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India high court restores ban on Muslim student group

[JURIST]  The Supreme Court of India [official website] temporarily reinstated a government ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) [Jamestown Foundation profile] on Wednesday, reversing the holding of the Delhi High Court [official website], which had just lifted the ban on Tuesday. The lower court had reasoned that because the government had failed to supply any new evidence of SIMI's involvement in illegal activity, the seven-year ban on the group should be lifted. The Indian government quickly appealed the ruling, claiming that lifting the ban would considerably harm the country's anti-terrorism efforts. The Supreme Court's ruling gives the government three weeks to present new evidence of SIMI's unlawfulness in order to make the ban permanent. Reuters has more.

The Indian government outlawed SIMI in 2001 pursuant to India's Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 [PDF text], alleging the group is tied to several recent bombings [SATP materials] in the country, but advocates [Milli Gazette op-ed] say charges against the group were brought for political reasons alone. Several countries including Egypt, Spain [JURIST news archives], and Canada [JURIST report] have banned Islamic groups or political parties for alleged ties to terrorist activities in recent years, while the UK has lifted some bans [JURIST news archive] on groups no longer considered threats.

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