French lawmakers approve new anti-terror legislation

French MPs vote in favor of tightening anti-terror laws, including placing curbs on movements of convicted radicals.

Elad Benari ,

Police in Paris
Police in Paris
iStock

French MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of tightening the country's anti-terror laws, including placing curbs on the movements of convicted radicals and using algorithms to detect online extremists, AFP reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the vote on the legislation took place late on Wednesday. Members of the National Assembly voted by a majority of 87 to 10 to approve the bill which makes permanent several emergency measures that were introduced after the Paris attacks of November 2015.

Four lawmakers abstained from voting on the legislation, which had been in the pipeline for months but was sped up by President Emmanuel Macron's government after a Tunisian man last month stabbed to death an employee at a police station near Paris.

The Bill before parliament gives the police the powers to limit the movements of people convicted of terrorism after their release from prison.

Scores of people convicted of terror offences or links during a wave of attacks in France starting in 2015 are due for release in the coming years, causing a high degree of nervousness among the authorities, noted AFP.

The Bill allows authorities to keep some convicted terrorists under surveillance for up to two years after their release and to ban a suspected radical to attend an event deemed to present a terror threat.

It also permits the intelligence services to use algorithms to search for people who, for example, repeatedly search for terror propaganda.

The 2015 attack in Paris was the biggest one among the many Islamist attacks which have hit France in recent years.

In October of 2020, a man stabbed three people to death at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice. He was later handed terror murder charges.

The same month, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Chechen man in a suburb of Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of speech.

A month earlier, a 25-year-old man wounded two people in a meat cleaver attack in Paris. He was subsequently charged with "attempted murder with relation to a terrorist enterprise."

Just last week, a man who had been on a watch list for Islamic radicalism stabbed a police officer at her station in western France and shot two other officers before police killed him.



top