France extends state of emergency to overseas territories including St. Martin

Policemen are gathered on May 20, 2013 in Villiers-sur-Marne, outside Paris, to attend a ceremony to pay tribute to Aurelie Fouquet, a municipal policewoman who died in a shooting with a heavily armed commando on May 20, 2012. Hit by three bullets, Aurelie Fouquet, 26, and mother of a fourteen-month-old boy, succumbed to her injuries after being hospitalized. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR

Paris The French Government Tuesday announced extension of the state of emergency, declared Friday in the metropolitan area after a wave of terrorist attacks in the capital, to its overseas territories too.

The measure, according to a statement by the French Minister of Overseas, George Pau-Langevin, is justified “by a need for coherence and reinforcement of security systems, at a time when the state of emergency is being seen as long-term and will last three months through a law submitted to the Parliament.”

In particular, the change applies to Guadeloupe, Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin, but in its territories in the Pacific and at Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, France will impose Vigipirate, its national security alert system due to “geographical specifics.”

The 12-day state of emergency allows civil authorities, among others, to prohibit movement of people and establishes security zones, veto demonstrations, order delivery of weapons or ammunition or search homes “day and night.”

The current text states emergency can be declared in the entire or part of the territory in case of “imminent” danger by serious disruptions against public order, to events which by their nature or severity “can present a character of public calamity.”

In the metropolitan territory, emergency has been in effect since Saturday and has also been extended to Corsica.