“If there are allegations against one or two people, why don’t they target them specifically? Why do they target a whole community? There are about 350 Muslims in Lagny who are now left with no place to worship,” the president of the mosque and three organizations dissolved by the authorities told Amnesty International.
The emergency measures in France have come at great cost to people’s human rights, but yielded few tangible results, calling into question the proportionality of the measures. According to media reports, the 3,242 raids carried out in the past month have resulted in only four criminal investigations for terrorism-related offences and 21 investigations under the vague ‘apologie du terrorisme’ provision. A further 488 investigations resulting from these raids were for unrelated criminal offences.
“It is all too easy to make general claims about a terrorism-related threat requiring the adoption of emergency powers. However, the French government needs to demonstrate unambiguously that a state of emergency still exists and parliamentarians should scrutinize this claim carefully. Even if satisfied on this count, meaningful safeguards need to be restored to prevent the abusive, disproportionate and discriminatory use of emergency measures.”