Prevent Watch

Teen questioned under Prevent for watching Middle East news content

questioned under prevent middle east news

A secondary school student was questioned under Prevent by social services and police based on allegations made by a disgruntled family member that she was being “radicalised” by news content.

AA is a secondary school student who was questioned by social services in the presence of police based on allegations made by a family member. These allegations concerned the literature and news she was reading. She had read articles and watched documentaries created by a news agency from the Middle East.

An example of such a documentary was the rescue of concentration camp detainees during the Second World War.

AA had started watching these documentaries because her father, of Middle Eastern descent, wanted her to learn about different lifestyles and cultures and to have a better understanding of the world.

When AA was questioned under Prevent by social services, she did her best to answer them. Social services wanted to know why AA was using these particular news agencies as a source of news, and they suggested alternative news outlets.

AA replied that she wanted a better understanding of the world, because her father thought the documentaries she watched were educational. She continued, saying that since her father was of Middle Eastern descent, she wanted to know about her heritage.

AA was questioned under Prevent in this manner because her relatives claimed to be concerned that her father was “radicalising” her.

What is disturbing about cases such as these is that spurious allegations made by family members are being pursued by Prevent, despite the fact that the content AA was digesting should have been no cause for concern, let alone cause for being questioned under Prevent.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

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