Prevent Watch

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The PROP Expert View: What’s Sunak’s stats really show us

Sunak’s proposals to classify anyone who “vilifies” Britain as an “extremist” betray an ignorance regarding how counter-extremism harms innocent people. But a closer look at the stats reveal deeper truths. Statistics for the past year up to March this year from the Home Office state that of the 196 arrests for terrorist-related activity, 55 (28%) were subsequently charged for terrorism-related offences. Moreover, the number of white people arrested for terrorist activity increased from last year, and are four times higher than Asian people. So, when Sunak asserts that “80% of live counter terror investigations” are of “Islamists”, what we should be asking is: why are 80% of the terrorism investigations centred on Muslims when arrests of presumably British white people are four times higher? Source: Surely this is the last desperate attempt to revive prevent? – The People Review of Prevent

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The Guardian: Sunak is wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target

The contender’s plan is idiotic and dangerous. Aren’t Tories supposed to champion free speech, says Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain. The implication of his proposals seems to be that any public sector worker covered by the Prevent duty would be required to refer anyone they believe is “vilifying” to the authorities. Would this include nationalists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, some of whom would readily vilify England? If not, why not? What about writers within our mainstream media, in publications such as the Spectator? Would Sunak’s policy include those who have non-mainstream political views on our nation’s colonial history? Source: Sunak wants to punish those who ‘vilify the UK’. That’s wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target | Miqdaad Versi | The Guardian

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The Guardian: Former counter-terrorism police chief attacks Sunak’s Prevent plans

Rishi Sunak’s proposals to strengthen the government’s anti-terrorism programme risk “straying into thought crimes” and are potentially damaging to national security, a former senior police chief has said. Such proposals would lead to more people being referred to Prevent by widening the definition of “extremism” to include those who “vilify” Britain, with Sunak pledging to focus on “rooting out those who are vocal in their hatred of our country”. But former counter-terrorism chief Sir Peter Fahy, who was also chief constable of Greater Manchester police, questioned the precise meaning of “vilification”. He said: “The widening of Prevent could damage its credibility and reputation. It makes it more about people’s thoughts and opinions.” Source: Former counter-terrorism police chief attacks Rishi Sunak’s Prevent plans | Rishi Sunak | The Guardian

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The PROP Expert View: Six spectacular takeaways from Prevent Watch’s 5Pillars podcast

Get the latest expert views from Prevent Watch’s senior caseworker and co-author of the PROP, including: There’s no evidence to prove Prevent’s “success” and we know it doesn’t work The UK criminal justice system is robust enough to handle political violence Some examples of why Prevent is a way to police belief Prevent is secular aggression to draw Muslims away from Islamic belief and behaviour Prevent’s new disguises and how to speak out We do not need Prevent; we only need sound knowledge Or you can view the full 5 Pillars podcast here. Source: 6 spectacular takeaways from prevent watch’s 5pillars podcast – The People Review of Prevent

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Gov.UK: Robin Simcox appointed as Commissioner for Countering Extremism

The Home Office has confirmed the appointment of Robin Simcox as the substantive Commissioner for Countering Extremism (CCE). His tenure will last for a three-year period. Simcox’s appointment has been agreed by the Home Secretary Priti Patel. Previously, Simcox has dismissed the use of the term “Islamophobia”. He also worked for a US far-right think-tank The Counter Extremism Group. Simcox said Extinction Rebellion, Unite Against Fascism and the far left “need monitoring”. Source: Robin Simcox appointed as Commissioner for Countering Extremism – GOV.UK

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Popular Science: What is the UK-US Data Access Agreement?

An agreement between the United States and United Kingdom to improve cross-border law enforcement data sharing will go into effect later this year, the two nations announced in a joint statement. They will now be able to directly request data like messages and pictures, for example, from telecommunications providers in the other’s jurisdiction. The non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has previously criticized the foundational idea of data sharing with cross-border law enforcement as “a dangerous expansion of police snooping”. Source: What is the UK-US Data Access Agreement? | Popular Science

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5Pillars: How Prevent targets Muslim school children

In this eye-opening episode of the Blood Brothers Podcast, Dilly Hussain speaks with the director of advocacy group Prevent Watch, Dr Laila Aitlhadj, about the UK government’s controversial counterterrorism ‘Prevent’ strategy. Topics include what Prevent is supposed to do and what it is actually doing, in particular to young people. The podcast also covers its effect on adults employed in the public services and makes particular mention of why it is incompatible with Islamic values, and its effect on Muslim belief. Source: Blood Brothers #84: Prevent and the UK Government’s targeting of Muslim school children – 5Pillars

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The PROP Expert View: How are we to make sense of Shawcross?

Leaks from the Shawcross review of Prevent say that “Prevent has failed”. Case-based evidence shows that Prevent is not directly involved in preventing terrorism. Rather, it addresses ideas and behaviours that are said to be “indicators” of “risk”. Because Prevent is an early intervention, there can be no evidence that it has successfully dissuaded anyone; indeed this is logically impossible to prove. Indeed, how can one measure “success” and “failure” when the programme itself targets people who are innocent in the law in the first place? Source: how are we to make sense of what shawcross is saying on prevent? – The People Review of Prevent

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EachOther: Is Prevent Compatible with Human Rights Law?

The many criticisms of Prevent include the lack of a peer-reviewed evidence base; the lack of an operable definition of extremism; inadequate training; a high number of ‘false-positives’; and the policy being structurally racist and Islamophobic. Critics of Prevent include Liberty, the Open Society Foundations, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the National Union of Teachers, Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester) and over a hundred academics. Prevent conflicts with the Human Rights Act (HRA) and the Equalities Act, writes Shazad Amin, Deputy Chair of MEND. Source: Is The Prevent Programme Compatible With Human Rights? | EachOther