New terrorism laws covering use of radioactive material to take effect Sep 1

New terrorism laws covering use of radioactive material to take effect Sep 1

A radiation sign is attached to a barrel containing radioactive water in the Asse nuclear waste dis
File picture of a radioactive sign. (Photo: Reuters)

SINGAPORE: Starting Sep 1, it will be an offence to possess radioactive material or any nuclear explosive devices with the intention to cause harm, said the Ministry of Home Affairs in a news release on Wednesday (Aug 30). 

This comes under new laws that were passed in Parliament in May. A person who commits a fatal act of terrorism using radioactive material or nuclear explosive devices will face the mandatory death penalty.

With the legislation going into effect on Sep 1, the United Nations' International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT), which Singapore ratified, will also come into force on the same day.

Under ICSANT, it will be a criminal offence to intentionally use radioactive material or nuclear explosive device to compel other people, governments or organisations to do or refrain from doing any act, said MHA.

It will also be an offence to use such materials and devices to damage a nuclear facility, leading to the release of radioactive material.

Second Minister for Home Affairs Desmond Lee had said in May that the penalties will be pegged at the same level as a murder offence and therefore, in the event of fatalities caused, the death penalty will apply.

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