December 2022 NewsLetter Newsletter

The Prevent Strategy – Amnesty’s Concerns

The Prevent Strategy seeks to pre-empt acts of terrorism by identifying those at risk of committing such acts, including by intervening to stop people moving from extremism into terrorist-related activity. It means that teachers, doctors, counsellors and the like must be alert to the signs of potential radicalisation based on the Extremism Risk Guidelines which include ‘the need for excitement, comradeship or adventure’ and ‘over identification with a group, cause or ideology’.  
Prevent referrals are then assessed by local counter-terrorism police. Amnesty International is concerned that the criteria in the guidelines are broad and vague and can, therefore, be used in a discriminatory way. It wants to know how the Prevent Strategy is affecting free speech and the right to protest and whether or not marginalised groups are unfairly targeted. It planned to launch an online survey in November but, at the time of writing, this had not happened. It has also, with other human rights organisations, called for an independent review of the Strategy which would incorporate an assessment of its impact on human rights. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, currently in the House of Lords, would require such an independent review and Amnesty International has urged the Lords to support these amendments. For more information about the Prevent Strategy, go to