Draft Anti-Terrorism Law Approved by Assembly

As its final act before moving to its new location next month, the National Assembly on June 26 unanimously approved the draft anti-terrorism law, officials said.

All 88 lawmakers on hand voted in favor of the legislation, which aims to protect the country’s air and sea ports, control the handling of nuclear material and suppress the financing of terrorists.

The 111-article law was written with assistance from Australia and funding from Britain to replace a one-page 1992 law on terrorism that is currently in force.

Hy Sophea, secretary of state at the Justice Ministry, told the As­sembly that the law was important for Cambodia and the world.

“We have the law now, which shows to all that Cambodia is not a refuge for terrorists,” he said.

National Assembly and CPP Honorary President Heng Samrin praised the passage of the draft. “This is a huge contribution that the National Assembly of Cambo­dia is presenting the world: We are wholeheartedly joining the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Heng Samrin said the vote marked the final act of the Assembly before it officially moves to its new, larger building on July 7, where it will start anew after a three-month recess.

Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Saphan said the Assembly was convinced that the law was adequate.

He added that there was no concern regarding articles that allow prosecutors and investigating judges to monitor telephone lines and ac­cess computer systems for up to two months, because such steps could only be used against international terror suspects.

SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said the law was necessary to combat the threat of terrorism. There are, however, some concerns over whether the government will properly apply the legislation, Yim Sovann said.

“If [it is used] for political reasons or corruption, then innocent people will suffer,” he said.

The Australian Embassy welcomed the vote. “We…commend Cambodia’s efforts to strengthen its domestic legislation to protect its citizens from the threat posed by international terrorism,” an em­bassy spokesperson said.


Related Stories

Latest News