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Jakarta Post

Revoking of passports of alleged IS members becomes burning issue

Revoking of passports of alleged IS members becomes burning issue
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Fri, January 29, 2016

Against terrorism: Members of the KIIAS antiradicalism group stage a demonstration in Central Jakarta, fiercely opposing the presence of the Islamic State (IS) radical group in Indonesia and calling for vigilance in the fight against radicalism. (Antara/David Muharmansya)

The state's right to revoke the passports of out-of-country Indonesians who are allegedly members of the Islamic State (IS) movement is being debated by lawmakers drafting revisions to a counterterrorism law, an official says.

One of the main focuses of the debate is whether the passport revocation only covers alleged IS members who have committed terrorist attacks, or also those who have not, said Widodo Ekatjahjana, the Law and Human Rights Ministry's law and regulations director general, on Thursday.

"If it's revoked, the passport will be invalid and they cannot come back home. It's still being debated," Widodo said as quoted by tempo.co.

The drafters also have not agreed whether the Indonesian nationals, who departed and engaged in illegal military training abroad should have their passports revoked their passports and whether they would automatically lose their citizenship, Widodo said.

Widodo said technical and detailed rules over substantive matters about the revocation of passports or citizenship would be stipulated in the supporting government regulations.

The idea to strip the citizenship of Indonesians fighting in foreign lands aims to prevent radicals who have fought with IS abroad from returning to Indonesia. The inclusion of such a provision becomes debatable because the population law already stipulates that any Indonesian joining a foreign country's military shall lose his or her citizenship automatically.

The question is whether the law is applicable to fighters with IS because the group does not formally rule its territories in Syria and Iraq.

The draft revision of Law No. 15/2003 on terrorism eradication added several new articles, one of which would regulate the valid use of electronic information to arrest suspects who have allegedly been involved in terrorist attacks, Widodo said.

Other additional articles will regulate arms in connection with terrorist movements and authorize law enforcers to get extraterritorial authority to arrest foreign terrorist suspects who are on Indonesian soil.

An extension of the detainment period from seven to 120 days of people who allegedly committed terrorist attacks or planned to carry out attacks, but have not yet been named suspects by the police, would also be included in the law.

The House of Representatives and the government had agreed to include the revision of the law into this year's national legislation program. (afr/bbn)(+)