New anti-terror law comes into force in France

On Wednesday 1 November, a new anti-terrorism law came into force and ended the two-year state of emergency following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. According to French President Emanuel Macron, this law can fully guarantee the security of French citizens.

The new anti-terror law, inspired by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the US, extends security powers to the authorities. These include, for example, the closure of mosques which, according to the police, incite extremism and terrorism, and, in exceptional cases, house searches and arrests without the courts' permission. The police have also been given the authority to conduct identity checks in border areas or transport hubs such as ports, railway stations or airports. Critics, including the United Nations, say the law limits civil rights and discriminates against Muslim, Arab and African minorities. A Le Figaro survey found that 57 % of French citizens are in favor of this law, even while 62 % of them think it restricts basic freedoms. At the instigation of the law's critics, Macron promised that it would be reviewed again in two years, but critics are still worried other states might draw inspiration from it.

About author: Jan Merička

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