News analysis

Changes to Indonesia's anti-terror laws long overdue

Older laws focused on responding to attacks, when more needed to be done on prevention

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Indonesia's Parliament finally passed amendments to the country's anti-terror laws last Friday, more than two years after revisions designed to prevent attacks by terrorists were first proposed by the Joko Widodo administration.

The changes include, among other preventive actions, allowing the police to make pre-emptive arrests and detain terror suspects for 21 days for investigations, up from a maximum of just seven days previously. There is also a new clause that makes it a criminal offence to join foreign militant groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2018, with the headline Changes to Indonesia's anti-terror laws long overdue. Subscribe