Switzerland to tighten anti-terrorism laws

The Swiss National Council is discussing tighter anti-terrorism laws. The proposed legislation would make recruiting, training or travel in view of furthering possible terrorist acts a punishable offence. In addition it would allow the police to take tougher action against extremists by imposing travel bans and house arrest. Critics object, arguing that it remains unclear who can be classified as an extremist.

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Le Courrier (CH) /

The bellicose rhetoric of a preventive state

Commenting in Le Courrier, criminologists Manon Jendly and Ahmed Ajil see the legislation as worrying:

“On the sole basis of a 'threat' that may become more concrete in the future, not only would anti-terrorism measures be adopted, but also drastic restrictions on freedom of movement, association and assembly, as well as on the rights to privacy and family life. A state that calls itself 'constitutional' is making quite a few assumptions here. The project is a blatant example of a preventive state guided by the rhetoric of war and the semantics of fear of a very convenient enemy, which is now to be neutralised in defiance of all the basic guarantees.”

St. Galler Tagblatt (CH) /

Even house arrest would be constitutional

Christian Democrat Ida Glanzmann calls for drastic measures in a guest commentary for the St. Galler Tagblatt:

“What to do with convicted supporters of terrorism who are still radicalised when they leave prison and pose a terrorist threat? ... In such cases the police should be able to obtain an exclusion order, a travel ban, and an obligation to check in at regular intervals. ... As the most stringent measure the Federal Council proposes house arrest, which, however, is only a last resort and must be approved by an appropriate court. Of course these measures encroach on fundamental rights. However, they are in conformity with our constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”