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HRW Urges Pakistan To Repeal Terror Law

Human Rights Watch is urging Pakistan to repeal what the human rights group calls the country's "repressive" new anti-terror legislation.

Passed by Pakistan's parliament on July 2, the law doubles the maximum allowable sentence for terror offenses to 20 years.

It also allows security forces to hold suspects for as long as 60 days without disclosing their whereabouts or charges against them.

Human Rights Watch said the new law could be used to suppress peaceful political protest and criticism of government policy.

"This vague and overbroad counterterrorism law gives a green light for abusing suspects in detention, which is already far too common in Pakistan," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement issued on July 4.

The new law comes with the Pakistani military fighting a major offensive against Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the North Waziristan tribal area on the Afghan border.

Based on reporting by AFP