Counter-Terrorism Bill: Undemocratic Emergency Regulations Could Become Permanent Law

Yesterday (Wednesday, August 3) the Counter-Terrorism Bill passed its first reading in the Knesset plenum. The bill’s purpose is to legally anchor the “state of emergency” regulations regarding the fight against terrorism and turn them into permanent legislation. The bill’s means: administrative detentions, control orders, and extremely broad definitions of “terror organizations.”
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) recognizes the importance of protecting citizens against acts of indiscriminate violence; however, ACRI insists that Israel must fight terrorism in a manner that is consistent with the basic principles and fundamental rights that underlie its democratic character.
According to ACRI Attorney Lila Margalit, “the bill includes elements that may lead law-abiding individuals and organizations to be deemed as ‘terrorists.’ The bill grants the State draconian and unchecked authority to take extreme measures against individuals and organizations without due process, on the basis of suspicion alone, without guaranteeing the minimal right of self-defense in court. The bill therefore provides a huge opening for the State to intervene in the public debate and to limit the freedom of assembly and freedom of movement.”
To read ACRI’s full position paper on the Counter-Terrorism Bill, click here.
Some of the harmful measures included in the bill:
1. Administrative detention and control orders
2. Widespread use of secret evidence
3. Broad definition of “terrorist organization,” “member of a terrorist group,” and “act of terrorism”
4. Anchoring draconian powers for investigating suspects in security offenses
5. Setting criminal offenses that violate freedom of speech in an unproportional way
6. Contradictions to basic principles of criminal law

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Due Process

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