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’.” RSI published details of redacted emails obtained from the Home Office through a freedom of information request in which members of the review team discussed dealing with “comments and
The People's Review of Prevent
The People’s Review of Prevent is an alternative review to the Government Shawcross Review.
This review provides a voice to the people most impacted by the Prevent Duty.
Prevent is described as ‘safeguarding’ children from harms. However, under Prevent, safeguarding is focused on protecting the wider public from children believed to be ‘risky’, rather than protecting children from harms.
Throughout our report we present case studies that show how real these harms can be and the distress they cause to children and their families and carers.
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.
Suella Braverman is under pressure to answer fresh questions about alleged “security breaches”, as a former head of parliament’s intelligence and security committee warned the row threatened to undermine officials’ confidence in sharing sensitive information with her. Government insiders and a senior Conservative MP have challenged the account given by the home secretary and backed up by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, saying that Braverman only owned up to it when she was confronted with the evidence, and not the other way around, as claimed by Sunak. Source: Doubts arise over Braverman’s claim to have come forward about code breach | Suella Braverman | The Guardian
Facebook’s parent company Meta is not moderating anti-Muslim hate from India – with disastrous consequences. Why? Hate speech directed at religious minorities has become a routine feature of public life in India. From 2009 to 2014 there were 19 instances of hostile rhetoric towards minorities by high-ranking politicians. But from 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) entered government, to the start of 2022 there were 348 such instances – a surge of 1,130 percent. Today, some genocide experts speak of a possible genocide against India’s Muslims. In this article, MEE examines how Meta, one of the biggest media organisations in the world, has become a broadcaster of genocidal hate speech through Facebook, with potentially nightmarish consequences. Source: Facebook in India: Why is it still allowing hate speech against Muslims? | Middle East Eye
Discipline in the Conservative Party disintegrated further after Downing Street slapped down Suella Braverman for breaking with government policy as she called for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The home secretary said it was her personal view and acknowledged government policy was to work within the boundaries of the convention, which is interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. However, her intervention is another sign of the indiscipline within Liz Truss’s administration at the Tory party conference in Birmingham. Source: Suella Braverman angers No 10 with attack on human rights convention | News | The Times
British Muslim identity has been hit with another challenge, according to a new report that concludes that they have had their citizenship reduced to “second-class” status thanks to recently extended powers to strip people of their nationality. The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) says the targets of such powers are almost exclusively Muslims, mostly of south Asian heritage, embedding discrimination and creating a lesser form of citizenship. Frances Webber, IRR vice-chair and report author, wrote: “While a ‘native’ British citizen, who has access to no other citizenship, can commit the most heinous crimes without jeopardising his right to remain British, none of the estimated 6 million British citizens with access to another citizenship can feel confident in the perpetual nature of their citizenship.” The IRR’s report was published on Sunday. Source: British Muslims’ citizenship reduced to ‘second-class’ status, says thinktank | Islam | The Guardian
3 June, 2022 – Speaking on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, Dame Sara Khan, a campaigner who has been accused in the past of being a mouthpiece for the Home Office, says Prevent should be “ideologically blind”. Khan also said the UK’s counter-extremism strategy, which is separate from the counter-terrorism scheme involving Prevent, was “completely outdated, it’s no longer fit for purpose”. Asked about Prevent, the former counter-extremism commissioner, who now advises the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, on social cohesion, said: “Good policy has to be ideologically blind …”
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
Imagine if the government wanted an ‘independent’ review of Brexit, but proceeded to appoint Nigel Farage to conduct the review. To appoint someone so clearly in favour of Brexit would be completely absurd. Yet the government has appointed Alex Carlile– a man who has made no secret of the fact that he is a supporter of Prevent – to be the so-called ‘independent’ reviewer for this harmful policy. Prevent and counter-extremism policy is generally suffering from a lack of support. It is like the dead parrot in the famous Monty Python sketch. It has become an ex-policy. It has ceased to ‘be’ – well, to be credible, at least. Read more
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