France wants to extend state of emergency

2015-11-18 20:30
In Kolkata, hands of participants cast a shadow as Indian youth try to stretch a huge banner before beginning a silent rally to protest against the Paris attacks, (Bikas Das, AP)

In Kolkata, hands of participants cast a shadow as Indian youth try to stretch a huge banner before beginning a silent rally to protest against the Paris attacks, (Bikas Das, AP)

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Paris - The French government presented on Wednesday the first of the legislative proposals that it has promised to pursue in response to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris.

The draft bill seeks to prolong for three months the state of emergency instituted after Friday's shootings and bombings, which left at least 129 people dead in the French capital. It would thus remain in place until late February.

The government additionally wants to extend the state of emergency to France's overseas territories.

The bill also proposes several changes to existing legislation, for instance on house arrests. These should be used whenever there are "serious reasons" to believe that a person poses a threat to security and public order, the government said.

Law enforcement should also be able to prohibit contact between people placed under house arrest and others suspected of preparing actions that affect public order.

Violations of house arrest orders would be more harshly punished, the AFP news agency reported.

The draft bill also would pave the way for the shutting down of organisations that "participate in, facilitate or incite acts that seriously harm public order" and that have among their members people under house arrest, the government said.

The dissolution of places and groups that champion terrorism will be carried out "immediately", French President Francois Hollande told a gathering of mayors on Wednesday.

The new legislation is expected to be taken up by the French parliament on Thursday and the Senate on Friday.

"In order to safeguard the security of French people, sometimes a certain number of our liberties have to be curtailed," Prime Minister Manuel Valls had said on Tuesday.

The French support more restrictions, a poll commissioned by the newspaper Le Figaro and the broadcaster RTL showed, with 84 per cent of respondents saying they are ready to accept more controls and a certain limitation of their freedoms to better guarantee security.

Hollande had first promised tougher penalties and new laws for terrorism-related crimes during a rare address to both houses of parliament on Monday.

Future proposals are expected to include quicker deportation for suspect foreigners and the possibility to strip double passport holders convicted of terrorism of their French nationality.

Hollande has also said the French constitution will eventually need to be revised in the face of terrorist threats.

Read more on:    france  |  paris under attack

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