brought together local, federal, and international leaders to discuss “concrete steps” to take to “develop community-oriented approaches to counter hateful extremist ideologies that radicalize, recruit or incite to violence.” Domestically, this summit resulted in the establishment of new roles in the government (full-time CVE coordinator, CVE task force, etc.) along with millions of dollars earmarked in CVE grants. For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided $10 million in federal grants for Fiscal Year 2016 to support “programs, projects, and activities that prevent recruitment or radicalization to violence by interrupting those efforts, building community-level resilience to them, and identifying the early signs of radicalization to violence and providing appropriate interventions through civic organizations, law enforcement or other entities.” Although purportedly designed in the interests of national security, CVE programs threaten the civil rights of U.S. […]

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REVEALED: The ‘woke’ media outfit that’s actually a UK counterterror programme

A social media network for young people that has been launched around the term “woke” is actually a covert British government counterterrorism programme, security officials have admitted. A Facebook page and Instagram feed with the name This Is Woke describes itself as the work of a “media/news company” that is engaging “in critical discussions around Muslim identity, tradition and reform”. In fact, it was created by a media company on behalf of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) at the UK Home Office. The OSCT is refusing to disclose information about the network, however, and will not explain the reason it was created, claiming that to do so would “prejudice the national security of the UK”. Read more

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Government appoints Prevent advocate Lord Carlile to lead its ‘independent’ review

The British government has appointed Lord Carlile as its new ‘independent’ reviewer of the contentious counter-extremism strategy known as Prevent. The appointment of Lord Carlile as the lead investigator is in fact a re-appointment, as he was the same reviewer who approved of the Government’s failed strategy in 2011. Critics have suggested that the entire process of supposedly reviewing the strategy is a step towards legitimising Prevent. According to security minister Brandon Lewis, Lord Carlile “brings a wealth of experience and skills to this role. As the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, he showed independence and rigour and I am pleased he has agreed to lead this review.” Many have stated that there is nothing independent nor transparent about appointing an investigator who supports Prevent. Lord Carlile has even propagated the programme’s discriminatory practices, making clear his stance on the policy multiple times and even making suggestions on increasing […]

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Prevent reviewer is member of Home Office panel tasked with enforcing strategy

A lawyer appointed by the British government to review the Prevent strategy is also a member of a secretive Home Office committee responsible for enforcing the implementation of the contentious counter-extremism programme by public bodies. Lord Carlile, a former counter-terrorism legislation watchdog who also reviewed Prevent in 2011, was appointed by the Home Office on Monday to conduct the review. But Carlile’s membership of the Prevent Oversight Board and his past comments in support of the strategy have raised concerns about his ability to deliver a review that will be seen as genuinely independent by its critics. Read more

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CAGE condemns appointment of Lord Carlile as Prevent reviewer

Advocacy group CAGE has said the appointment of Lord Carlile as the “Independent Reviewer for Prevent” confirms that the entire review process is simply about legitimising the controversial counter terror policy. CAGE said the government has re-appointed the same reviewer who approved the current Prevent strategy and has close ties with the intelligence and security establishment. Many Muslim organisations, as well as human rights groups, unions and academics, have said Prevent is a thinly-veiled spying and monitoring exercise which targets the Muslim community. Asim Qureshi, CAGE’s Research Director said: “The core problem with Prevent is that it fundamentally skews the relationship between government and citizens. Muslims are the test community for a government whose long term aim is to bring about a closed society. Read more

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An upcoming review of the Prevent counter-extremism programme is at risk of becoming a “whitewash”

A coalition of 10 human rights and community groups, including Index on Censorship, have warned that an upcoming review of the Prevent counter-extremism programme is at risk of becoming a “whitewash”. The groups are urging the government to ensure that the review of Prevent is comprehensive and truly independent. Dear Rt. Hon Brandon Lewis, We write as a diverse coalition of human rights organisations and community groups concerned by the impact of the Government’s flagship counter-extremism strategy, Prevent, on fundamental rights, community cohesion and the delivery of public services. We welcome the Government’s commitment to establishing an independent review of Prevent under the auspices of the Counter Terror and Border Security Act 2019. [1] As the deadline for the announcement of arrangements for the Review approaches, we are writing to request that you take appropriate steps to ensure that it is genuinely independent of Government and that its Terms of […]

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Lord Alex Carlile QC to lead on independent review of Prevent programme

The Government has announced that Lord Alex Carlile QC has been appointed as the Independent Reviewer of the Prevent programme which safeguards vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism. Prevent is one of the four strands of the Government’s CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy. Back in January, the Government announced the creation of the Independent Review of Prevent as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act. Read more

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New NUS president: I will always be racially profiled

he new president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has called for the government’s Prevent anti-radicalisation strategy to be scrapped and has urged universities to do more to tackle the black attainment gap and racism on campus. In her first interview since taking up office last month, Zamzam Ibrahim said she had seen the impact of Prevent in universities first-hand, with events being cancelled and students being referred because of membership of the Palestinian or Islamic societies. She said her overarching aim as NUS president was to campaign for a fully funded, fully accessible education system that is seen as a public and social good. “That’s not an education system that includes surveillance of a particular minority group,” she said. Read more

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Government warned that review of Prevent risks becoming a “whitewash”

The Government has been warned that a review of its counter-extremism strategy, Prevent, is at risk of becoming a “whitewash.” [1] In January, the Government announced an ‘independent review’ after years of rejecting concerns from a range of people and organisations on the impact of the Prevent strategy. Many groups have criticised, opposed, and called for the repeal of the Prevent strategy. These groups include the National Union of Students (NUS), Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), University and College Union (UCU), National Union of Teachers (NUT), several faith groups, academics, and activists. [2] A coalition of 10 human rights organisations and community groups have accused the Government of recruiting the ‘independent’ reviewer behind closed doors. The coalition consists of groups including Rights Watch, Liberty, Index on Censorship, CAGE, and the Muslim Council of Britain. Read more

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Anti-extremism mentors inform on clients to police

Home Office mentors are gathering information on their clients in “confidential” deradicalisation meetings and sharing it with police for terrorism investigations into the very people they are counselling. Leaked documents seen by The Sunday Times reveal that the paid mentors, who include Islamic scholars and counter-extremism experts vetted and approved by the Home Office, routinely file an “intervention session report” after each mentoring session. The mentors’ reports provide a “vulnerability assessment” of a client, their “capability” of carrying out a violent act and “new relevant background information” which details the personal material that was obtained, including their “susceptibility to indoctrination” and state of “mental health”. The detailed assessments, carried out under the Channel mentoring programme, part of the government’s Prevent counter-terrorism agenda, also include briefings… Read more