Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 May 2019

UK to review controversial counter-terrorism strategy

Critics say the 'Prevent' counter terrorism strategy discriminates Muslims

UK Government has been under fire in recent years over its counter terrorism strategy that some believe is discriminatory (Getty Images)
UK Government has been under fire in recent years over its counter terrorism strategy that some believe is discriminatory (Getty Images)

An independent review will take place of the controversial counter-terrorism ‘Prevent’ programme, the UK government said on Tuesday.

Security minister Ben Wallace told Britain’s Parliament that the time had come for a review of Prevent.

“I have decided that the time is now right to initiate a review of Prevent. Communities across the country have got behind the policy and are contributing to it because they want, as we do, their own young people to be protected from grooming and exploitation by terrorists.”

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch penned an open letter to politicians in November urging for an independent review to take place, amid concerns of discrimination against Muslims.

In reference to critics of the strategy, Mr Wallace said, “Prevent is not about singling out any particular group or ideology but is similar to other forms of safeguarding, carried out every day by social workers, teachers and police.”

Rachel Logan, Amnesty International UK’s legal expert, said the government’s counter terrorism strategy is a “highly dubious scheme built on shaky, almost evidence-free, foundations” in need of a review.

"Peers need to ensure that Prevent is rigorously and independently assessed, with all the human rights impacts of the scheme fully investigated,” she said.

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Over 1,200 people have received “mentoring and support” through the scheme, according to the UK Home Office.

“Prevent is about working in areas where there are risks of radicalisation and offers support predominantly through local community partnerships,” a Home Office spokesperson said.

The UK Home Office said further details of the review will be set out “in due course”.

Updated: January 22, 2019 09:45 PM

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