July 31, 2021

Terrorism prevention bill perpetuates contested measures

It is in a context full of emotion that the National Assembly was to begin, Tuesday 1is June afternoon, consideration of the bill “Relating to the prevention of acts of terrorism and intelligence”. A few days after the knife attack of a municipal policewoman near Nantes, admittedly not yet qualified as a terrorist by the investigators, and barely more than a month after the terrorist murder of a national police officer in Rambouillet on April 23, this text expands the preventive arsenal.

In a sort of chase with a terrorist risk that is difficult to eradicate, the legislative response, at the rate of more than one law per year for ten years, has made it possible to adapt the law to the threat but also to give the feeling of to act. The effectiveness of the devices voted is sometimes hypothetical and the risk of infringement of fundamental freedoms is not zero. The difficulty is to know if the second is harmed without benefiting the first. The question arises for each of the three key themes of this bill: the sustainability of the measures resulting from the state of emergency, the legal and administrative constraints imposed on terrorists once their sentence has been fully served, algorithmic surveillance of the population. .

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Balance between guaranteeing rights and strengthening security

It is not easy to say where the right balance lies between guaranteeing rights and strengthening security. But it is clear that it continues to move over the years in one direction. This is the case of the registered measures “On an experimental basis” in the law of October 30, 2017 strengthening internal security and the fight against terrorism, known as the “SILT” law. The measures of the anti-terrorist state of emergency (closure of places of worship, perimeter of protection, house arrest, administrative search) had been voted in a slightly degraded form to constitute an airlock allowing an exit from the exceptional regime maintained since the attacks of November 13, 2015.

Today, the text carried by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, and the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, proposes not only to perpetuate these devices in the hands of the administration, but to supplement or harden them. certain modalities. So it is with “Individual administrative control and surveillance measures”, the “Micas”. This is to allow the Ministry of the Interior to force a person not to leave a given perimeter for three renewable months with an obligation to score.

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