Turkey debates law that would increase oversight of NGOs

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Islam News – Turkey’s parliament began debating a draft law on Friday that would increase oversight of non-governmental organisations and which, according to rights campaigners, risks limiting the freedoms of civil-society groups , as Reuters agency reported.

The bill would allow the interior minister to replace members of organisations who are being investigated for terrorism charges. The interior ministry could also apply to courts to halt the groups’ activities under the draft bill.

The government says the measure, covering “foundations and associations”, aims to prevent non-profit organisations from financing terrorism and to punish those who violate the law.

Civil-society groups, including Amnesty International and the Human Rights Association, said terrorism charges in Turkey were arbitrary, and that the draft law would violate the presumption of innocence and punish those whose trials were not finalised.

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