French plan to pro­long state of emer­gency over ter­ror threat

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande an­nounced on Fri­day that the French govern­ment will ask par­lia­ment to ap­prove a three-month re­newal of the state of emer­gency put into place af­ter the Nov. 13 Paris at­tacks that killed 130 peo­ple.

It would be the se­cond time the mea­sure has been pro­longed.

The pres­i­dent's of­fice said Hol­lande cited “the ter­ror­ist threat” in ask­ing the govern­ment to present a bill at the Feb. 3 Cab­i­net meet­ing seek­ing a three-month ex­ten­sion of the state of emer­gency.

The cur­rent state of emer­gency is to ex­pire Feb. 26.

A state of emer­gency gives spe­cial pow­ers to au­thor­i­ties, mak­ing it eas­ier to place peo­ple un­der house ar­rest and con­duct searches.

Crit­ics con­tend the mea­sure im­pinges on per­sonal free­doms to lit­tle ef­fect.

In a first, the Coun­cil of State, France's high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court, on Fri­day an­nulled one house ar­rest af­ter the per­son in ques­tion, put un­der guard in De­cem­ber, filed suit.

The In­te­rior Min­istry had claimed the man, not iden­ti­fied by name, was linked to rad­i­cal Is­lamists and was caught last May tak­ing pho­to­graphs of an apart­ment where a jour­nal­ist from Char­lie Hebdo - at­tacked last March in a news­room mas­sacre - was liv­ing un­der spe­cial pro­tec­tion.

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