PRESIDENT MACRON SIGNS SWEEPING COUNTERTERRORISM LAW
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.