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Friday, December 16, 2005

French Senate approves new anti-terror law
Bernard Hibbitts at 11:02 AM ET

[JURIST] The French Senate [official website] has approved a slightly amended version of a new anti-terror law [text as amended, in French] providing for increased public video surveillance, more access by authorities to communications records and passenger information, and new police powers to stop vehicles. The legislation introduced by hardline French Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy [official profile] passed Thursday by a vote of 203-122, with the ruling center-right coalition outpolling socialist and communist opposition members. The French lower house, the National Assembly, approved a version of the law [JURIST report] in late November; both houses will have to pass the bill again before it can become law. Critics of the bill argue that it is too heavy-handed and effectively puts terrorists, delinquents and immigrants in the same basket while, in the words of a former socialist culture minister, "sowing the seeds of xenophobia and racism." AFP has more.

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