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France's security law significant measure to counter terrorism, safeguard national safety
From:Xinhua  |  2020-06-27 15:21

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PARIS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- France's security law has been "implemented in a balanced way" and fulfilled its due role in fighting terrorism and maintaining internal security, according to a government report.

The Law to Strengthen Internal Security and the Fight Against Terrorism, adopted by the French government on Oct. 30, 2017 in order to end a long-time state of emergency across the country threatened by repeated terror attacks, conforms with the spirit of legislators, the enforcement team of the French Senate which oversees the law said in a report in February.

The law comprises four key measures. Firstly, it permits the establishment of protection perimeters in order to ensure security at events, such as sports and cultural events, or in particularly vulnerable places. The prefect will be able to authorize visual bag inspections and security frisking by private security agents, under the supervision of police officers and gendarmes. Internal security forces will also be able to search vehicles with the consent of the driver.

Secondly, it allows the closure of places of worship when "words, writings, activities, ideas or theories" that incite or endorse terrorism, and incitement "to hatred and discrimination" are used there.

Thirdly, it allows the administrative authority to put in place administrative controls and individual monitoring measures against any person of whom there is serious reason to believe their behavior constitutes a "particularly serious" threat and who enters into regular contact with individuals or organizations with terrorist intent or who supports or adheres to views that incite terrorism.

Fourthly, it allows prefects to order, only with the prior authorization of the judge supervising releases and detention, the entry and search of any place if there is serious reason to believe it is being frequented by a person posing a terrorist threat or who is in contact with such person or persons.

In order to prevent the terrorist threat more effectively, there are two important additional measures.

It approves administrative investigations for civil servants in positions of authority and who pose a risk of radicalization, and where necessary, to take appropriate action, either by transferring, suspending or removing the person or persons concerned.

It also grants the ability to carry out identity checks in border areas or within a 10 km radius of airports and international stations.

Further measures approved by the law include introducing a new legal system for surveillance of wireless communications, extending the scope and duration for carrying out checks in border areas, and the creation of a new criminal offense for parents who incite their children to commit acts of terrorism or travel abroad for that purpose.

France suffered a series of deadly terror attacks in November 2015. The government then declared the state of emergency, which was extended until Nov. 1, 2017.