French anti-terror law used to curb protests, Amnesty

The powers, which were introduced after the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, allow security forces to monitor suspects and carry out searches without warrants, place suspects under house arrest and ban public gatherings.

The authorities have issued 155 decrees prohibiting public assembly and imposed 639 bans on individuals from taking part in demonstrations, according to Amnesty’s report A right not a threat: Disproportionate restrictions on demonstrations under the State of Emergency in France.

The majority did not target terrorists or their sympathisers but people protesting against labour law reforms, a process newly elected President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to continue.

Some environmental campaigners were also prevented from attending demonstrations, particularly during the 2015 Paris climate change talks.

A raft of measures were also brought in to curb demonstrations following this month’s presidential elections.

Macron last week announced his intention to extend the state of emergency for the sixth time until 1 November and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the terror threat remained “very high”.


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