France extends emergency by three months

France’s Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a three-month extension of its state of emergency imposed after deadly attacks around Paris in November, even as rights groups said it undermines fundamental freedoms. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve argued in the National Assembly that the threat of new violence remains very high after the attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which killed 130 people.

The state of emergency expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to restrict movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places. The lower house of Parliament approved the extension by a vote of 212-31. It had already been approved by the Senate, and now will remain in effect until May 26.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International published separate research at the beginning of February, pointing to cases where excessive force had been used in raids, leading to human rights violations including violence.

Additional Info

  • On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis.
  • The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police.
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that it was in retaliation for the French airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.
  • France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo offices and a Jewish supermarket in Paris that killed 17 people and wounded 22, including civilians and police officers.