London – UK-based advocacy group CAGE has lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations Special Rapporteur, calling for a full investigation of the British government.

CAGE is taking these steps due to continuous and sustained attacks from the British government and the Charity Commission, both of which have falsely labelled CAGE as an ‘extremist’ organisation which supports the acts of Mohammed Emwazi and ISIS [1][2].

The UN complaint is lodged with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression under Article 18 and 19 of the UN Convention on Human Rights. These Articles protect the right of freedom of thought, conscience, religion, opinion and expression [3].

As an advocacy organisation, CAGE’s freedom of expression has been unlawfully violated as a result of the Charity Commission’s decision to require assurances that its two main charitable funders undertake not to fund CAGE again [4], and insisting that several charities do not associate with CAGE.

CAGE was openly attacked in the media by senior politicians during the Emwazi affair who based their comments on biased reports in certain sections of the media.

In a shocking outburst the Prime Minister David Cameron, in his ‘extremism’ speech on Monday singled out CAGE as ‘extremist’. In addition to the UN complaint, CAGE is seeking legal advice as to whether the Prime Minister is guilty of defamation.

Dr Adnan Siddiqui, director of CAGE, said:

“CAGE is an active participant in civil society. It cannot function without being able to exercise its right of expression and opinion, especially those opinions that challenge the prevailing War on Terror narratives. These rights are central to the enterprise of open democracy and are a universal norm. Without them, the tenets of civil society fall away.”

“The question that needs to be asked is why the Prime Minister of one of the world’s great powers should choose to castigate a minor NGO if it was not to ensure that it could not exercise its freedom to operate. How can he lecture others on the protection of human rights when he denies them so blatantly at home. Not only does this illustrate the low level to which government policy has sunk, but should be a wake up call to even the detractors of CAGE, that there is something seriously wrong with the debate on extremism when we merit such attention from the highest offices of the UK state.”

Press enquiries:

Ibrahim Mohamoud
Communications Officer
+(44) 207 377 6700  |



[1] CAGE has never supported terrorism in any way. CAGE has never suggested that the individuals involved in the terrorism plots including Operation Crevice/Fertilizer bomb plot in 2004, the Transatlantic Airline plot in 2006 or the EDL bomb plot in 2014 are innocent or should not have been convicted. We also offered to assist in negotiations to secure Alan Henning’s release, but were refused.

[2] Our work involves advocating for due process and adhering to the principle of the rule of law as a means of ending the War on Terror. We stand against torture and against the violation of human rights, particularly the rights of free speech and association. We believe the PREVENT strategy advocated by the British government will fail to counter political violence.

[3] CAGE felt compelled to make this submission outside of the UK court system in order to ensure our rights. Our criticisms of the British government’s approach to ending the War on Terror have not found favour with the British government.

[4] CAGE has also requested a judicial review of the Charity Commission, which exceeded its role as government regulator by pressuring the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation to give a commitment to never fund Cage again. The hearing for the judicial review request will commence on Thursday 22nd July, 10:30am at the Royal Courts of Justice. Not only did the Charity Commission spread false information based on certain media reports about CAGE, but it also assumed the role of counterterrorism police rather than a charity sector regulator, in demonising CAGE for its links to Mohammed Emwazi, prior to him leaving for Syria.

(CC image courtesy of Luke Redmond on Flickr)

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)