Prevent – Preventing Free Thought and Freedom of Speech

Prevent – Preventing Free Thought and Freedom of Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Yet another example under the Prevent ‘anti-terrorism’
programme of how a school student whose only crime is supporting the Palestinians
is hauled in to face an interview with the counter-terrorist police.
Can there be any doubt that Prevent has nothing
to do with ‘terrorism’ and everything to do with creating a climate of fear in
which people will be afraid to support people who suffer from oppression?  It is noteworthy that there is no example of
supporters of Israel being hauled off to an interview with the Police despite
the massive terror caused by the Israeli state.

That is why we need to build a movement in this
country to destroy Prevent before Prevent destroys our democratic freedoms.

Tony Greenstein
Extremist Palestinians – Objecting to Israel’s Confiscation of Their Land

Teenager referred
by his teachers after trying to raise money to help Palestinian children
Under the controversial Prevent strategy, schools have a legal obligation to report signs of extremism REX Features
A
schoolboy has been questioned by anti-terrorism police because he
wore a “Free Palestine” badge to school.
Meeting at Goldsmiths which heard of the Interrogation of School Student 4 Supporting Palestinians
Rahmaan
Mohammadi’s teachers at Challney High School for Boys in Luton referred him to
police under Prevent – the controversial government anti-radicalisation
programme, which critics have claimed is heavy-handed, discriminatory
and ineffective.
As
well as wearing pro-Palestine badges and wristbands, Mohammadi was in
possession of a leaflet advocating Palestinian rights by pressure group
Friends of al-Aqsa. He had also asked for permission to fundraise for
children affected by the Israeli occupation.
The wearer of these badges displays symptoms of ‘extremism’
Friends
of al-Aqsa is a non-profit NGO which defends the human rights of Palestinians
under the Israeli occupation. The group’s supporters are currently boycotting
the Co-op, after the company’s banking arm shut down the Friends of al-Aqsa account “without
explanation”.
Bedfordshire
police visited Mohammadi’s home with a folder of information about the schoolboy,
and spoke with him and his parents. They concluded that he was not at risk and
no further action was taken.
The Prevent Duty is Primarily About Curbing Freedom of Expression
Mohammadi
described his experiences at a meeting of campaign group Students Not Suspects
at Goldsmiths University in London. He alleged that police warned him not
to talk about Palestine in school, and further claimed that staff members had
approached his 14-year-old brother and pressured him to to tell Rahmaan to
stop being radical”
Last
year, hundreds of academics signed an open
letter in the Independent
 criticising the “chilling effect”
of the Prevent strategy on free speech and political dissent in the UK. 
The
£40m programme has been plagued with problems since its inception 12 years ago.
Critics say it has fostered an atmosphere of Islamophobic paranoia which is
more likely to fuel radicalisation than prevent it.
Internal
police statistics
 obtained via a Freedom of Information
request suggest only 20% of people referred to Prevent are assessed as at
risk of radicalisation. 
Prevent
also came under fire last year for exending its legal obligation of
surveillance into nursery schools, since which time children as young as
three have been referred under the programme.
Bedfordshire
Police told the Sunday Times: “The officers spoke to the boy and
were satisfied that he was not at risk and he was given advice and
support.”

 

 

 

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