Prevent Watch

CategoriesNews

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

CategoriesNews Uncategorized

Would you appoint Nigel Farage for a Brexit “independent” review?

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[1]– 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

CategoriesUncategorized

Government appoints Prevent advocate to lead its professed ‘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.” [1] 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 […]

CategoriesNews

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

CategoriesNews

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

CategoriesNews

Town Hall ‘agreed to disagree’ with Home Office on counter-terror strategy

The council officer in charge of co-ordinating preventative anti-terrorism measures across the borough has revealed that the Town Hall “agreed to disagree” with the Home Office over part of its approach approach. Tracey Thomas, who oversees the delivery of the Prevent strand of counter-terror strategy, revealed in a recent council meeting that it had come in for “criticism” from central government for having a year go by without a referral to multi-agency initiative Channel. Read more

CategoriesNews

Hollyoaks And The Far Right: How A Volunteer Network And The Home Office Helped Channel 4 Depict Radicalisation

For just over a year, Nigel Bromage has been running Exit UK, a volunteer network that offers support and help for people trying to turn their back on the far right. But his steady stream of “a couple of enquiries a week” is turning into something bigger, since Hollyoaks made the bold decision of steering much-loved character Ste Hay towards radicalisation and racism. Read more

CategoriesNews

Home Office urged to release leftwing extremism report

The Home Office is facing calls to release a report called Leftwing Activism and Extremism in the UK, which has been prepared by its extremism analysis unit (EAU). Jenny Jones, one of several politicians and activists whose inclusion on a domestic extremist database previously caused a furore, are among those expressing concerns about the report after its existence was revealed by a freedom of information request by the Guardian. Read more

CategoriesNews

Prevent should be scrapped not reviewed

Amid the craziness of the Brexit debate and the ongoing snowfall, the UK’s security minister Ben Wallace decided the time had come for an independent review of the controversial government Prevent counter extremism strategy. The decision was warmly welcomed by Labour MP Naz Shah, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and The Muslim Council of Britain. With questions over the disclosure, “independence” and terms of the review hanging in the air, organisations like Human Rights Watch and Open Society Justice were hesitantly pulling at their party poppers. Other organisations, like CAGE, were more critical and thought that calling for a review meant the government had conceded the policy lacks any trust or credibility. Read more

CategoriesNews

Campaigners’ pressure forces review of Prevent anti-terror strategy

Ministers have bowed to pressure and announced an independent review into the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy. Revealing the move, Ben Wallace, the security minister, accused critics of the Prevent programme of using “distortion and spin” and called on them to produce evidence for their allegations. Civil liberties and human rights organisations have claimed that Prevent discriminates against Muslims. Read more