Australian security law watchdog urges scrapping of indefinite detention

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2017 4:11 AM

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia said on Wednesday it would consider recommendations from its security law watchdog to do away with rules allowing for indefinite detention for terror-related convictions, which the agency said was "a step too far".

Australia has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014, after having suffered several "lone wolf" assaults, including a cafe siege in Sydney, in which two hostages and the gunman were killed.

Last July, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government would indefinitely detain those convicted of terrorism-related charges if it felt they posed a danger to society if they were to be released.

But the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor recommended that the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to question and detain such people "be repealed or cease" when they expire in September.

"The government is carefully considering the report’s recommendations," Attorney General George Brandis said in a statement, but gave no details of any further action.

Australia will complete a review of the special measures by Sept. 7.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)