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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:14, December 16, 2005
Australia declares PKK terrorist organization
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The Australian government on Thursday declared the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) a terrorist group, Turkey's private NTV reported.

"The PKK has now been included on the list of terrorist organizations proscribed under counter-terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1995," Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock was quoted as saying.

Ruddock said Australia declared the PKK a terrorist group after the country's intelligence agencies had assessed the PKK as continuing to prepare, plan and foster the commission of acts involving threats to human life and serious damage to property.

He said that the PKK had been included on a list of groups covered by Australia's anti-terror legislation.

"These provisions make a criminal offence of involvement in recruitment, training, funding and other forms of association or support for proscribed terrorist organizations," he said.

Members of terror organizations on the list face prosecution and penalties of up to a 25-year imprisonment, Ruddock added.

The Australian government had already included the PKK on its list of organizations covered by its counter-terrorism financing regulations, which makes it an offence to have financial dealings with terrorists and allows Australia to freeze a terror organization's assets.

The ban on the PKK came five days after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Australia and held talks with senior Australian officials.

In June 2004, the PKK called off a ceasefire declared five years ago.

Since then, more than 1,000 militants are believed to have infiltrated Turkey from their bases in northern Iraq and violence has resurged in Turkey, which killed at least 200 Turkish soldiers this year.

More than 37,000 people have been killed since the rebel group took up arms against Ankara for an independent Kurdish homeland in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey in 1984.

The PKK is also listed as a terror group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Source: Xinhua

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