France using state of emergency against peaceful protests, Amnesty says

After the USA and UK, France is becoming also a new fascist police state.


French officials have used the state of emergency imposed after the Paris attacks of 2015 to curb peaceful demonstrations, a rights group says.

Amnesty International said hundreds of decrees were issued under the emergency laws, banning public assemblies or individuals from protests.

France’s interior ministry has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

The state of emergency allows searches without a warrant and people to be placed under house arrest.

It 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.

The measure was introduced after the attacks of 13 November 2015, when militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) killed 130 people in gun and bomb attacks around the capital.

According to Amnesty’s report, between November 2015 and 5 May 2017 there were 155 decrees issued under the emergency powers prohibiting public assemblies.

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, it added.

“Emergency laws intended to protect the French people from the threat of terrorism are instead being used to restrict their rights to protest peacefully,” Amnesty’s researcher Marco Perolini said in a statement.

“Under the cover of the state of emergency, rights to protest have been stripped away with hundreds of activists, environmentalists, and labour rights campaigners unjustifiably banned from participating in protests.”

The group also said that security forces used “unnecessary or excessive force” against peaceful protesters “who did not appear to threaten public order”.

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