French President Francois Hollande proposed constitutional amendments and a three-month extension of state of emergency measures Monday that will severely limit the civil liberties of French citizens.
After a series of coordinated terrorist attacks left 129 dead in Paris Friday, Hollande immediately declared a state of emergency, based on a rarely used 1955 law that allows the state to conduct warrantless searches of private property, impose curfews, restrict public gatherings and movements of people, confiscate weapons at will and take over the press.
By law the state of emergency cannot last more than 12 days, but Hollande asked for a three-month extension Monday. He also proposed a series of constitutional amendmentsto increase the state’s surveillance powers and give it power to strip convicted terrorists and bi-nationals who commit hostile acts toward France of citizenship.
Hollande said the amendments are necessary so the state doesn’t have to “resort to the state of emergency” to deal with terror threats. “We must change our constitution to act against terrorism,” he said Monday.
The proposed amendments will also give the state “more sophisticated methods” to crack down on weapons trafficking, a quicker way to deport foreigners considered a threat, and the ability to bar bi-nationals considered a terror risk from entering the country.
French conducted 168 raids Sunday night, turning up cash, bulletproof vests, various types of guns and a rocket launcher, reported The Wall Street Journal. Police put 104 people on house arrest and detained 23 others.
Hollande has promised a “merciless” fight against ISIS in response to the attack. French fighter jets dropped 20 bombs on the group’s defacto Syrian capital of Raqqa Sunday night, destroying a command center and training camp.
By Rachel Stolzfoos; Follow Rachel on Twitter