France has proposed that it wants to extend the country's state of emergency for a further two months. The status was initially declared after the Paris terror attacks in November, but is now sought to cover the Euro 2016 football championships.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the government will seek parliament approval to make sure extra powers are granted to police and, with the status' current period due to expire on 26 May, the new rule would remain in place up to the end of the international football tournament on 10 July.
Both the final and the opening game will be played at the Stade de France, the stadium in northern Paris that was targeted by three suicide bombers on 13 November, during a friendly match between France and Germany. "The state of emergency can't be a permanent condition, but during major events like this thought it necessary to extend it in order to ensure full security," Valls told French Info radio.
The proposed extension of state of emergency measures would also cover the Tour De France, another major sporting event taking place across France between 2-24 July.
The measure has already been extended four times since it was first called by President Francois Hollande in the immediate aftermath of the coordinated shootings and bombings that killed 130 people in the French capital. It gives security forces ample freedom of action, enhancing their powers to search and detain and has so far been credited with leading to hundreds of arrests.
However, rights groups have criticised the government for alleged abuse ofn the measures. In February, Human Rights Watch said police used the greater power they had been entrusted with to carry out "abusive and discriminatory raids and house arrests against Muslims". In November environmental activists were also lamented, as the state of emergency was reportedly used to curb their right to protest in the run up to the COP21 climate talks in Paris. which ran on 28 November.