The two-week COP21 open its doors only Monday but French law enforcement has already placed twenty-four environmental activists under house arrest in line with the country’s emergency laws which were extended for three more months after the Paris atrocities.
After Hollande claimed a state of emergency in France, police don’t need a judicial decision to put suspects under arrest, search homes and conduct raids at night.
But unsuspecting climate activists, who actively demonstrate every time France hosts environmental summits, were surprised to find themselves suspect after police officers came to arrest them. On Thursday, police handed Amelie and five her flat mates an order that restricts their liberty of movement in western city of Rennes until 12 of December, the same day the Paris summit will close its doors.
“They entered the apartment with shotguns and assault rifles. It was quite violent. They pinned us to the ground,” said Amélie, a young barmaid who did not wish to give her full name. “It lasted quite a long time. We had no idea why they were there.”
This time, prohibitory injunction is being levied against left-wing and green activists.
Even as criticism from civil liberties activists mounts, the question remains as to how long the French are ready to sacrifice their liberties in the sake of security?
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris, all demonstrations are forbidden in France, including those geared for the climate summit in Paris. But for some climate activists, security is an unknown word as they slammed the ban and call it a “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce.”
While responding to human rights abuse allegations, France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, pleaded Saturday that the 24 climate activists under house arrest were previously arrested and vowed to ignore the principles of the state of emergency, France 24 quoted him as saying.
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