Macron Anti-Terror Law Replaces French State of Emergency

Macron Anti-Terror Law Replaces French State of Emergency
Macron Anti-Terror Law Replaces French State of Emergency

Wednesday marked the final day of France’s state of emergency, imposed after terror attacks in Paris in November 2015 that killed 139 people.

The emergency decree will be replaced by a new law which French President Emmanuel Macron said gives authorities the power they need to “deal with terrorist threats while preserving citizens’ rights,” DW reported.

“A promise kept: we are ending the state of emergency on November 1 while reinforcing the security of our fellow citizens,” Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

“The terrorist threat remains great,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said after Macron signed the bill into law.

MPs amended the government draft of the bill so that almost all the new powers will expire automatically at the end of 2020.

Macron, elected in May, had said he wanted to allow the emergency provisions to expire and in his campaign cited a parliamentary report showing the expansion of police powers had produced “modest” results since the Paris attacks.

But since coming to power Macron has changed his position, reflecting both the pressures felt by the French authorities after extremist terror attacks have left 239 dead in the past two years as well as a creeping perception that Macron is a weak president.

Critics say the law will leave the country in a permanent state of emergency. Rights groups, the radical left and the far-right National Front all argue the measures risk making emergency powers part of ordinary law.

The bill sparked a heated debate in the French parliament, with critics arguing that it will be used to persecute minorities, particularly Muslims, with impunity.

“France has become so addicted to the state of emergency that it is now injecting several of these abusive measures into ordinary law,” Human Rights Watch said before parliament backed the legislation.

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