SHARE
COPY LINK

NICE

Hollande extends emergency powers after ‘terror attack’

The French president described Thursday's Bastille Day massacre in Nice as monstrous and immediately announced his intention to extend the state of emergency that had been due to end this month.

Hollande extends emergency powers after 'terror attack'
Photo: AFP

French President Francois Hollande said on Friday that an attack which saw a truck plough into a crowd in Nice, killing 84 people, was clearly a “terrorist” act.

There was a sense of deja vu in France as the visibly moved president took to the airwaves to address a nation once again in mourning.

If confirmed as an act of terror, the incident will be the third major attack on French soil in 18 months – with several smaller-scale jihadist killings also having taken place.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the resort city, Hollande vowed to strengthen his country's role in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

“Nothing will make us yield in our will to fight terrorism. We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria. We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil,” he said, in reference to the IS group.

Hollande said several children were among the dead after the attack, which he said was of an “undeniable terrorist nature”.

He vowed ever stronger security measures – calling up reservists and calling to extend a state of emergency – as he reached for familiar, and new words to boost the morale of a battered nation.

“France is horrified by what has happened, this monstrosity which is using a truck to deliberately kill dozens of people who simply came to celebrate July 14th.

“France was struck on its national day, a symbol of freedom,” said Hollande.

France “will always be stronger, I promise you, than the fanatics that want to strike it.”

The Islamic State group has repeatedly singled out France as a prime target for its military actions against the group in Iraq and Syria, and hundreds of jihadists have left France to go and fight in its ranks.

The country has been under a state of emergency ever since jihadists killed 130 in Paris on November 13th, and the government has boosted its security laws.

Just hours before the attack Hollande said the state of emergency would not be renewed beyond July 26th after the adoption of a new law in May bolstering security.

However after the incident he said it would be extended for another three months.

While security forces will remain on high alert, Hollande also called on France's “operational reservists” to boost the ranks of police and gendarmes.

These include French citizens with or without military experience as well as former soldiers.

RELIGION

French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist

A French man of North African origin has accused Netflix of racial discrimination for labelling him a radical Islamist in an action movie for which he was filmed without his knowledge, his lawyer said on Monday.

French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist
The Netflix movie Sentinelle was set and filmed in Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Sentinelle, set in the southern city of Nice, tells the story of an elite French soldier returning from service in Syria who embarks on a mission to find the man who raped her sister.

One scene shows the protagonist, Klara, looking through the sights of her rifle at two young friends saying goodbye to each other.

The scene was shot on the Promenade des Anglais, the seaside walk where a Tunisian radical mowed down 86 people with a truck on July 14th, 2016.

The French subtitles Netflix provided to describe the scene for the hard of hearing refer to two young “barbus” – a derogatory term for ultraconservative Muslim men that means “the bearded ones”.

One of the men, a 21-year-old electrician from Nice, filed a criminal complaint against Netflix over the description, accusing the company of “provoking discrimination and racial hatred,” his lawyer Jean-Pascal Padovani said.

“The director took the liberty of drawing a line between the North African features of the people he filmed… and religious fundamentalists,” Padovani said.

That the shot was filmed at the scene of one of the worst terror attacks in French history was even more suggestive, he added.

“It’s unacceptable as it suggests that anyone of North African origin is a potential terrorist,” Padovani said.

A spokesperson for Netflix, which was targeted by the complaint as the film’s broadcaster, declined to comment on the matter when contacted by AFP.

It has, however, removed the term “barbus” from the audio description.

Padovani said that his client had received over 80 messages from acquaintances who recognised him in the film, which was shot in 2019 and began streaming on Netflix in March.

Some expressed shock at seeing him depicted as a terrorist, he said.

The complainant is also considering suing Netflix for using his image for commercial purposes without his permission, Padovani said.

Sentinelle was directed by French film-maker Julien Leclercq.

SHOW COMMENTS