France: Cabinet Hopes to Extend State of Emergency

French Government Wednesday agreed to extend the on-going state of emergency for further three months, but the decision could be enacted only after it is debated and passed by lawmakers at a session scheduled for February 16.

The government wishes to extend the state of emergency in order to tackle terrorist threats still floating in the air, said cabinet spokesman Stephane Le Foll.

France’s Francois Holland declared the state of emergency in the wake of the Paris November 13 attacks which killed 130 people. The state of emergency was extended for three months to end in February.

Right groups have stood against the state of emergency saying that it curbs people’s rights and gives too much power to security forces and intelligence services.

Critics of the extension of the state of emergency and its inscription in the constitution took to the streets in Paris and in other cities across the country to denounce the government’s plans.

Jacques Toubon, a leading human rights activist, lambasted Holland’s intention to extend the state of emergency. He said since the state of emergency was declared last year, he received more complaints (18 per cent increase) from citizens denouncing government’s violation of their rights and freedom.

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