Middle East Eye: UK Home Office challenged over independence of Prevent review

The UK’s Home Office is facing fresh questions over the credibility and lawfulness of a long-delayed review of its contentious Prevent counter-terrorism strategy after being challenged by a human rights advocacy group over the independence of the process.

Rights and Security International (RSI) said on Monday it had written to the Home Office to raise its concerns that the department may have “interfered significantly” in a draft report by reviewer William Shawcross.

Caroline Ott, a solicitor at Leigh Day that is representing RSI, said: “Our client has raised serious concerns about the lawfulness of the ongoing independent review of Prevent and considers that the nature of the interactions between the Home Secretary and the independent reviewer may compromise the review’s ‘independence’.”

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Don’t miss it! Amnesty International survey on Prevent and human rights

If you haven’t answered the Amnesty International survey on Prevent, this is the last week to do so.

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Multiculturalism and Prevent: Why ‘British values’ must not be a weapon

We assert the need for a new notion of “British values” that suits the universal character of our population in this excerpt from the People’s Review of Prevent.

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The Guardian: UK risks being listed among human rights abusers, NGO warns

The UK government could soon make the list of human rights abusers with its “outright assault” on the rights of its own citizens and aggressive roll-back of protections such as on the right to assemble and protest. This is according to the international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW). “The shrinking civic space is not relegated to countries far away,” said Tirana Hassan, the acting executive director of HRW. “When you come to the UK, you look at the very worrying trend we are seeing. A slew of legislation was passed last year where fundamental human rights are being challenged. The protest law is something we are deeply concerned about.” Hassan said HRW had identified a “worrying trend” by the UK government of proposing laws that violate human rights and significantly weaken protections. “When you talk about civic space and about people’s right to participate in a democratic society, the right […]

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The Guardian: Government refuses to disclose whether Prevent strategy will be redacted

No 10 has refused to say if its review of the Prevent strategy will be redacted, amid reports it has been delayed by a row between Michael Gove and the Home Office over whether to reveal the names of suspected “Islamist” extremists. The Prevent review was handed over to the Home Office by William Shawcross, a former head of the Charity Commission, in the summer. Draft extracts leaked to the Guardian in May revealed it controversially argued the government has been too focused on rightwing extremism and should now crack down on Islamist extremism. However, it has not been published yet. According to the Times, Whitehall sources said Gove was increasingly trying to get involved because of his joint responsibility for Prevent’s operation on the ground. Asked when the review would be published, Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said it was “right to take time to prepare and deliver a considered response”. […]


The Guardian: UK MPs studying plans for child-specific terrorism orders

New legal child-specific terrorism orders should be brought in to tackle the growing numbers being arrested, the official adviser on terrorism law has told the UK government.

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The Independent: Review of Prevent may be ‘redundant’, campaigners say

The findings of the independent review of Prevent by the government may be “redundant” by the time it is published, four years after being announced, campaigners told the Independent.

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Middle East Eye: Prevent review delays highlight a process in shambles

Nearly four years have passed since the British government announced a review of the Prevent strategy. The review has turned into a shambles, writes Peter Oborne.


The Prevent strategy is out-of-step with the UK’s many communities of belonging

The Prevent strategy of the UK’s counter-extremism policy is out of step with the realities of British society, and its placing of religious communities of belonging under suspicion is counter-productive to genuine, long-term social stability.

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