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Germany

Schily Under Fire For Idea to Kill Terrorists Preventively

Germany's interior minister has come under fire for his suggestion in a newsweekly that Germany should consider making it legal to kill suspected terrorists before they can act. Under current German law, police are only permitted to shoot a culprit as a last resort, and only in cases where they present an "immediate threat to body and life" -- for example, if they threaten the police with a gun or explosive. Otto Schily's remarks came under criticism from members of his own party, the Social Democrats, and the Greens. Christa Nickels, who heads the human rights committee in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, said she was "astounded" by Schily's statements. "You can't protect democracy, human rights and life through illegal measures," she said. Meanwhile, Volker Beck, who manages the Green Party's parliamentary group, said: "In a constitutional state, there are ways other than targeted killing that can be used to stop crime." But Schily did find support from Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein of the Christian Social Union, who said targeted killings should be permitted as the "very last means" of stopping terrorists or suicide bombers.

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