Lawmakers vote in favour to fortify "anti-terrorism law", paving way for easier criminal proceedings against members of PKK/YPG, FETO and other terror outfits — part of a deal with Ankara to approve NATO membership bids of Stockholm and Helsinki.

The Left Party and the Green Party opposed the bill.
The Left Party and the Green Party opposed the bill. (Reuters Archive)

The Swedish parliament has voted in favour of a constitutional amendment to alter its anti-terror law, a key demand from Türkiye to approve Stockholm's NATO membership bid.

The Riksdag adopted the legislative changes with 278 votes in the country's 349-seat parliament on Wednesday, making it possible for the new law to "limit freedom of association when it comes to groups that engage in or support terrorism".

Changes will make it possible to propose and decide on laws that prohibit terror groups or involve participation in a terror group's criminal offence.

The Left Party and the Green Party opposed the bill.

The amendment paves the way for easier criminal proceedings against members of the PKK/YPG terror organisation or other terror groups.

It will also ensure that those who publish information that harms Sweden's relationship with other states or international organisations can be investigated by the Swedish Intelligence Agency which can eventually lead to four years in prison.

The amendment will take effect on January 1.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Türkiye expects concrete steps from Sweden for its NATO bid

Türkiye's objection

During a visit to Ankara last week, Sweden's new Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson described the constitutional amendment as a "big step".

"Sweden will take big steps by the end of the year and early next year that will give Swedish legal authorities more muscles to fight terrorism", he said at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In Sweden, a constitutional amendment must be approved by two separate parliaments, with a general election held in between.

The first vote passed under Sweden's previous left-wing government in April, before Sweden's formal decision to apply for NATO membership in mid-May.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's attack against Ukraine.

However, Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, voiced objections to their membership bids, criticising the two countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

The three countries signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding at NATO's June summit in Madrid, which stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the internationally recognised terror group PKK and its affiliates or the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 public-defeated coup in Türkiye.

READ MORE: Türkiye warns Finland, Sweden must 'take steps' before NATO approval

Source: TRTWorld and agencies