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Council of State doubts about bill punishment stay terror area

The Council of State is critical of the government's proposal to criminalize intentional residence in a terrorist area. The government's main advisory body doubts the necessity of the proposal and believes it should be reconsidered.

Anyone who deliberately stays in an area that is under the control of a terrorist movement without permission from the Ministry of Justice and Security can soon have a maximum of one year in prison.

Someone who returns from such an area can pose a danger to Dutch society, according to the government. The proposal was sent to the Lower House on Thursday and was already announced in the coalition agreement.

According to the Council of State, the necessity of the proposal has not been demonstrated. The advisory body also points out that such a bill was previously put in place, but that this was not continued at that time.

The existing legislation proved to be sufficient to prosecute travelers and returnees from Syria and Iraq. It also proved difficult to show that people were deliberately in a terrorist area. The new proposal does not solve this problem, according to the Council of State.

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