French Government To Use Swine Flu Threat In Crack Down On Liberties

Secret documents leaked to press spur charges of “liberticide”

Steve Watson
Wednesday, Sept 9, 2009

Documents leaked to the French national newspaper Liberation,reveal that the government there intends to use the threat of a swine flu pandemic to overhaul legal protections for citizens.

According to documents provided to the daily by a judges’ union, the plan would extend the period police can keep a suspect in detention without charge or a hearing before a judge to up to six months, reports the Agence France-Presse.

The plan also involves denying suspects access to a lawyer for up to 24 hours, holding more secret trials and trying children in adult courts.

The original article from Liberation is available to subscribers only, however, there is a commentary piece on the story at this link. A rough Google translation of the commentary is available here.

Civil liberties advocates in France have charged that the documents show an intention on behalf of the government to commit “liberticide,” and have called on the French Justice Minister to condemn and scrap the plans.

The news comes on the back of last week’s revelations that the French government plans to impose a mass swine flu vaccination program on the entire population.

According to a leaked internal document singed by the French Health Minister and the Minister of the Interior, the program would be focused around regional vaccination centers and would be carried out by H1N1 injection teams, completely bypassing medical establishments and GP’s.

According to the document, schoolchildren will also be vaccinated by mobile injection squads who will travel from school to school, covering the entire country. Babies from 6 months old will also be given the shot.

To date just fifteen people have died of swine flu related complications in France.

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