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Counter-terror bill is a threat to press freedom, say campaigners

New counter-terror powers designed to tackle the “vaguely defined” crime of hostile state activity threaten the protection of journalistic sources, campaigners for freedom of expression and the press have warned. In a joint statement, nine organisations including Index on Censorship and Reporters Without Borders have called on the House of Lords to recommend significant amendments to the bill as it reaches the closing stages of its passage through parliament. Read more 

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Joint Statement: Commission for Countering Extremism

A number of academics including Rob Faure Walker (University College London and PREVENT Digest) have launched a joint statement expressing their concern with the Commission for Countering Extremism. Amongst the signatories are Dr Tarek Younis (UCL & British Academy Fellow), Tom Smith (Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Portsmouth), Lee Jasper (Fmr Policing Director for London, Momentum Black Caucus Press Officer), Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly (University of Warwick) and Asim Qureshi (Research Director, CAGE). Read more

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Joint Statement: Commission for Countering Extremism

JOINT STATEMENT: Commission for Countering Extremism We are concerned with the Commission for Countering Extremism’s recently launched ‘evidence drive’. The Commission states that ‘neither the issue of terrorism nor the government’s counter-terrorism strategy (which includes Prevent) are in the Commission’s remit’. The Commission, in excluding any focus on ‘terrorism’, pushes the narrative ever-more towards the inherently problematic and contested ‘non-violent extremism’. If ‘extremism’ refers to extreme yet non-violent beliefs and opinions it is unclear how the Commission’s aim of countering-extremism is compatible with the democratic values and human rights that they claim to uphold. The Commission shows an interest in the victims of ‘extremism’ yet fails to show concern for the well documented victims of counter-extremism. These victims have faced an erosion of human rights, been marginalised from democratic engagement and lost access to health and education services as a result of counter-extremism. For the Commission to fail to include […]