French minister says state of emergency will not last for ever

January 24, 2016
France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve replies to deputies during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris
France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve replies to deputies during the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The state of emergency in France needs to be extended given the current security threat but it will not last for ever, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Sunday.

French President François Hollande said on Jan. 22 that he would ask parliament to extend by three months the state of emergency declared after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, sparking a debate over civil liberties.

Emergency measures that give authorities extra powers to put people under house arrest and conduct raids without a judicial warrant had been due to expire on Feb. 26.

"As long as we think that there is an imminent (terrorist) threat, we need the state of emergency," Cazeneuve told France 5 television.

"I hope the state of emergency will have the shortest duration possible but at the same time that it will be in place long enough to ensure the French people are protected," he said.

France's highest administrative court, the Conseil d'Etat, will on Tuesday examine a request from the Human Rights League to end the state of emergency.

(Reporting by Simon Carraud; writing by Matthias Blamont; editing by David Clarke)