Post link 10 February 2015, 16:27
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Staff writer, Al Arabiya News


http://vid.alarabiya.net/images/2015/02/05/8af57e3a-69e7-4e36-9c84-e08c3d331558/8af57e3a-69e7-4e36-9c84-e08c3d331558_16x9_600x338.jpg
Those who offer money, food or housing to beggars could face between six months to a year in jail. (Shutterstock)


Tough new legislation proposed in Norway would see people who help beggars face jail, UK daily The Independent reported on Wednesday.

Under the new proposed law, those who offer money, food or housing to beggars could face between six months to a year in jail. Organized begging would also be criminalized.

While Oslo authorities disagree with the proposal, Ander Anundsen, Norway’s justice minister, said that the rule was needed to clamp down on begging networks.

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“We need to give the police the legal authority to crack down on people who arrange for beggars to get here, often in large groups,” Anundsen said.

Since last year, individual councils have had powers to ban begging, but the government is now looking for a ban across the country.

Some lawmakers say the ban unfairly targets the destitute and needy.

“Europe’s richest country criminalizes Europe’s poorest people,” said Karin Andersen, an MP for the Socialist Left Party said on Twitter.

The bill has been sent out for consultation by the government, with a deadline of Feb. 15.


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