United Kingdom

Extremist Countermeasures Committee Announces Legal Review

Sir Sarah Khan and Sir Mark Laurie, Chief Members of the Committee on Countermeasures against Extremism (CCE), today released findings from a legal review investigating the validity of existing laws related to hateful extremism. Did. Sarah Khan appointed Sir Mark to lead the review in July 2020.

Breakthrough report Operation without punishment-Hateful extremism: the need for a legal framework It shows how many hateful militants can legally operate. This is due to the lack of law designed to capture certain activities of hateful radicalism. As the report proves, hatred militants are creating a climate that helps to hate crime, terrorism, or other violence. Or, as protected by Article 17 of Appendix 1 of the 1998 Human Rights Act, it seeks to erode and even destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of democratic societies.

Sarah Khan, Chief Commissioner, said:

One of the long-standing challenges for the British government since the 2005 London bombings has been how to deal with militant groups and individuals who are not trapped in anti-terrorism legislation but are creating a climate that encourages terrorism and others. It was that. Social harm. Earlier attempts, such as the 2015 Extremist Bill, were unfocused and legitimately criticized because they could not ensure freedom of expression and protection of other civil liberties.

Our report shows how it is possible to square this circle. We have shown the path that governments can take to ensure the protection of freedom of expression while limiting the dangerous activities of hateful radicalism.

Extremist groups such as neo-fascists, neo-Nazis and Islamists can operate legally, freely and exempt. They are actively radicalizing others and openly spreading the erosion of our basic democratic rights. Their purpose is to destroy our democracy. This is a threat to our civilized democratic order and cannot be taken for granted and requires a solid, necessary and proportional legal response.

That is why we urge the government to promise to devise new legal and operational frameworks to capture certain activities of hateful radicalism. Without such a framework, this activity would remain unchallenge and the much harm it causes in our country would continue to persist and worsen in the next decade.

Sir Mark Lowry says:

As the national leader of the anti-terrorism police, I have witnessed many terrible acts of terrorism and violence. However, in the process of conducting this review, I was shocked and frightened by the horror and quantity of hateful radical material and actions that are legal in the UK.

Not only are our laws not keeping up with the evolving threats of modern extremism, but current legal boundaries allow extremists to operate immunity. They carefully manipulate existing legislation in the manner we describe in the report, openly admiring terrorism, collecting and sharing some of the most violent extremist propaganda, or against others. It intentionally stirs up racial or religious hatred. The extremism of hatred not only creates an increasingly large pool for terrorists to recruit, but also increases violence, hate crimes and tensions between and within communities.

Over the decades, the United Kingdom has built a powerful legal and operational anti-terrorism mechanism that has evolved constantly in response to the changing threat of terrorism. The same certainly does not apply to hateful extremism. The current situation is simply unacceptable.

That’s why it’s important for Sarah and I to devise new legal and operational frameworks to combat the government’s hatred of extremism in order to strengthen our response both online and offline. I’m sure. We are at the moment of the watershed and need urgent action.

What is included in the report?

The Commission, which outlined hatred extremism in its 2019 report, Challenge the Extremism of Hatred, proposed a new practical definition of hatred extremism:

Activities or materials directed outside the group that are perceived as threats within the group that are motivated by political, religious, or racial supreme ideology or that are intended to move forward:

a. Creating a climate that helps to hate crime, terrorism and other violence.Or

b. Attempts to erode or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of a democratic society, as protected by Article 17 of Schedule 1 of the HRA 1998

The report found that there was no law to deal with the hateful extremism in the UK, which is now legal:

  • Admire terrorism as long as it avoids entrusting, preparing, or inciting terrorism or related crimes
    • Example: Admire the actions and ideologies of terrorists such as Anders Brevik, 9.11 hijackers, Thomas Mare, and Brenton Tarant to a wide audience, including children. Sharing content that praises an attack is not likely to be understood by a reasonable person as a direct or indirect encouragement or incentive to perform, prepare, or incite an action, unless it makes a statement. , May be legal. Of terrorism.
  • The intentional arousal of racial hatred is to avoid intimidation, abuse, and insult, and in the case of religious hatred, to avoid intimidation (similar crimes apply to other protected traits).
    • Example: Forming a neo-Nazi extremist group that constantly praises Adolf Hitler’s actions and encourages members to disseminate Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, unless they are abusive, insulting, or threatening.
  • Publish and distribute material to deliberately arouse racial or religious hatred, as long as the material avoids threatening, abusing, or insulting its content.
    • Example: Fascist extremist organizations that promote false allegations of “white genocide” aimed at arousing hatred of racial or religious groups, but are not threatening, abusive, or insulting, distribute pamphlets. ing
  • We collect materials that promote terrorism, including materials that try to persuade readers to commit terrorism. However, only if the person does not possess it in a situation that raises reasonable doubt that possession is a purpose related to the committee, preparation. Or incitement to acts of terrorism. This also applies to the most extreme violent terrorist sources such as torture and executions.
    • Example: Possessing Islamic extremist promotional material, such as violent sermons and ISIS opening videos

Based on our findings, we make the following recommendations for the government:

Recommendation 1

Entrust legal and operational frameworks to firmly counter the hateful threat of extremism.

Recommendation 2

Expanding current crimes associated with incitement to hatred and strengthening the current resources and capabilities of law enforcement agencies.

Recommendation 3

Raising hateful extremism to a priority threat alongside terrorism and the sexual exploitation of children online. And implement the most powerful suggestions in the online harm white paper.

Our recommendations can be read completely in our report’Operation without liability‘.

Extremist Countermeasures Committee Announces Legal Review

SourceExtremist Countermeasures Committee Announces Legal Review

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