London – CAGE has submitted two letters requesting further information about the government’s Extremism Risk Guidance factors, also referred to as the ERG 22+, the secretive theory which appears to underpin the entire counter-terrorism strategy and the way in which individuals are assessed for ‘extremism’.
The letters have been submitted to Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and Prof. Simon Wessely at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Letter to Keith Vaz, MP
Letter to The Royal College of Psychiatrists
CAGE had planned to raise this issue at the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into Counter-Extremism but were not afforded the opportunity to do so.
The session should have focused on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, the written evidence CAGE submitted and the proposed counter extremism measures, but MPs chose rather to focus on the theological beliefs of individual members of CAGE.
Ibrahim Mohamoud, CAGE spokesperson, said:
“We are concerned that there has been no oversight or peer review of the science that has formulated the government’s theory of the ways in which ‘radicalisation’ works. This is important as the government’s entire strategy for reporting on those being assessed as ‘radical’ or ‘extreme’, appears to rest on this science.”
“CAGE is concerned that ERG 22+ has not been through a rigorous process of scrutiny and oversight within the psychiatry profession itself. The potential for harm is great, as doctors, nurses, teachers, lecturers and even childminders are now by statute required to use these factors in assessing risk to those under their care.”
“In the wake of the Paris attacks, David Cameron has continued to speak about ‘going after non-violent and violent extremists’. But when the indicators of extremism rely on an untested, secretive theory that stands to cast the government’s net dangerously wide, Muslims will feel antagonised. This could lead to a greater propensity for political violence.”
“ERG 22+ has serious implications for the Muslim community, and for Britain as a whole. It is in the public interest that details of the theory are revealed.”
Response to the session on twitter
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)