London - The decision to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir constitutes an unparalleled assault on freedom of speech and association. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a non-violent political and religious movement that is not and has never been connected with terrorism. The accusation that, after decades of peaceful activism, HuT is now concerned in terrorism because of a single press release issued by the Palestinian branch of the movement reveals the government’s subservience to Israeli policy.
Under international law, the Palestinian people have a right to resist Israeli occupation. The press release by the Palestinian branch of HuT issued shortly after the 7 October operation is reflective of that position with the emphasis only being on military targets. To equate this with HuT Britain being concerned in encouraging terrorism is duplicitous and designed to suppress any support for Palestinian resistance.
Instead of tackling the threat to national security and community relations posed by the thousands of British citizens who will return from Israel having participated in a genocidal military campaign, the Home Secretary seems intent on leading the UK further into authoritarianism. With this decision, Britain aligns itself with countries known for their large-scale repression of human rights or rabid support for Israel, including Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Germany.
We call upon civil liberties groups, legal rights NGOs and political commentators to recognise that this unprecedented decision represents a serious abuse of the powers of proscription entrusted to the Home Secretary. Whilst the current target is a non-violent Muslim political party, as in the past, the precedent created will be utilised to proscribe any organisations that oppose the policies of the State.
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE International said:
“The government today stands accused of aiding and abetting Israeli genocide in Gaza. In the face of mounting pressure swelling public outrage and criticism over its latest military strike on the people of famine ravaged Yemen, it seems that reverting to the twice failed attempt of proscribing Hizb ut-Tahir is a convenient ‘culture wars’ distraction.
“It is high time that the British government returned to independently governing this country and not according to the whims and desires of genocidal apartheid regimes..”