France Wants to Extend the State of Emergency

PARIS (AP) -
French police secure the area after a man was shot dead at a police station in the 18th district in Paris, France January 7, 2016. Police in Paris on Thursday shot dead a knife-wielding man who tried to enter a police station, police union sources said. The incident took place on the anniversary of last year's deadly Islamist militant attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in the French capital. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
French police secure the area after a terrorist was shot dead outside a police station in the 18th district in Paris on Jan. 7 – the 1st anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

France’s government is calling for a three-month extension of the state of emergency that was declared after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

The measure proposed Wednesday in a Cabinet meeting now requires parliament’s approval.

In a written statement, President Francois Hollande said a three-month extension was justified by the need to face the “terrorist threat.”

The state of emergency has already been extended once and was scheduled to end on Feb. 26. It expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places.

Another government bill presented Wednesday would also extend police powers. It would allow officers to use their weapons to “neutralize someone who has just committed one or several murders and is likely to repeat these crimes.”

Currently, self-defense is the only legal justification for shooting someone. The proposed change would, for instance, permit police to shoot a gunman who has fired at civilians and is likely to do it again in a very short period of time.

The proposals would also make it easier for police to carry out nighttime raids, and searches of luggage and vehicles near “sensitive” sites and buildings.