Prevent Watch

Report on exporting Prevent exposes UK complicity in CVE rights abuse in Indonesia

A new report by Rights and Security International entitled Exporting Prevent: The UK government’s complicity in rights-violating counter-extremism programmes in Indonesia is the first of very few studies uncovering CVE rights abuse arising from the cooperation between the UK and foreign governments on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) projects.

In Indonesia, P/CVE debates are dominated by security analysts, who describe the projects as successful.

Furthermore, these security analysts are also able to influence Indonesia’s population – citizens of the largest Muslim country in the world – to denounce what they define as “religious extremism”.

This report, however, manages to uncover the dark side of P/CVE projects in the country, costing serious
human rights violations to Indonesian religious minorities, indigenous Papuan peoples and other people peacefully criticising the Indonesian government’s policies.

Many Indonesian human rights groups have reported how P/CVE projects are misused to marginalise religious minorities and suppress peaceful calls for Papuan independence by accusing them of supporting “terrorist” groups.

The government has also removed employees of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) who have been critical of the country’s practices, by labeling them – falsely – as “Taliban”.

These reports, however, did not delve into the UK’s contribution to Indonesia’s P/CVE projects, and the human rights violations to which they contribute.

RSI’s report provides an excellent explanation of how the exporting of the UK’s Prevent programme and associated projects to Indonesia has not only neglected systemic human rights violations in West Papua, persecution against religious minorities and shrinking civic space in Indonesia, but has unquestionably followed the UK’s deeply problematic and toxic Prevent policy.

Read the full report by RSI here.

More on this topic…

Human Rights and the Globalisation of Counter-Extremism (Report, 2018)

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