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France

French anti-terrorist measures restrict freedoms - UN

media Flowers and a pen are seen in front of the Bataclan concert hall to pay tribute to the shooting victims in Paris, France, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

France's state of emergency and new electronic surveillance laws imposed following the November attacks in Paris impose "excessive and disproportionate" restrictions on key rights, according to UN experts.

The group of four United Nations rights specialists also called on France not to extend the state of emergency beyond 26 February, 2016", when the measure is provisionally due to expire.

In communication with Paris, the UN experts have "stressed the lack of clarity and precision of several provisions of the state of emergency and surveillance laws," a statement said.

The main concerns centre on the restrictions to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to privacy, it added.

In December, the French cabinet backed reform proposals that could see the state of emergency enshrined in the constitution, including special policing powers.

Some of those rights include the house arrests and the right to raid houses without clearance by a judge.

The electronic surveillance law, adopted in November, widens the executive's power to collect and store data without judicial authorization.

A decision on whether to extend the emergency or not is expected in the coming days.
 

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