POLITICS
12/18/2014 09:57 pm ET

Think The U.S. Congress Is Bad? Watch Kenyan Lawmakers Beat Each Other Up Over A Bad New Law

SIMON MAINA via Getty Images

Chaos erupted in the Kenyan parliament on Thursday as lawmakers approved a new law designed to target terrorists, but that critics say will greatly infringe on the civil liberties of Kenyans.

According to Agence France-Presse, the new law will allow police to hold terror suspects for nearly a year and give them more authority to tap phones. Under the new law, journalists who publish unapproved pictures of terror suspects or "undermine investigations or security operations relating to terrorism," could go to jail for up to three years, AFP reported.

During Thursday's vote, lawmakers punched one another and dumped water on each other, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Justin Muturi, the speaker of the parliament, was also hit with books, documents and other projectiles, the Guardian reported.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has backed the legislation, saying that it's required to respond to terrorism threats in the country, but activists told The Guardian that they saw it as an excuse to crack down on dissent in the country. An Al Jazeera investigation reported that police had sanctioned killing suspicious individuals who had not been convicted of a crime. The Kenyan government has said that it will investigate the journalists behind the investigation and their sources.

Watch video of the contentious vote below:

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