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15 Oct 2015

Amendments to Belarus’ laws on combating terrorism pass first reading

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – Belarusian senators passed the first reading of the amendments to some laws on combating terrorism on 15 October, BelTA has learned.

The document has been developed to polish the legal framework for preventing, uncovering and suppressing the activity of terrorist organizations as well as protecting infrastructure facilities from terrorist attacks. Amendments and additions are envisaged to some articles of the Law on Combating Terrorism and the Law on the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.

Chairman of the State Security Committee of Belarus Valery Vakulchik said presenting the document that, first of all, it is expected to complement the law on combating terrorism with a norm envisaging the need to prevent terrorist activities and minimize their consequences as an additional ground for conducting counterterrorist operations.

Secondly, among the plans is to include a norm of governmental response to the law on combating terrorism. The amendment means the implementation of certain measures to prevent, discover and suppress acts of terror, as well as the activity of terrorist organizations, illegal armed formations and minimize their consequences by government bodies and other state organizations.

Thirdly, the Defense Ministry will be involved in governmental response actions. “It means the use of the Armed Forces within the rules of law in addressing the tasks. First of all, it pertains to the use of military transport aviation, if necessary, and the fulfillment of other highly specialized functions, including engineer operations, radiation and chemical defense. The Law on the Armed Forces will be also complemented with Article 11-1 legalizing the use of the Armed Forces in the protection of the facilities of critical importance,” the KGB Chairman said.

Besides, there are plans to introduce amendments to Article 18 of the Law of Combating Terrorism. These amendments will introduce a notion of a socially rehabilitating person which is a person that falls victim to a terrorist attack, or the activity of terrorist organizations and illegal armed formations.

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