Australia endorses law to revoke citizenship

Law on dual nationals convicted of ‘terrorism’ or suspected of ‘terrorist-related conduct’ to be introduced to parliament Wednesday

Australia endorses law to revoke citizenship

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to introduce to parliament Wednesday a controversial law under which dual nationals suspected of involvement in “terrorism” will be stripped of citizenship.

He told reporters the bill will be introduced "first thing" after it received the endorsement of the coalition party room earlier Tuesday.

The legislation would apply to dual citizens who are "convicted of a specific terrorism-related offence" or suspected of engagement in "specified terrorist-related conduct".

The proposed law had drawn criticism after Abbott announced last month that it would enable the immigration minister to revoke the citizenship of a person “suspected” of terror acts -- including alleged support for groups like ISIL. A conviction would have not been necessary, with the decision subject to judicial review.

However, ABC News reported Tuesday that details of the legislation presented to coalition backbenchers showed that the proposal granting the immigration minister the authority to revoke citizenship had been set aside.

The broadcaster cited the new document as confirming that such decisions will be "subject to judicial review", and will be applied to nationals who fought with "a listed terrorist organization overseas".

"So as far as is humanly possible, the forfeiture of citizenship by terrorists who are dual nationals happens automatically by action of law," Abbott said Tuesday.

"As Australians, we will never, ever, sacrifice our freedoms, but we will defend them -- that's what this legislation is all about," he added, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Before the proposals were discussed in the party room, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had said they would reinforce section 35 of the Citizenship Act, which stipulates the revocation of citizenship from nationals fighting for a country at war with Australia.

"We will bring it into the contemporary circumstances of people taking up with terrorist organizations that have effectively declared war on Australia and Australians," she told ABC radio.

The development comes during a time when Australia is working to verify whether two of its nationals suspected of fighting with ISIL -- Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar -- were killed in an air strike on the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2015, 10:28
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