French President Francois Hollande is seeking to extend the state of emergency after it was implemented post the deadly Paris attacks that left 130 people dead in November 2015. Prime Minister Manuel Valls echoed similar sentiments saying emergency measures were needed until the Islamic State (Isis) can be totally defeated.
The state of emergency adopted a day after the attacks, initially for 12 days, was extended for three months through a legislative process. That extension is due to expire on 26 February before which the government will seek to get the proposal ratified by Parliament.
"Given the terrorist threat, the government would present a bill extending the state of emergency for a period of another three months," Hollande's office said in a statementon 22 January. The bill is expected to be submitted to the French legislative chamber on 3 February.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Valls told BBC, "As long as the threat is there, we must use all available means. It is a total and global war that we are facing with terrorism. The war we are conducting must also be total, global and ruthless."
The emergency gives exceptional measures to the French authorities to keep people in their homes without trial, search houses without judicial approval and block suspicious websites. People can be searched and detained without warrants as well.
Since the implementation of the state of emergency there have been 3,099 house raids and searches. Around 380 people have also been placed under house arrest.
Meanwhile, four UN human rights specialists recently called on France not to extend the emergency. They say that lack of clarity and precision of several provisions of the emergency restricts freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to privacy.
The Human Rights League of France has also filed an appeal in the country's highest court to end the state of emergency. Hollande, however, is pressing Parliament to make changes to the constitution that would shield state emergency powers from court challenges like these in future.