Bri­tain to sep­a­rate jailed ex­trem­ists

Lesotho Times - - In­ter­na­tional -

LON­DON — Bri­tain has an­nounced plans to house im­pris­oned Is­lamist ex­trem­ists in sep­a­rate units from other in­mates, af­ter a re­view found that some charis­matic con­victs were rad­i­cal­iz­ing the wider Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in pris­ons.

The gov­ern­ment-or­dered study con­cluded that “cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity” among Na­tional Of­fender Man­age­ment Ser­vice staff to­ward Mus­lim pris­on­ers went too far and “could in­hibit the ef­fec­tive con­fronta­tion of ex­trem­ist views.”

“There are a small num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als, very sub­ver­sive in­di­vid­u­als, who do need to be held in sep­a­rate units,” Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Liz Truss told the BBC.

But Peter Daw­son, di­rec­tor of the Pri­son Re­form Trust, said that any pro­gram must “get peo­ple back into the main pri­son com­mu­nity.”

“Any­thing else is just stor­ing up an even more dif­fi­cult prob­lem for when they are even­tu­ally re­leased,” he said.

Though the full re­port was kept con­fi­den­tial, a sum­mary of the find­ings of the re­view rec­om­mended in­tro­duc­ing the spe­cial­ized units in or­der to stop a small num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als from be­ing able to “pros­e­ly­tize” to other in­mates.

The re­lease of the find­ings comes in ad­vance of the sen­tenc­ing of An­jem Choudary, one of Bri­tain’s best-known rad­i­cal Mus­lim preach­ers.

Choudary, who has been con­victed of en­cour­ag­ing sup­port for the Is­lamic State group, is set to be sen­tenced in Sep­tem­ber.

He was ar­rested in 2014 af­ter his name ap­peared on an oath rec­og­niz­ing the “pro­claimed Is­lamic Caliphate State.” He said the oath was made with­out his knowl­edge.

Some 12,633 Mus­lims were in pri­son in Eng­land and Wales at the end of June, com­pared to 8,243 a decade ear­lier.

Of the 147 peo­ple in pri­son for ter­ror­ism-re­lated of­fences at the end of March, all but 10 con­sid­ered them­selves to be Mus­lim.

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