Australia to charge children under new anti-terror laws

Canberra, Sep 15 (IANS) Children as young as 14 years of age will be charged as adults under new counter-terror laws introduced in Australia’s parliament on Thursday.

Attorney-General, George Brandis said he expected the amendments to receive bipartisan support in both the lower and upper Houses, as they would serve to keep Australia’s anti-terror laws “as strong and up-to-date as possible”, Xinhua news agency reported

He said the changes, which include an amendment to charge minors as adults when it comes to terror-related activities would “enable police and intelligence agencies to fight terrorism, and to keep our community safe.”

“Regrettably, children as young as 14 have been involved in terrorism-related activities. This Bill recognises this reality and the need for appropriate safeguards,” Brandis said in a statement on Thursday.

He added that the second amendment, which would keep at-risk convicted terrorists in jail even if their sentence was served, would further protect Australians from the growing risk of terrorism.

“Most states and territories have already enacted post-sentence preventative detention schemes for dealing with high risk sex or violent offenders, but until now, there has been no such scheme for convicted terrorist offenders,” Brandis added.

–IANS

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