The UN penned a scathing review of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy
The UN penned a scathing review of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy in a recent report, branding it “inherently flawed”.
Published just days before the country goes to the polls, it claims the culture of surveillance and suspicion could in fact promote terrorism rather than stamping it out.
The report was highly critical of many of the policies Prime Minister Theresa May championed in her previous role as home secretary.
The report, written by Maina Kiai, who was the UN’s Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly until last month, was compiled before the deadly terror attack last week at Manchester Arena which left 22 people dead and more than 100 injured.
The report says: “Overall, it appears that Prevent is having the opposite of its intended effect: by dividing, stigmatising and alienating segments of the population. Prevent could end up promoting extremism, rather than countering it.
“The spectre of ‘Big Brother’ is so large, in fact, that some families are reportedly afraid of even discussing the negative effects of terrorism in their own homes, fearing that their children would talk about it at school and have their intentions misconstrued.”
In particular it singles out the Government’s Prevent strategy, which aims to stop vulnerable people from being radicalised.
It follows a similarly critical report on British policing Mr Kiai authored in 2013
The strategy relies on intelligence from schools, community and religious leaders to tip-off the authorities of anyone they fear is at risk.
It is one of the four elements of Contest, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.
The UN-backed report also criticised new measures brought in last year under the Investigatory Powers Act.
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Prevent is having the opposite of its intended effect
It called them “intrusive . . . bound to have a detrimental impact on the legitimate activities carried out by civil society and political activists”.
Mr Kiai also voiced concerns police may have used “International Mobile Subscriber Identity Catchers” to gather information from the phones of demonstrators at protests in in Birmingham, London, Leicester and Wales last year – violating their privacy.
The report was highly critical of many of the policies Prime Minister Theresa May championed
The report warns of an “alarming” shift towards penalising peaceful protests and free expression, which he called a “national treasure”.
Police tactics, anti-terrorism legislation and curbs on charities and trade union were all warning signs, the report said.
The shocking report is to be debated at the UN Human Rights Council next month, and follows a similarly critical report on British policing Mr Kiai authored in 2013.
In the wake of the Manchester bombing MI5 launched an internal investigation
In the wake of the Manchester bombing MI5 launched an internal investigation to determine whether more could have been done to prevent the tragedy.
They reportedly received warnings about bomber Salman Abedi, who was known to security services.