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Counter-terrorism: new laws passed in Bulgaria and proposed in Germany
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The ongoing implementation of new counter-terrorism laws across Europe continues, with the German government announcing last week plans for new measures and the Bulgarian parliament approving the first reading of a new bill at the end of July.

The New York Times reports:

"Germany's interior minister on Thursday unveiled proposals to boost security after recent attacks, including making it easier to deport foreigners deemed dangerous and stripping dual nationals who fight for extremist groups of their German citizenship.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere's plans also include creating several thousand jobs at federal security services over the coming years and making "promoting terrorism" a criminal offense."

See: Germany Proposes Tougher Security Laws After Terrorist Attacks (New York Times, link)

The proposals would also weaken the law on doctor-patient confidentiality:

"allowing for doctors to report suspicions to police that a patient intends to carry out a crime... The Federal Association of Doctors (BÄK) suggested the Interior Minister could be acting unconstitutionally by infringing on doctor-patient trust."

See: Doctor-patient trust at risk in new anti-terror proposals (The Local, link)

These proposals come on top of new measures introduced last year to implement United Nations Security Council 2178, which were brought in despite the interior minister stating that German counter-terror law was already tough enough. Background: New anti-terrorism laws come into force (Statewatch News Online, July 2015)

Meanwhile, at the end of July the Bulgarian parliament approved the first reading of a new counter-terrorism law that:

"allows the government to curb civil rights during an emergency, signalling growing concern over the threat of Islamist militants.

The changes, which were approved on a first reading and must be endorsed again, give state security officers, expand what police and security agencies may do in the event of a terrorist attack.


Bulgaria's law allows police access to private property during an anti-terror operation, giving them right to use citizens' cars if necessary. They also will authorised to restrict people's movements, suspend access to the Internet or seize documents of those suspected of preparing a terrorist act.

In addition, the authorities will be allowed to keep for up to three years personal communication data they have gathered, up from the current six months."

See: Bulgaria approves anti-terrorism law amid growing concern over attacks (Thomson Reuters Foundation, link)

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