Swedish parliament adopts tougher anti-terror law

Sweden's parliament on Wednesday passed new legislation to ban activities linked to extremist groups, as it beefs up its terror laws, a key demand from Türkiye to approve Stockholm's NATO membership bid.

With 268 votes in favour, the law-- which criminalises "participation in a terrorist organisation" - was adopted by Sweden's 349-seat parliament and will enter into force on June 1.

When presenting the legislation in February, Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer said it was a "considerable widening of the scope compared to current legislation".

Actions such as handling equipment, organising camps or locations for meetings, cooking or being in charge of transport for designated terrorist organisations can be considered crimes under the new law, Strommer explained.

In November, the country amended its constitution to allow the bill to move forward, as it was deemed to infringe on Sweden's freedom of association laws.

Cracking down on extremist groups has also been a key demand from Ankara before it will approve the country's stalled bid to join NATO.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Sweden along with Finland abandoned their long-held policy of non-alignment and applied to join the military alliance in May 2022.

But while Finland became a member in April, Türkiye has blocked Sweden's application, saying the country has become a haven for terrorists, especially PKK terror organization. 


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