Chavez repeals spy law, sends it for rewrite
President Hugo Chavez has repealed a spy law he recently decreed that outraged human rights groups, admitting it was a "disaster."
Chavez said he sent the measure back to the National Assembly to be rewritten and debated. "A decree repealing the law will be approved on Wednesday, so that another law can be drawn up," Chavez said in a televised speech. "Discussions for another law can begin, but in the National Assembly."
The controversial law, passed by decree in late May, created four new spy agencies and made it a crime to refuse to cooperate with them, as well as to publish information deemed "secret or confidential."
Human rights groups said the law would usher in a "police state," allowing secret evidence at trials and intelligence operations without court warrants. They especially slammed the idea of restricting human rights by presidential decree.
Chavez put the law into effect thanks to temporary authority to rule by decree granted by the National Assembly, dominated by his supporters.
"Nobody can be forced to inform on another ... That's a disaster," Chavez said.
Chavez on Saturday repealed the law provisionally, admitting it contained major mistakes.