ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed new amendments to laws on combating terrorism, the president’s press office announced January 4. The reforms expand the scope of preventive measures, including co-operation with religious authorities, anti-terrorism education in schools and public information campaigns.
They require improved personnel requirements and training standards for security forces to minimize collateral damage and casualties from counter-terrorism operations. The reforms were approved by Parliament as a legislative initiative from the president on Nov. 1, 2012.
Kabdulkarim Abdikazymov, deputy chairman of the National Security Committee said the new laws were required by increasing security challenges.
“The need to adopt the law comes from the increasing tension and expanding radicalization among the population and growing terrorist activity in the country,” he said.
The new legislation “offers a new definition of terrorism as an ideology of violence to influence decision-making by governments or international organizations through committing or threatening to commit violent or criminal acts aimed at terrorizing the population and causing harm to an individual, society and the state,” Abdikazymov said.
The bill also provides for the creation of new regional anti-terrorism committees headed by governors of regions and mayors of cities and districts. It gives the president the authority to assess the extent of a terrorist threat and approve procedures for using weapons and military equipment during anti-terrorist operations.
The new legislation also includes amendments to the Criminal Code, Penal Code, the Code of Administrative Violations and other changes.
The law creates new clear lines of authority for state and local authorities in combating terrorism and a new legal mechanism to organize and coordinate their activities.
The new amendments “will contribute to the reduction of the social base of terrorism, increase public confidence in the authorities and will increasingly involve civil society in the process of counter-terrorism,” the President’s office said in a statement