London – CAGE commends the recent legal victory that revealed the Metropolitan Police were supplying evidence to blacklist construction workers who partake in unions and other political activity. We call for similar action on other “lists” drawn up by the government, especially those targeting Muslims.
The revelation shows that covert surveillance and the compiling of secretive “lists” are part of a wider trend of criminalising dissent, and that the tactics employed are similar to those targeting Muslims and activists who are blacklisted under PREVENT.
Our recent report into a shadowy government unit, the Extremism Analysis Unit, revealed how individuals and organisations were blacklisted as “extremists” by the EAU based on surveillance garnered through PREVENT and “research” by right-wing, Islamophobic organisations.
In both cases, individuals and organisations often have no idea they are being monitored until they are barred from a job or unable to open a bank account.
Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, said:
“Everything about this issue strikes a chord with Muslims who have been listed as ‘extremists’ – from the covert surveillance of individual and organisational activity, to the outsourcing of ‘research’ to private companies, and the inability of anyone to challenge their placement on these lists.”
“CAGE has evidence that such designations have long-term implications for not only individuals, but families and extended families, since they lead to failures of DBS checks, closure of bank accounts and an end to livelihoods for many of our clients.”
“The criminalisation of dissent through the use of secretive “lists” is Stalinesque in nature. We congratulate construction workers for successfully challenging this policy and exposing the covert tactics that facilitate it. We encourage civil society actors to demand an end to the use of similar measures targeting minority communities.”
(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.)