Will an anti-terrorism law boost security in France? | France News

As France reels from another attack claimed by ISIL, the French parliament is due on Tuesday to decide on a controversial anti-terror bill.

The bill, if approved, will endorse exceptional powers, currently granted to the police as part of the state of emergency.

On Sunday, a knifeman used multiple aliases before killing two women at the main train station in Marseille in an attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

Investigators said the attacker had gone by eight different names during various brushes with the law, including for shoplifting and illegal weapons possession.


READ MORE: Is French secularism feeding Islamophobia?


Since the Paris attacks in 2015, France has repeatedly extended the nation-wide state of emergency, the longest state of emergency since the Algerian War of the 1960s.

In July, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to lift the order and transfer certain exception emergency policing powers into permanent law. 

This, according to human rights advocates, will not only harm the rights to liberty, security, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion across the country, but will also risk creating a “permanent emergency situation”.

“The anti-terrorism law, if imposed, will give the state only extraordinary powers of something that we don’t even have a proper definition of. This law will dismantle France,” Yasser Louati, a leading French human rights and civil rights activist, told Al Jazeera.


READ MORE: Far-right feasts on France’s unchecked Islamophobia


Louati stressed that the state of emergency for the past two years has not changed “anything in the country” and has proven to be “ineffective and insufficent”.

“This law has instead, incited fear among people, especially the Muslim community,” he said.

“Muslims are actually the ones who are the victims of terrorism in the country. They are equally being killed in terrorist attacks and then later, specifically targetted by the laws,”…

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