Paris, France. While there may be a new administration in France, the French anti-terrorism actions continue, having a terrible effect on French citizens rights. Amnesty International has said hundreds of decrees were issued under the emergency laws, banning public assemblies or individuals from protests, in a country known worldwide for its freedoms.
There are visible signs of France’s emergency laws, after one-and-a-half years the restrictions have become routine; the heavily armed security forces dotted around the capital – outside schools, train stations, tourist sights.
International human rights groups are worried French officials have used the state of emergency imposed after the Paris attacks of 2015 to curb peaceful demonstrations and keep using it like America does with its “patriot act.”
Amnesty International’s report says between November 2015 and 5 May 2017 there were 155 decrees issued under the emergency powers prohibiting public assemblies. Further there were also 639 measures aimed at preventing individuals from taking part in public assemblies, the majority of them related to protests against proposed labour law reforms, with nothing to do involving terrorism.
France’s state of emergency laws allow searches without a warrant and people to be placed under house arrest. The law is set to expire on 15 July but President Emmanuel Macron has said he will ask parliament to extend it for the sixth time until November 2017.
The laws were introduced after the attacks of 13 November 2015, when militants from the Islamic State killed 130 people in gun and bomb attacks around the capital. The laws mirror America’s patriot act and combined with the French government killing French citizens outside of France for fighting with ISIS in Iraq, civil liberty experts have grave concerns with where all of this hyper control is leading. At what point they ask, will it be legal for France’s government to kill its citizens for not agreeing with its views?
So called anti-terrorist emergency laws intended to protect the French people from the threat of terrorism are instead being used to restrict their rights to protest peacefully. French citizens rights to protest have been stripped away with hundreds of activists, environmentalists, and labour rights campaigners unjustifiably banned from participating in protests, all courtesy on one stroke of Macron’s pen.