Tags: Australia | Plans | More | Counterterror | Laws

Australia Plans More Counterterror Laws

Thursday, 08 September 2005 12:00 AM

Howard said the legislation would let police to attach tracking devices to terror suspects for up to a year even without criminal charges filed and hold people up to 14 days without charge if suspected of being involved in planning or carrying out a terror act.

The new laws would also let authorities withhold Australian citizenship from immigrants considered a security risk, and lengthen the time new migrants have to wait for citizenship from two years to three, Howard said.

Civil libertarians said the government had failed to demonstrate the need to further toughen counterterrorism laws that already have been strengthened since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

They were especially concerned about a proposal that Howard said would allow federal police to attach tracking devices to terror suspects.

"This is incredible in the case of someone ... who has not broken the law in any sense but can be treated as a criminal," Australian Council for Civil Liberties spokesman David Bernie said.

"Can they point to the fact that any of these extra powers would have helped prevent 9/11 or the London bombing" of the subways? Bernie asked.

Howard's government controls both houses of the federal Parliament and was expected to easily pass most of the proposals.

The opposition Labor Party said it supports measures that genuinely protect Australians against the threat of terrorist attack and will examine Howard's proposals once details are available.

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Howard said the legislation would let police to attach tracking devices to terror suspects for up to a year even without criminal charges filed and hold people up to 14 days without charge if suspected of being involved in planning or carrying out a terror act. The new...
Australia,Plans,More,Counterterror,Laws
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2005-00-08
Thursday, 08 September 2005 12:00 AM
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