The UK Government’s broad approach to combatting extremism “has an adverse effect” on the human rights of individuals and communities, according to a human rights advocate.
In an article for American business magazine Forbes, Ewelina U. Ochab questioned the Government’s whole approach to extremism, describing it as “even broader” than Russia’s.
The Christian Institute has previously called on the UK Government to learn from Russia’s mistakes.
Last year in Russia, a court ordered the country’s arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be shut down and all their property turned over to the Kremlin.
Ochab referred to a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, which said that Russian extremism law gives their authorities “wide latitude to interfere in peaceful religious observance and persecute believers”.
She then added that “the UK’s definition of extremism is even broader”, and said that the UK’s definiton of “fundamental values” is not clear.
“The suggestion that fundamental values are the so-called British values does not help either.”
She went on to describe the Government’s focus on extremism as “vague and confusing”.
“The UK approach of focusing on all forms of extremism, even if not violent or inciting violence, has an adverse effect on communities, individuals and their enjoyment of human rights.”
Defend Free Speech
The Institute has consistently spoken out on the Government’s extremism plans, warning that a vague definition is likely to catch Christians.
It is working against the extremism plans as part of the Defend Free Speech campaign.