Open Rights Group responds to Shawcross review of Prevent

Open rights Group has responded to the Shawcross review of Prevent, which was published today

Policy Manager, Sophia Akram said:

Open Rights Group and other other NGOs previously raised concerns about Sir William Shawcross’s ability to be objective given his history of making disparaging comments about Islam. Today’s review of Prevent confirms those fears.

The report fails to address multiple problems with Prevent, including its chilling effect, the danger of driving radical discourse underground, misconceptions around faith and identity, and ignorance of the ripple effect a referral can have on someone’s life.

If someone is referred to Prevent their data is retained on official systems, and difficult to remove, even when referrals are made in error. That retained data can be shared across multiple systems, with such little transparency about who sees that information and when, and what risk profiles it feeds into.

Instead of addressing these concerns, Shawcross has dismissed the threat of far-right extremism and doubled down on Islamophobic rhetoric that views perspectives on oppression and opposition to official policy as “radical “and “extreme”.ORG fears such an assessment will add to the increasing surveillance of Muslim communities compounded by the suite of draconian draft legislation unleashed in the past year, further securitising the spaces of this and other marginalised and vulnerable communities.

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