Film by Victoria Baux and Charles Emptaz
We examine France’s aggressive counterterrorism measures and the consequences for the Muslim community.
In 2015, two devastating attacks, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) killed 147 people in Paris. Nine of the 13 perpetrators were born in France, prompting the government to launch a national “de-radicalisation programme” and introduce a series of extra-judiciary measures against those considered a threat to national security.
A state of emergency has been declared until May of this year, handing the police a raft of new powers allowing for raids and arrests without judicial oversight. In the two months following last November’s attacks, police searched 4,000 houses, opened more than 500 criminal cases and placed 382 people under house arrest.
These new measures are currently being written into the country’s constitution, affording them a permanent place in the legal framework of the French state.
Opinion polls show that the public is largely in favour of this approach, but with only five court proceedings directly linked to terrorism resulting from the thousands of raids carried out since November, the efficiency of the government’s approach has been contested by critics. Human rights groups too have warned that police raids and house arrests have been both abusive and discriminatory against Muslims, threatening to undermine the principles of equality and liberty upon which the French Republic was built.
In this week’s People and Power, filmmakers Charles Emptaz and Victoria Baux investigate whether the French government is sacrificing basic human rights in the name of security. They then travel to Denmark to examine an alternative, more moderate model of de-radicalisation and ask whether this might offer the French government an effective approach which is more in keeping with the country’s core values.
– Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe
– Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
– Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
– Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/
#AlJazeeraEnglish #PeopleandPower #France