France lifts state of emergency

Carl Spitzer cwsiv_2nd at HOTPOP.COM
Tue Jan 3 10:33:48 MST 2006

France lifts state of emergency
The French cabinet has passed a decree to lift a state of emergency
imposed in November during the worst unrest in the country in nearly 40

The measures - including powers to impose curfews and conduct police
searches without warrants - will formally end on Wednesday. 

Almost 9,000 cars were torched and 3,000 people arrested in three weeks
of urban violence across France. 

President Jacques Chirac said the state of emergency was "strictly

8,973 cars burnt 
2,888 arrests 
20 nights of riots 
Source: French police  

He chaired the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, having earlier announced his
intention to lift the state of emergency. 

"Given the situation of the past few weeks, I have decided to end it,"
he said. 

The riots began when two boys of North and West African origin were
electrocuted in a Paris suburb after running from police, believing they
were being chased. 

Residents of the country's poor, largely immigrant suburbs, where most
of the unrest took place, complained of racism and heavy-handed

The state of emergency is being ended six weeks earlier than planned. 

It was introduced under a little-used law dating back to 1955, when
France was waging a war - ultimately unsuccessful - against independence
fighters in Algeria. 

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/01/03 13:17:49 GMT


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