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France parliament votes to extend state of emergency
France parliament votes to extend state of emergency

[JURIST] The French National Assembly [official website, in French] voted Thursday to extend the state of emergency [materials, in French] for another three months. The state of emergency expands police power for searches and arrests, and allows authorities to restrict movement of individuals and vehicles with the country’s borders. During the debate, Prime Minister Manuel Valls [official website] warned [RFI report] that France must be prepared to defend against chemical and biological warfare. The bill secured 551 votes [vote breakdown, in French] with only six against, far surpassing the 279 necessary to pass the legislation through the chamber. The bill will move to the Senate on Friday, where it is expected to pass.

Paris’ chief prosecutor François Molins reported the day after the attack that several arrests [JURIST report] had already been made, and numerous raids have since been conducted in France and Belgium. Organized in three teams, terrorists reportedly connected to the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST backgrounder] perpetrated attacks on six different targets in and around Paris. The attacks began with a suicide bombing at the Stade de France around 9:20 PM local time. Soon thereafter, individuals riding in a Seat brand car opened fire on individuals outside cafes around Paris. At around 9:40 PM, assailants fired on concert-goers at the Bataclan concert hall, killing 89. Molins related that these individuals were using “war-type weapons” and explosives, further indicating association with IS. Speaking about the attacks generally, French President François Hollande called them [BBC report] “an act of war,” and vowed that the French “will lead the fight, and we will be ruthless.” A UN rights expert also commented this week that the attacks may amount to crimes against humanity [JURIST report]. It is yet unclear if France will invoke [JURIST op-ed] Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty [text] to call on allies to help fight IS, as the US did in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.