Australian 'terror' suspects to lose citizenship

Proposed law gives immigration minister power to revoke citizenship of dual national ‘suspected’ of terror acts

Australian 'terror' suspects to lose citizenship

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced plans to pass a law under which dual nationals suspected of involvement in “terrorism” will be stripped of citizenship, even without a conviction.

Abbott said Tuesday that the government intended to introduce the measure in coming weeks and thought it was “an important addition to the armoury that we have to keep the Australian people safe,” the Australian Associated Press reported.

Under the proposed law, the immigration minister can revoke the Australian citizenship of a person “suspected” of terror acts – including alleged support for groups like ISIL - who has not been convicted, with the decision subject to judicial review.

Six high-profile cabinet members have expressed their opposition to the law, according to Fairfax media.

Abbott said that around 100 Australians were fighting alongside ISIL in the Middle East, with up to half of them having citizenship in another country.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said he would work with intelligence agencies when deciding on such a move.

“It is very difficult of course to gather sufficient evidence to satisfy an Australian court beyond reasonable doubt that that person committed that offence in that part of the world,” The Australian quoted him as saying.

He added that the measure would apply to nationals accused of having committed an act of terrorism, prepared for such an act, raised funds for or supported terrorism, or indoctrinated young people into “extremism.”

As part of efforts to prevent nationals from joining groups fighting in the Middle East, Australia has banned its citizens from traveling to Mosul in northern Iraq and Syria’s Raqqa province – unless they have a “legitimate purpose” for being there.

Civil rights groups have expressed concerns that the measure places the burden of proof on an individual to show they entered the prohibited area for such purposes – which include humanitarian aid, journalism or family visits.

David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrat senator for New South Wales, had earlier criticized the ‘foreign fighters’ legislation, telling that it “may well be the most shocking assault on civil liberties in Australia's history.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Mayıs 2015, 11:46