Europol report shows counter-terrorism legislation has led to unnecessary criminalisation and overzealous policing

2018-06-27T13:58:14+00:00 June 27th, 2018|Civil Sanctions, Press Release, PREVENT, Schedule 7|

London – The release of Europol’s 2018 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report reaffirms CAGE’s long-held conclusions that ‘counter-terrorism’ legislation disproportionately targets Muslims, and it is facilitating ant-terror policing that is so broad it is leading to the widespread securitisation of society.

According to the report, so-called ‘Jihadist attacks’ constituted only 13% of the total of ‘failed, foiled and completed attacks’ in the UK, and 16% of attacks across the EU in 2017.

Furthermore, in many cases, there is a huge drop off between the rates of terror-related arrests and rates of conviction. France oversaw 411 arrests in 2017, yet only 117 convictions were made in that same period.

The UK government’s official figures detail 412 terror-related arrests last year, but there were only 25 terrorism convictions. Curiously, the UK stats were different from those cited by Europol pertaining to the country.

These figures prove that state and media preoccupation with Muslims and ‘Jihadist terrorism’ wield too much influence over current counter-terrorism legislation and policy in Europe. This betrays a political agenda, rather than being borne out of reality. The results are counter-productive and damaging to all.

Asim Qureshi, research director for CAGE, said:

“With the new Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill, which will be the ninth counter terrorism law passed in the UK since 2000, the criminalisation and imprisonment of Muslims will increase. The bill aims to take the maximum sentence for certain non-violent ‘terrorist’ offences far beyond the EU average, whilst expanding the scope of ‘terror-related’ offences even further so as to widen the net without adequate checks.”

“This is deeply concerning given the poor track record of security services and the courts in upholding the rule of law, as CAGE’s numerous reports illustrate. We call for an end to the ever increasing use counter-terrorism legislation in favour of an honest adjustment of policy, both foreign and domestic, that guarantees equal justice for all.”

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