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Muslims in Norway under illegal surveillance

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The Security Police (PST) have allegedly kept two Muslim communities in Norway under illegal surveillance, according to the Norwegian Parliamentary Intelligence Monitoring Committee (EOS).

The EOS, which is appointed by the government, claims that several Muslims have been kept under surveillance for no other apparent reason than their faith. The committee does not want to reveal which two communities that have been monitored.

In their report, the EOS says that the PST has stored information about certain individuals in these communities that they do not think meet the instructional demands for both relevance and need.

"People should not be registered simply because of their religion," says head of the committee, Elbjørg Løwer. She states that she does not think the registration of these individuals has been fair and according to protocol.

In addition to being registered because of their faith, Løwer also informs that several people have not been deleted after being on the list for five years, which is supposed to be the case.

However, the committee leader praises the police for taking the criticism into account, and for taking action. She also emphasizes that the EOS does not criticize the PST for investigating the groups that they have, only for the way the individuals have been registered.

Head of the PST, Marie Benedicte Bjørnland, admits that it is difficult because a significant portion of the PST's work is largely based on pure judgment.

"You have to know whether this is a person who has the will and ability to use violence. It is hard to know when somebody could cross the line from being a radical Muslim to an extreme Islamist," she tells NRK.

(NRK)

Julie Ryland

 

 


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