09 May 2014
(London, UK) The Home Affairs Committee's report  provides impetus for the government to embrace pre-emptive punishment with a greater relish than it has already done. The encouragement of passport removal and citizenship stripping without any judicial oversight and with the added caveat that the latter only be done while the individual is out of the country clearly shows this. That such practices, which senior peers last month mentioned were used by ‘all too many dictators’ are being dutifully promoted in Britain is a clear indication that concerns for due process and human rights have been jettisoned.
The further entrenchment of PREVENT by seeking support from mental health workers and academics – workers who have a duty of care – is also a serious cause for concern. PREVENT has already been largely rejected by British Muslims; any attempt to bolster it will only serve to increase community discord.
PREVENT is an attempt at countering extremism in the UK, we question whether this oppressive measure will be used to de-radicalise 30% of the electorate who are about to vote for UKIP, who come under the definition of extremism.
Asim Qureshi, Research Director at CAGE, said: “With just 2.7% of all terrorism in the European Union last year religiously inspired, the ‘grave’ threat to Britons posed by groups – many of whom are engaged in localised conflicts – appears somewhat exaggerated.”
“What is of greater concern is the Home Affairs select committee’s recommendations, which on almost every occasion display a commitment to restricting freedoms above preserving liberties.”
“With despotic practices such as passport removal, citizenship deprivation and PREVENT being given the green light by this committee, these proposals are a sure sign that values this country once held dear are being eroded at an ever-quickening pace.”
1. The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report on counter-terrorism can be viewed here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmhaff/231/231.pdf
2. PREVENT is a core element of the UK governments counter-terrorism strategy. Our report explains the overall strategy and its all-encompassing nature: http://cageuk.org/report.pdf
3. CAGE (formerly known as CagePrisoners) is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.
4. Taken from Europol EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2013: https://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/publications/europol_te-sat2013_lr_0.pdf
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
(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.)