No trivial issues in counteracting terrorism

Legislation on terrorism counteraction is soon to change in Belarus, with a draft law prepared by the State Security Committee, of applied character
Legislation on terrorism counteraction is soon to change in Belarus, with a draft law prepared by the State Security Committee, of applied character

Back in August, the Council of Ministers submitted the document to the House of Representatives, and it passed its first reading. Deputies are now ‘polishing’ technicalities, in preparation for the second reading.

“The draft law will introduce changes and amendments to laws ‘On the Struggle Against Terrorism’ and ‘On the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus’,” explains Vasily Papko, a member of the Standing Commission on National Security. The changes will tackle the competence of state security bodies, and of the Interior and Defence ministries, in counteracting terrorism. The function of each structure will be clearly defined by law, enabling us to act consistently.

The draft law envisages counter-terrorism operations aiming to prevent the activity of terrorists when impossible to do so by other means. Moreover, those conducting counter-terrorist operations or investigations into suspects will be held to higher accountability in their work to unearth terrorist organisations and their members. One of the draft law’s innovations is the legal confirmation of social rehabilitation of citizens who have suffered as a result of terrorist acts or from the activity of a terrorist organisation or in preventing such activity. Such rehabilitation includes legal, psychological, medical and professional assistance, alongside employment and housing provision.

“It’s also proposed to introduce amendments to the Law ‘On the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus’, by which the Armed Forces can be called upon to help defend critically important sites, as stipulated by legislation,” adds Mr. Papko. 

Parliament notes that work continues on the document and that a session of the working group has been held, involving representatives of all interested bodies.

“The major task of the draft law is to enhance the efficiency of anti-terrorist activity. At present, the most dangerous manifestation of modernity is terrorism; it knows no borders and threatens all society. The struggle against this phenomenon should be major and merciless,” believes Mr. Papko.

By Svetlana Isaenok
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