Prevent Watch

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Proposed terror laws could ‘violate human rights and infringe freedom of speech’, MPs tell government

New terror laws proposed by the government may violate human rights and undermine freedom of speech, MPs have warned. The Joint Committee on Human Rights called for three clauses of the controversial Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill to be deleted and gave a total of 27 amendments. Peers and MPs said the first clause, which would make statements deemed supportive of a banned group illegal, restricted free speech and could criminalise “valid debates” on what organisations should be banned. Read more

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UN special rapporteur expresses serious concerns on UK’s counter-terrorism bill

The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin has expressed serious concerns about the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that is currently being considered by parliament. In her submission Professor Ni Aoláin states that the bill risks criminalising a broad range of legitimate behaviour, including reporting by journalists. She highlights the importance of safeguarding freedom of expression and finds that parts of the bill fail to meet the UK’s obligations under international human rights law. Read more

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New government terror laws that could jail people for ‘reckless’ statements could violate human rights, say MPs

Proposed laws that would see people jailed for viewing terroristmaterial three times or making “reckless” statements about extremist groups may violate human rights, MPs and peers have warned. The government’s new Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill “strikes the wrong balance between security and liberty”, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said. Read more

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End of Mission Statement of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance at the Conclusion of Her Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

To my knowledge, there has been no evidence that Prevent actually prevents extremism, or that link between extremism and terrorism is empirically sound. My understanding is that no government review of or findings regarding the human rights impact of Prevent has been made public, and that no government review of or findings regarding the impact of Prevent on racial equality in the UK has ever been public. This state of affairs in untenable given the widespread evidence that widespread enforcement of the Prevent duty is fueling distrust among racial and ethnic minority communities, especially those who are Muslim. This distrust is of public institutions such as hospitals, schools, universities and even police, through which the work of national integration should otherwise be achieved. Formal integration policy risks being no match for the “dis-integration” and political and social exclusion currently being achieved, at the behest of the Government, through the robust […]