London, United Kingdom – Egyptian opposition groups and human rights campaigners have called for the investigation and arrest of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and members of his entourage during his visit to London amid condemnation of the “red carpet” welcome extended by the British government to a leader accused of plunging his country into the worst human rights crisis in its history.Hundreds of protesters, including many Egyptian exiles, gathered on Wednesday evening outside 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence, where Sisi was due to meet David Cameron on Thursday morning, to express their opposition to the visit, carrying banners reading “Stop butcher el-Sisi” and “Killer Sisi not welcome in the United Kingdom”.
London, United Kingdom – The UK has become the first country in the world to be placed under investigation by the United Nations for violating the human rights of people with disabilities amid fears that thousands may have died as a consequence of controversial welfare reforms and austerity-driven cuts to benefits and care budgets.
UN inspectors are expected to arrive in the country within days to begin collecting evidence to determine whether the British government has committed “systematic and grave violations” of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
School children in the UK who search for words such as ‘caliphate’ and the names of Muslim political activists on classroom computers risk being flagged up as potential supporters of terrorism by monitoring software being marketed to teachers to help them spot students at risk of radicalisation.The radicalisation keywords library has been developed by software company Impero as an add-on to its existing Education Pro digital classroom management tool to help schools comply with new duties requiring them to monitor children for extremism as part of the government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy.
London, United Kingdom – Housing activists mounted a last-ditch fight on Thursday to stop a disabled man from being forcibly evicted from his home and left with “nowhere to go” to make way for private properties to be sold off at prices unaffordable to most residents.
Mostafa Aliverdipour, 50, who has required a wheelchair since injuring his back in a car accident five years ago, and his family are the last residents still living on the Sweets Way Estate in Barnet, north London, where campaigners accuse the local council and developers of waging a campaign of “social cleansing” against the poor and vulnerable.
A court ruled on Wednesday the family could be evicted with immediate effect as bailiffs watched by police and emergency services moved onto the estate to remove dozens of activists and squatters, many of them homeless, who had been occupying some of the empty houses for the past few months.
Childcare workers in the UK are being encouraged to play the music of Freddie Mercury to babies and toddlers in their care in order to demonstrate their compliance with anti-terrorism laws requiring them to “actively promote British values”.
The suggestion can be found on an advice page for childminders published by an influential childcare website to help them fulfil new regulations introduced this month as part of the government’s controversial Prevent counter-terrorism strategy.
The requirements, which also affect nurseries and schools, place a statutory duty on childcare providers to report children who they believe may be susceptible to “radicalisation and extremism”, prompting some to liken the situation to ‘1984’, George Orwell’s novel about a totalitarian surveillance state.
The creators of a play examining issues of Islamic extremism and radicalisation in a London school that was mysteriously cancelled earlier this month have described how police officers asked to see a copy of the script and told producers they planned to place undercover officers in the audience.
‘Homegrown’ was partially inspired by the case of three schoolgirls from East London who ran away to Syria in February and had been marketed as one of the highlights of the National Youth Theatre’s 2015 season prior to its abrupt cancellation just 10 days before its opening night.
Schoolchildren in the UK who express support for Palestine face being questioned by police and referred into a counter-radicalisation programme for youngsters deemed at risk of being drawn into terrorism under controversial new laws requiring teachers to monitor students for extremism.One schoolboy said he was accused of holding “radical” and “terrorist-like” views by a police officer who questioned him for taking leaflets into school promoting a boycott of Israel during last year’s war in Gaza.
The case reflects concerns raised by teachers and students and also in Muslim communities about the expansion of the government’s divisive Prevent counter-extremism strategy into schools, with critics complaining that teachers are being expected to act as the “eyes and ears of the state”.