France Set To Expand Police Powers With Anti-Terrorism Bill

The bill would replace an extended state of emergency in place since 2015.
Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 04, 2017

France's Parliament advanced a controversial security bill that would expand law enforcement powers in the fight against terrorism. 

It's expected to be fully implemented by Nov. 1 — when the current extension of the state of emergency expires. 

The country has been under a state of emergency since terrorist attacks in 2015 left 130 people dead. Intended to be a temporary tightening of security, the state of emergency has been renewed six times, effectively leaving it in place for nearly two years. 

The bill would allow government officials to order law enforcement to search private property and place individuals under house arrest with little or no judicial approval or oversight. Authorities could also shut down places of worship that were found promoting extremist ideologies. 

Activists say the measure would disproportionately affect French minority groups and Muslims.

The bill is headed to the French Senate, which passed a version of it in July. The two chambers will now have to iron out the differences before a final vote later this month.