Bulgaria Tentatively Approves Anti-Terrorism Bill
Bulgaria's Parliament on Thursday tentatively approved a controversial anti-terrorism bill which allows the government to restrict civil rights in case of emergency.
Under the proposed bill, security and law-enforcement officers will be authorized to access private properties and use citizens' cars if necessary during an anti-terrorism operation.
The officers will be able to restrict the movement of people, suspend access to Internet or seize documents of people suspected of preparing a terrorist act.
The authorities will have the right to keep personal communication data they have gathered during investigation for up to 36 months, compared with the current from six months.
While the government says that the new law is needed in view of increased threat of terror attacks in Europe, human rights activists claim that the restrictions will curb basic human rights like the freedom of expression.
The draft gives the armed forces the right to inspect personal belongings,make searches, and use force against citizens as stipulated in the Interior Ministry Act.
The new legislation needs to be approved on second reading to become law.
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