France Ends State Of Emergency After Two Years Of Terror

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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French President Emmanuel Macron moved Tuesday to end the state of emergency that has been in place for nearly two years.

The state of emergency came into force hours after 130 people lost their lives in a series of coordinated terror attacks Nov. 13 in Paris. Thousands of police and military officers have since been deployed on the streets with mixed results.

“Commitments honored, on November 1 we will leave the state of emergency by strengthening the safety of our fellow citizens,” Macron said in a tweet.

The country’s interior ministry claims 32 terror attacks have been foiled over the past two years, with 13 of them being planned in 2017. More than 100 people have been killed in a variety of attacks authorities failed to prevent.

New anti-terror laws will instead go into effect starting Wednesday. Lawyers and activists have warned that the legislation will essentially make all the state of emergency measures permanent.

It turns warrantless property searches and house arrests into common police practice. Banning protest marches, shutting down places of worship suspected of sharing extremist views and electronic tagging for surveillance purposes are other powers police would be granted under the legislation.

Over the past two years, more than 4,600 warrantless raids have taken place and 19 Islamic centers have been shut down. Some 18,550 people are currently registered by authorities as potential radicals, up from 11,400 in 2015, according to a report released in August.

The new legislation is supported by 57 percent of the population, according to a recent Fiducial/Odoxa poll conducted in October. Some 89 percent believe it will improve security, while 62 percent say it would undermine their freedoms.

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