France's government is calling for a three-month extension of the state of emergency that was declared after the Nov. 13 deadly attacks in Paris, a move criticized by human right groups as damaging democracy.
The measure proposed Wednesday in a Cabinet meeting now requires parliament's approval.
"The terrorist threat is still extremely high" in France and Europe, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday. "The state of emergency is necessary. It has been useful and must continue to be. "
The state of emergency has already been extended once and was scheduled to end on Feb. 26. It expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places.
In a written statement, President Francois Hollande said a three-month extension is justified by the need to face the "terrorist threat."
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.