HR groups object to provisions in counter-terrorism draft bill

Certain human rights groups have strongly objected to some of the provisions in the proposed counter-terrorism draft bill.

These groups are especially against the provisions that an arrest of suspects can be carried out by the police, the armed services or the
coast guard, and that a DIG will be empowered to order the detention of a suspect for a two week period.

The counter-terrorism draft bill was gazetted on 14 September 2018 in place of the prevention of terrorism act no. 48 of 1979.

According to HR groups, a basic error in the draft bill is that it gives a broad definition of the terrorism offence.

The LLRC report has recommended amendments to the 1979 act.

On the other hand, the draft bill provides for a high level of human rights entitlements to arrested suspects, legal protection for the investigating officers, establishment of a special anti-terrorism agency in the police, a review board to provide administrative assistance for detention orders, expert assistance and modern technology for crime investigation and organize the state and private sectors’ obligation to assist in terrorism investigation.

Click here to read the gazette notification