Turkey: Parts of govt-backed 'security bill' withdrawn
Parts of a government-backed domestic security bill that opposition parties rejected as "anti-democratic" have been sent back to the Turkish parliament's lower committee, Anadolu Agency reported.
Acting parliament speaker, Meral Aksener, announced on Mar.12 that, after an appeal by the interior minister, some 63 articles of the bill, which have yet to be debated, were referred back to the committee.
The security bill came to the table following extensive rioting in Turkey last autumn. Protests in Turkey's southeastern provinces in October 2014 resulted in over 40 deaths that were sparked because of the Turkish government allegedly not doing enough to save the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from the terrorist group Daesh.
The reform package, which has been debated in parliament and approved bit by bit, criminalizes participation in protests with covered faces and makes the possession of Molotov cocktails punishable with up to five years behind bars. It was criticized by the opposition for allegedly curbing down individual rights and freedoms.
Earlier on Mar.12, Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or the HDP, dismissed the bill, saying that it was against social peace and the development of democracy in Turkey.
"The security bill is a big mistake. It is an incredible, anti-democratic law that will cause distress to people in the street," he said in Ankara.