Abbott: Australia to strip citizenship for terror links

2015-05-26 08:00
Prim Minister Tony Abbott. (File: AFP)

Prim Minister Tony Abbott. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia on Tuesday announced it will amend the law to strip dual nationals linked to terrorism of their citizenship for "betraying the country", but insisted no one would be left stateless.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the new powers would apply to dual nationals who fight with or support jihadists such as Islamic State group or so-called lone wolves who pose a threat on home soil.

But the government backed away from removing citizenship from second-generation Australians. Under that scenario, such nationals linked to terror groups would have been forced to take on the citizenship of their parents' birth countries.

"The changes will be consistent with our international legal obligation not to leave a person stateless. There will also be safeguards, including judicial review, to balance these powers," said Abbott.

"These new powers are a necessary and appropriate response to the terrorist threat. They modernise our laws and bring them closer to those of Britain, Canada, France, the United States and other countries."

Facebook posts

The announcement came as a Sydney mother reportedly abandoned her two children and fled to Syria for a new life under Islamic State, becoming one of more than 100 Australians who have joined the jihadists. At least 30 have been killed.

The government said it was deeply disturbed by the revelations and was monitoring the situation closely.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph said Jasmina Milovanov, a 26-year-old Muslim convert, left her children, aged five and seven, with a babysitter earlier this month and never returned.

It cited her ex-husband as saying she sent a text message telling him she was in Syria.

"The only thing I can think about is my children. I can't believe she left these two beautiful children. My son was saying in the days afterwards that he hoped 'my mum is OK'," said the husband, who was not named.

"Before she [went] I talked to her [about her extreme Facebook posts]. I said this is extreme, stupid. I was warning her about who she hangs out with."

No leniency

Milovanov is Facebook friends with former Melbourne woman Zehra Duman, who is known in Australia as the "jihadi bride recruiter" and uses social media to entice women to join the militant group.

Friends of Milovanov, cited by the Telegraph, said she had often talked about marrying a jihadi fighter.

Australia raised its threat level to high last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids, with several alleged plots foiled this year.

Canberra has also introduced a series of national security measures to combat the threat, including criminalising travel to terror hotspots and allocating Aus$1.3bn in extra funding to police and security agencies.

Abbott said people who chose to fight with the Islamic State group were "betraying our country and don't deserve to be citizens of Australia".

"Our success as a nation is underpinned by a commitment by all Australians to a law abiding, peaceful and open society.

"In an environment in which terrorism is reaching out to our community, we need to ensure this is well understood," he added.

Abbott also vowed no leniency for returning jihadists who are Australian citizens only.

"They should suffer the full severity of the law, if they get back alive," he said, adding that around half of the 100 citizens fighting overseas were dual-nationals.

The government plans to introduce the new legislation into parliament within weeks with the decision to strip citizenship at Canberra's discretion.

Read more on:    isis  |  tony abbott  |  australia  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.