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France continues "Emergency Law" crackdown on radical, terrorist circles
01/12/2015 | LOC11:45
08:45 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
PARIS, Dec 1 (KUNA) -- France is continuing its security crackdown in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks here and the "State of Emergency" currently in place could be extended for a second time, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday.
Speaking on "Europe 1 radio", Valls said that the special police powers approved by parliament here and which run until February were designed to protect the population and not repress freedoms and he would not exclude an extension of these powers.
"The State of Emergency is there precisely to protect our freedoms," he said in the interview.
He also confirmed a bolstering of security measures in transport hubs in France, notably the installation of electronic and X-ray controls on some train services.
French police and security services have so far carried out over 2,000 intrusive searches which don't need warrants under the emergency laws since November 13. Over 200 arrests have been made and many of those detained have been charged with terrorist, weapons or drug offences, the Interior Ministry has said. Almost 300 weapons have also been seized in the police raids.
But it is the policy of house arrest, affecting 276 people that has raised some questions among Civil Liberty organisations and political parties on the left and the right, especially as French police last weekend arrested 24 militant ecologists to prevent protests during the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) conference that opened here Monday.
"Yes, there is a restriction on freedoms, the right to demonstrate, but this is done intelligently. Demonstrations took place somewhat all over France" last Sunday, Valls said in defending the security crackdown.
But he said there would be no tolerance for violence as took place in central Paris, when anarchists and hooligans clashed with police, who clamped down and arrested 340 people in that demonstration, alone. (end) jk.tg
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