Switzerland has voted to increase state powers to monitor potential terrorists, which will allow police to watch over children as young as twelve for signs of potential terrorist activity.
The new powers were part of a number of referendum initiatives voted on in Switzerland on Sunday and secured 57 per cent support to allow police to expand their ability to monitor potential terrorists, despite opposition from humanitarian groups.
Along with allowing police to monitor potential terrorist activity, the new law also grants police the ability to limit the movements of suspects and force them to take part in interviews from the age of 12, while those over 15 can also be subject to house arrest for nine months upon court approval, newspaper Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace reports.
‘Jihadist Background’: Two Injured in Suspected Switzerland Terror Attack Stabbing https://t.co/d14TC2sHXd
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According to the newspaper, the law was opposed by leftists who are concerned that the laws do not respect human rights, while the government stated that human rights would be respected but noted that current de-radicalisation programmes were not enough to deal with the terror threat.
Swiss voters also rejected several climate change initiatives on Sunday, including a tax on airline tickets and a levy on car fuel, measures propose to help Switzerland reach its goals under the Paris climate change agreement.
Proposals to ban Symantec pesticides were also rejected with 61 per cent voting not to ban the pesticides due to the impact it could have on local food producers.
The new anti-terror powers come just months after two people were injured after a 28-year-old woman attacked two other women at a department store in the Italian-speaking city of Lugano, stabbing one with a knife.
Swiss police later revealed that the suspect in the case had not only been known to police but had been the subject of an investigation into her jihadist radicalism in 2017. German media also claimed that the woman had declared allegiance to the Islamic State terror group.