Parliament accepts bill which will allow terror suspects to be held up to 48 hrs without warrant

Security services maintain security in the streets of Male' City on May 13, 2021. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The Parliament, on Tuesday, accepted the government bill to revise the Counter-Terrorism Act to allow terror suspects to be held up to 48 hours in police custody without a court warrant.

The bill, sponsored by Kurendhoo MP Abdul Ghanee Abdul Hakeem, was accepted into the Parliament with a majority vote of 47 on Tuesday afternoon.

The bill has been sent to the Security Services Committee for review.

Counter-Terrorism Act was last revised in late 2019 by convening the Parliament for extraordinary sittings during recess. The sweeping revisions granted police extensive powers, including the authority to hold terror suspects up to 24 hours without a court warrant. The revisions also constricted some of the rights of terror suspects, and allowed for a wider interpretation of “terrorism”.

The main revision on the new bill is to extend the maximum window terror suspects can be held without a court warrant from 24 hours to 48 hours, and enable the search of the location where terror suspects are arrested from without a court warrant.

The bill also declares changes to procedures in dealing with persons who return from foreign conflicts.