Lower House of French Parliament Backs New Anti-terrorism Law

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 7.10.2017 15:06

On Tuesday 3 October, The French National Assembly approved a new anti-terrorism bill which will significantly increase police powers. The new anti-terrorism law was supported by 415 out of 577 legislators in its first reading. Because of amendments by the Senate, the second reading is expected to take place in mid-October.

The law establishes some exceptional police powers stemming from the state of emergency, which expires on 1 November, as permanent. However, the new law raises concerns about future violations of civil rights and freedoms. The law allows the Interior Minister to create security zones without the need for judicial approval in the case of a threat in which the police could restrict the movement of persons and vehicles, search the area and raid private property with a judicial warrant. Police units will be able to restrict assembling and close mosques for six months if religious leaders incite violence and terrorism, without the need to provide evidence of a radical preaching. Intelligence services will be able to continue monitoring phone and email communications. Human rights activists worry that the bill will create a permanent state of emergency that can easily be abused against citizens. Moreover, they fear that this law aimed at the Muslim population will lead to more attacks.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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