UAE's anti-terror initiative takes another step forward
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
A law allowing the anti-terror centre Hedayah to become an independent organisation has been passed by the FNC.
The facility, which means guidance in Arabic, will investigate
terrorism and its roots and find ways to support victims of terrorism by
working with academics and religious and community leaders.
the law is still to receive final approval from the President, Sheikh
Khalifa, before enactment, the centre has been running for the past
Members were unsure why there was a need for the law if the centre was already in operation.
is a need for the centre - but does it need a law to work?" asked
Marwan bin Ghalita (Dubai). He said similar centres were already set up
in Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the United States and none was governed by a
Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for FNC Affairs and
the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the UAE committed to
establishing the centre at the Global Counterterrorism Forum held in New
York in 2011 and the centre was meant to be international, not Emirati.
"The country studied options to open such a centre," he said. "We saw
there was little legal possibility for this, so needed a law to
establish this centre."
He said until the law is passed the UAE
has to finance the centre. Afterwards, it will be financed by the 30
member countries of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.
"The centre will be independent, not national," he said. "Without a law giving it independency, we are paying."
Mr bin Ghalita insisted there was no need for the law.
Gargash disagreed. "Right now we are paying for this, it is still under
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he said. He said the best option was
to give the centre - the executive director of which must be Emirati -
operational independence via federal law.
The bill makes clear
that the UAE will not be responsible for illegal practices committed by
its staff or activists in the course of their work, but states the
centre will still "fall under the jurisdiction of UAE laws and is not
allowed to perform any acts that breach laws of the UAE or contradict