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Government seeks harsher sentences for terrorism

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (right) and the director of the Federal Justice Office, Martin Dumermuth, presented the bill to the media. Keystone

People convicted of terrorist activities could face up to 20 years in prison according to the Swiss government.

This content was published on September 14, 2018 - 18:23
swissinfo.ch/urs

The proposal, presented by Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga on Friday, is part of a series of measures, to be discussed by parliament. They are aimed at improving international efforts to crack down on terrorism.

They include raising the minimum and maximum sentences, as well as outlawing the financing of terrorism.

“Switzerland must not become a safe haven for sponsors of terrorism,” Sommaruga told a news conference on Wednesday.

The government also wants to make recruiting as well as training of militants and trips for terrorist purposes punishable offences.

The proposed amendments, which are in line with decisions by the Council of Europe and demands by parliament, also aim to speed up legal assistance with other countries.

“It’s crucial not to lose any time in the case of an imminent terrorist attack. Therefore, Switzerland wants to provide information and evidence to other countries as soon as possible,” she explained.

Three steps

The proposals are part of a series of projects to boost the fight against terrorism.

Last year, the national government, the cantons and local authorities approved a programme to combat radicalisation and militant extremism.

+ Government funds to national prevention programme

In addition, the government has presented a proposal to boost police powers to deal with people deemed potential security threats before they are subject to a criminal investigation.

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