Vietnam's law on fighting terrorism

01/09/2016

Effective since 2013, the new Law on Anti-Terrorism (the Law) serves as a complete and solid legal foundation for the prevention and combat of terrorism and financing of terrorism in Vietnam.
The 51-article Law provides anti-terrorism principles, policies, measures and forces; state management, international cooperation and responsibilities of agencies, organizations and individuals in the prevention and combat of terrorism.
Under the Law, the State will implement six groups of policies on the prevention and combat of terrorism. These policies include: raising the capacity of anti-terrorism forces; encouraging and mobilizing organizations and individuals to participate in the prevention and combat of terrorism; strictly punishing all individuals and organizations committing acts of terrorism and financing terrorism; and granting leniency.
Anti-terrorism steering committees will be established at national, ministerial and provincial levels.
Prevention and combat of terrorism
The term “terrorism” is defined in Clause 1 of Article 3 by listing specific acts which are regarded as terrorist actions.
The Law devotes Chapter III to providing the prevention of terrorism. Eight groups of measures to prevent terrorism and financing of terrorism are specified from Articles 20 to 27, ranging from communication and education, management of security and order, control of transport activities, control of transaction of monetary and property, control of imported, exported, transit goods and means of transport, control of activities of publication, press, post and telecommunications, control of food safety and hygiene and medicine, and elaboration and implementation of anti-terrorism plans.
Chapter IV regulates the combat of terrorism, specifying the detection of terrorism, receipt and processing of reported information and denunciations about terrorism, measures to prevent terrorism, measures to fight terrorists and counter terrorist attacks at foreign diplomatic and consular offices, representative offices of international organizations and residences of these offices’ members, and overseas agencies, organizations and Vietnamese. According to Article 28, through their operation, agencies, organizations and individuals must proactively detect terrorism.
The combat of terrorism must use measures specified in this Law and the laws on protection of national security and maintenance of social order. The Law also provides 12 groups of urgent measures to stop and eliminate terrorism and minimize harmful effects of terrorism.  
Besides, five groups of prohibited acts related to terrorism are specified in Article 6: (i) acts of terrorism and financing terrorism; (ii) concealing, harboring and not reporting on acts of terrorism and financing terrorism; (iii) revealing state secrets in anti-terrorism activities; (iv) intentionally spreading false information on terrorism and financing of terrorism; obstructing and causing difficulties to the prevention and combat of terrorism; and (v) abusing position and power in the prevention and combat of terrorism to infringe upon the State’s interests and rights and legitimate interests of organizations and individuals.
Combat of financing of terrorism
As per the Law, financing of terrorism is an act of mobilizing or providing monetary and property supports in whatever form to a terrorist organization or terrorists.
The Law provides measures and mechanisms to combat financing of terrorism.
Chapter V specifies detection of acts of financing terrorism; receipt and processing of reported information and denunciations about financing of terrorism; identification and updating of client information and application of provisional measures; and control of cross-border transport of cash, precious metals, gems and negotiable instruments.
According to Article 33, when detecting signs or acts of financing terrorism, the State Bank, financial institutions, related organizations and individuals conducting relevant non-financial business lines and other organizations and individuals must promptly report them to anti-terrorism forces.
International cooperation
Principles and contents of international cooperation on anti-terrorism are provided in Chapter VI.
International cooperation in the prevention and combat of terrorism must assure independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, comply with domestic laws and respect international conventions and fundamental principles of international law.
International cooperation will focus on information exchange, anti-terrorism training and exercises, building of legal capacity and settlement of terrorism cases.
To enforce the Law, four decrees will be issued in the coming time.
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