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Australian leaders reach agreement on strict anti-terror laws

[JURIST] Australian state and territory leaders Tuesday agreed to strict new anti-terror measures [official news release] proposed by the federal government of Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] which include detaining terror suspects for up to 48 hours without charge and using electronic tracking devices to keep tabs on suspects. There was also agreement Tuesday to tighten citizenship laws to make new immigrants wait three years rather than two before eligibility. The new measures, originally proposed in the aftermath of the London bombings [JURIST news archive], have drawn widespread criticism [ABC report] from Australian rights groups, and moderate Australian Muslims have called the proposed laws unfair [IslamOnline report], saying they could contribute to the development of a fascist state. The country's National Counter-Terrorism Committee [official website] will now draft amendments to Australia's Criminal Code to reflect Tuesday's agreement. Australia's ABC News has local coverage. Reuters has more. The Australian government provides background material and advice on Australian national security [official website].

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