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France

France mulls extending state of emergency

media President Hollande pays tribute to Charlie Hebdo victims, Paris, 10 January 2016 Reuters/Charles Platiau

The French government is likely to extend the state of emergency. The measure was put in place after Paris terror attacks in November and is due to expire on February 26.

“The executive has not taken its decision but will take it in the coming days,” said the presidency on Wednesday.

But French President Hollande is “quite likely” to ask the Parliament in the next few days to extend the measure, the head of French parliament Claude Bartolone added.

The three-month state of emergency was declared after the terrorists attack that killed 130 people in Paris on 13 November.

On Wednesday the French Human Rights League said it was no longer justified and said it had gone to the country’s highest court to end the state of emergency.

Concerns focus on restrictions of freedom as the emergency measure gives authorities extra powers to assign house arrests and conduct raids without a judicial warrant.

Although President Hollande will need a green light from the Parliament, the proposal seems to have unanimous support on all sides of the House.

“For my part, I will vote to prolong the state of emergency. I think the terrorist threat does not disappear overnight,” National Assembly member and member of the centrist UDI party Yves Jego said on France 24.

“We must guarantee the security of our fellow citizens. Now imagine there is another terror attack in the next few days and that we had lifted the state of emergency. What would they [the people] tell us?” said first secretary of the Socialist Party Jean-Christophe Cambadélis.

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