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Parliament agrees to bolster anti-terrorism law

The Swiss parliament has tightened measures aimed at preventing extremist violence and organised crime as part of increased international cooperation.

The Senate on Wednesday followed the House of Representatives in approving a legal reform, which includes a ban on the financing of terrorist activities and the recruitment and training of suspected militants traveling to conflict regions.

Offenders face prison sentences of up to ten years.

The bill, which had drawn criticism from United Nations human rights experts, also allows the authorities to demand that people, including teenagers, deemed a threat regularly report to the police. It also allows them to put suspects under preventative house arrest.

Both chambers also agreed to allow the transfer of information to other countries about people under investigation without a right to appeal.

Under the amended law, militant groups including al-Qaida and the Islamic State, are formally banned, endorsing previous regulations.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter welcomed the parliamentary decisions, which came after several rounds of debates in both chambers over the past ten months.

The measures are part of a national action plan against violent extremism introduced in 2017 and Swiss participation in a Council of Europe convention.