Prevent Watch

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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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UN Special Rapporteur: UK Government should consider PREVENT impact on minorities which is “dividing, stigmatising and alienating communities”

The United Nation (UN)’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Professor Joseph Cannataci, has added his voice to the chorus of UN representatives raising concerns over PREVENT, recommending that the UK Government quickly investigates the impact of the counter-terrorism strategy. Read more

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UK government straying towards ‘thought crime’ by criminalising viewing terrorist material, UN inspector says

A United Nations inspector has accused the British government of straying towards “thought crime” with a proposed law criminalising the repeated viewing of terrorist material. At the end of his UK visit, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy raised concerns about plans to make accessing propaganda “on three or more different occasions” an offence. 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 […]