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French Senate to vote on security law as Macron addresses police

Europe
18.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Paris (dpa) - The French Senate was expected Wednesday to vote on a controversial security bill proposed by the government to help deal with the threat of terrorism.

The bill enshrines modified versions of emergency powers into ordinary law. It has been criticized by UN human rights experts and France‘s rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon.

President Emmanuel Macron‘s government says the law is needed so that a state of emergency - imposed after attacks in Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people - can be allowed to lapse at the end of the month.

The draft law incorporates into ordinary law, with some restrictions, emergency powers allowing the authority to restrict the movements of people suspected of terrorist links and to search properties.

It also allows authorities to close places of worship where extremist ideas are propagated.

Security forces are empowered to stop any person and check their identity within 10 kilometres of major international ports and airports.

UN human rights experts Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Michel Frost warned last month of "vague wording" in the draft law and "grave consequences for the integrity of human rights."

Toubon said the proposed powers would allow the freedom of individuals to be restricted on the basis of suspicions or attitudes rather than as punishment for offences.

Macron himself was also due to give a speech to police and military officers on the government‘s security policy on Wednesday afternoon.

More than 230 people have been killed since early 2015 in France in a succession of attacks by Islamist extremists.

 

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