Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron has signed a sweep­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism law that re­places a two-year-old state of emer­gency and is meant to give po­lice more tools to fight vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

The bill was adopted by a large ma­jor­ity at par­lia­ment ear­lier this month.

Macron said it will take ef­fect Tues­day, just in time to re­place the state of emer­gency that ex­pires Wed­nes­day. The law gives en­force­ment agen­cies greater author­ity to con­duct searches, to close re­li­gious fa­cil­i­ties and to re­strict the move­ments of peo­ple sus­pected of ex­trem­ist ties.

Macron, pic­tured, stressed the law will al­low au­thor­i­ties to es­tab­lish ar­eas with ex­tra se­cu­rity mea­sures, such as dur­ing Christ­mas mar­kets.

The state of emer­gency was first im­posed in Novem­ber 2015 af­ter the Paris ter­ror at­tacks that killed 130 peo­ple. It has been ex­tended six times since then.

The new law al­lows au­thor­i­ties to main­tain such mea­sures un­der cer­tain con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a judge’s per­mis­sion, af­ter law­mak­ers made amend­ments to re­spond to crit­i­cism that the orig­i­nal bill would in­fringe on in­di­vid­ual lib­er­ties.

The new law also al­lows po­lice to ex­tend iden­tity ver­i­fi­ca­tion at bor­der cross­ings up to 10 kilo­me­tres around air­ports and train sta­tions.

Hu­man rights groups have crit­i­cized the bill as es­tab­lish­ing a per­ma­nent state of emer­gency that could harm cit­i­zens’ rights to lib­erty, se­cu­rity, free­dom of as­sem­bly and free­dom of re­li­gion.

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