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Turkish parliament passes bill regulating non-governmental organizations

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The Turkish Parliament on Sunday passed a bill aimed at controlling terrorism after two days of debate.

Entitled the “Law on Preventing the Financing of the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction,” the new legislation includes controversial amendments to an existing law on aid collection.

Turkish Parliament
Turkish Parliament

These amendments enable the government, led by President Tayyip Erdogan, to block the websites of non-governmental organizations, NGOs, and halt their operations without a hearing.

In a joint statement, seven human rights groups criticized the amendments and claimed their fundraising efforts would be severely limited.

Human rights groups view the amendments as the latest blow in a continuing attack against them.

President Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party, AKP, have targeted free speech and human rights groups since a coup attempt in 2016.

In July 2020, a Turkish court convicted a former chair of Amnesty International, among others, on terrorism charges.

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