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Bulgarian Cabinet Passes Anti-Terror Act That May Curb Rights

  • New law may restrict civic rights after attacks in Europe
  • Authorities may ban suspects from leaving country, cities

Bulgaria’s government approved counter-terrorism legislation that gives more power to the army and the police in preventing terrorist assaults and will allow them to restrict civil rights.

The bill, which has yet to be approved by parliament, lets the army detain people and search private homes, using force when needed, according to a draft published on the government’s website. It also allows the authorities to ban a person suspected of terrorist activity, from leaving the country or a city, from using more than one phone number, or using the Internet for up to six months as a preventive measure.

“The act introduces basic rules of carrying out counter-terrorist operations when there is information about a threat or in case of a terrorist attack,” the government in Sofia said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. “In these cases, it is admissible to limit partly and temporarily some rights of the citizens.”

The European Union’s poorest state in terms of per-capita output is seeking to expand its military capabilities spanning cyber security to fighter jets amid concerns of increasing threats from Islamic State, following terrorist assaults in Istanbul, Paris and Brussels. The attacks, which killed more than 200 people, were orchestrated by radical Islamic forces operating in such war-torn countries as Syria.

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