Thursday, February 11, 2016

French Law To Leave Convicted Terrorists Stateless Passes First Hurdle

French lawmakers have approved a divisible bill aimed at making it possible to revoke the citizenship of people convicted on terrorism charges.
The bill, presented by socialist prime minister Manuel Valls in the wake of the Paris Attacks last year, passed by 317-199 Wednesday in parliament's lower house, the national assembly.
The measure revealed deep division among the ruling socialists, many on the left expressed indignation at the move and refused to vote for it. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira resigned last month in protest. The measure also divides the opposition conservatives.
The reform, which would alter the constitution, is still far from being definitively adopted. It also need to be voted on by the Senate and ultimately would require a three-fifths majority vote from lawmakers of both houses.
Human rights groups had warned that the bill risked discriminating against minorities of immigrant background as the initial text targeted dual nationals only.
Another measure in the Bill would introduce the principle of the state of emergency into the constitution. It would apply in the event of a terrorist threat or a natural disaster for a 12-day period that could be extended by a vote of the parliament, as under current law.
Reporter Nina Pareja has more.