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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 01:48 GMT
Vote deferred on 'terrorist groups'
The House of Lords will also have to approve the list
MPs have deferred a vote on government plans to outlaw 22 international groups as terrorist organisations.

The Home Office published a list of the groups last month but MPs who were asked to approve the list have put off a decision until later on Wednesday.

Proposed groups
Qa'ida - Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Al-Gama'at al-Islamiya
Armed Islamic Group
Salafist Group for Call and Combat
Babbar Khalsa
International Sikh Youth Federation
Harakat Mujahideen
Jaish e Mohammed
Lashkar e Tayyaba
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Hizballah External Security Organisation
Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades
Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Abu Nidal Organisation
Islamic Army of Aden
Mujaheddin e Khalq
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Revolutionary Peoples' Liberation Party
Front (DHKP-C)
Basque Homeland and Liberty (ETA)
17 November Revolutionary Organisation (N17)
If both the Commons and the House of Lords approve the list, it will become illegal to be a member of such a group, support it financially, display its emblems or share a platform with a member at a meeting of three or more people.

The groups will be added to a list of proscribed organisations, which currently includes Irish paramilitaries such as the IRA and the Ulster Volunteer Force.

The list is an amendment to the Terrorist Act which became law last month.

That Act made it illegal for anyone in Britain to incite terrorism abroad.

It also changed the definition of terrorist, which previously focused largely on Irish paramilitaries.

The law gives police increased powers to seize assets and arrest those they believe may be promoting terrorism outside Britain.

The law replaced the 1973 Prevention of Terrorism Act, which gave the police special powers to stop, search, arrest and detain terrorist suspects, and had to be renewed each year.

'Entirely satisfied'

The Act was introduced partly in response to complaints from foreign governments that Britain is harbouring groups that are carrying out violent campaigns in their countries.

Home Secretary Jack Straw told a late-night sitting of the Commons: "I'm entirely satisfied that the organisations that I am recommending to Parliament for proscription are concerned in terrorism and thus meet fully the criteria laid down in the Act."

Jim Marshall, Labour MP for Leicester South, said there was "great disquiet" in the Sikh community about the order.

The Conservatives were broadly supportive of the government's proposals, according to shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman MP Simon Hughes said the proscription was unfair as it did not afford MPs a chance to evaluate individual groups on an individual basis.

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19 Feb 01 | UK
Britain's 'safe haven' past
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