24 hours inadequate to submit public opinion on Terrorism bill: Opposition

The Parliamentary Group (PG) of the opposing parties - Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) - have stated that the public should be given over 24 hours to present their opinions on the proposed amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act.

They presented their views in a letter to Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed.

The letter expressed concerns over how the bill would limit the existing rights of people, and the importance of seeking public opinion.

Noting how the public was granted a period of one week to present their views on parliamentary regulations, the opposition said the public should be granted a similar amount of time to voice out their views on the Anti-Terrorism bill before passing it.

The letter requested that the relevant committees of parliament be informed swiftly if the bill needed to be passed quickly as a result of an immediate threat to the country. Furthermore, it the parliament to take the necessary steps in its regard.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih recognized the importance of indicting extremists within the country through the amendment bill.

Under the amended law, police will be given authority to search places of interest, and investigate and detain suspected terrorists without court approval.

As a result, concerns have been raised by lawyers, leaders of opposing parties, and several members of ruling party, Maldives Democratic Party (MDP).