Bulgaria's Govt OKs Controversial Anti-Terror Bill
The government of Bulgaria has adopted draft legislation that gives law enforcement and security agencies rights to curb civil liberties in case of a terror emergency.
Apart from giving sweeping powers to the military, police and other officials in case the highest alert is triggered, the bill also sets up a National Counter-Terrorism Center with the security and counter-intelligence body DANS (State Agency for National Security).
The Bulgarian Armed Forces will be included in a national counter-terrorism plan and will intervene when a threat is detected or in the event of a terror act, when they will also help deal with the aftermath.
Institutions, schools and kindergartens will be obliged to develop and apply anti-terror measures, according to the proposal.
In a press statement, the cabinet has said the aim is to create an effective mechanism for institutions to interact in prevention and reaction to terror threats.
It has stressed that "a partial and temporary restriction of separate rights of citizens' will be allowed in case of a threat or terror act.
Private and natural persons whose property was damaged during or because of an anti-terror operation will be entitled to compensations.
Wednesday's decision gives way for lawmakers to hold debates and votes in committees and before full Parliament.
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