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Human Rights NGO With Muslim Brotherhood Ties Publishes EU-Funded Report On Racist Police Brutality In Europe, Suggests Police “Rotten At The Root”

January 5th, 2022 15:29

On 10 Decem­ber 2021, the Euro­pean Net­work Against Racism (ENAR) pub­lished a com­pre­hen­sive report on racist police bru­tal­i­ty in Europe, accus­ing author­i­ties of dis­pro­por­tion­al­ly tar­get­ing mar­gin­al­ized groups. ENAR lead­ers also claimed the police are “an insti­tu­tion found­ed on prin­ci­ples of inequal­i­ty and indig­ni­ty.” Accord­ing to a press release on the ENAR website:

Accord­ing to ENAR’s new report ‘The sharp edge of vio­lence: Police bru­tal­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ty resis­tance of racialised groups’, racist police bru­tal­i­ty and vio­lence is more than just an instance of vio­lence against an indi­vid­ual, and more than just hate­ful acts between indi­vid­u­als. It is a prod­uct of struc­tur­al racism and a symp­tom of racial injus­tice. (…) The results fos­ter a cul­ture of impuni­ty where acts of racism are often not held to account, leav­ing racialised groups over-policed and under-protected.

Read the rest here. 

The 56-page report, titled “The Sharp Edge of Vio­lence: Police bru­tal­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ty resis­tance of racial­ized groups,” was main­ly authored by ENAR Senior Researcher Ojeaku Nwabu­zo and pub­lished with the finan­cial sup­port of the Rights, Equal­i­ty and Cit­i­zen­ship Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union, the Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions, the Joseph Rown­tree Char­i­ta­ble Trust, and the ENAR Foundation.

The report relied on data com­piled on approx­i­mate­ly 40 police brutality/discrimination inci­dents in five EU mem­ber states (Croa­t­ia, France, Bel­gium, Swe­den, and Bul­gar­ia) between 2015 and 2020. Sev­er­al instances of alleged police vio­lence in each coun­try were ana­lyzed, and ENAR said it also car­ried out sev­er­al inter­views with vic­tims and their fam­i­lies and lawyers to get a more in-depth under­stand­ing of the inci­dents. ENAR found that police offi­cers were rarely held to account for their human rights abus­es and that insti­tu­tion­al racism remained ram­pant, adding that offi­cers accused of killing “racial­ized” peo­ple had rou­tine­ly avoid­ed being charged and con­vict­ed over these deaths. Con­clud­ing its report, the group made sev­er­al pol­i­cy sug­ges­tions and called for “a trans­for­ma­tive jus­tice approach” to tack­le the issue at hand. This approach, accord­ing to ENAR, would include divest­ing from the police and “break­ing it up into its con­stituent parts,” leav­ing how to do this to the imag­i­na­tion. Karen Tay­lor, Chair of the ENAR Board, also urged pol­i­cy-mak­ers as well as local com­mu­ni­ties to whol­ly “rede­fine” the mean­ing of safe­ty and secu­ri­ty, sug­gest­ing the police were an insti­tu­tion “rot­ten at the root.” The ENAR rec­om­men­da­tions bear a strik­ing resem­blance to the “Defund the Police” move­ment in the US, which grew out of the protests sur­round­ing the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. The move­ment is gen­er­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the so-called Pro­gres­sive Left in the US.

ENAR has long lob­bied for stricter mea­sures against racism at the Euro­pean lev­el and demand­ed that EU anti-ter­ror­ism leg­is­la­tion con­sid­er the impact on groups it believes are at height­ened risk of dis­crim­i­na­tion. It is an asso­ci­a­tion of over 150 NGOs head­quar­tered in Brus­sels, Bel­gium, and describes itself as “the voice of the anti-racist move­ment in Europe.”  Former ENAR Direc­tor Michaël Priv­ot, who in 2008 open­ly acknowl­edged that he was a mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood,  has served in lead­ing posi­tions in sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions tied to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. One of ENAR’s for­mer mem­bers was the Col­lec­tif Con­tre l’Is­lam­o­pho­bie en France, an Islamist influ­ence oper­a­tion with ties to orga­ni­za­tions part of the GMB in Europe and which was dis­solved by the French author­i­ties in 2020. In 2019, ENAR was one of 21 sig­na­to­ries to an open let­ter pub­lished by a self-described “infor­mal Euro­pean coali­tion against Islam­o­pho­bia,” which was com­prised main­ly of orga­ni­za­tions and one indi­vid­ual tied to the GMB in Europe.