As protests taper off, France's Macron eyes internet restrictions in times of crisis

As protests taper off, France's Macron eyes internet restrictions in times of crisis

When things die down, perhaps there should be regulations or restrictions on internet access, Emmanuel Macron tells gathering of mayors

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – Even as protests over the killing of a teen of North African descent seemed to taper off on Tuesday, France’s president said cutting internet access during such times of crisis might be needed.

Telling a gathering of mayors of towns where the protests turned violent that the riots have passed their peak, Emmanuel Macron added: "We must get down to restoring the sustainable order as our absolute priority.”

"I will be cautious for the following days and weeks but the peak has passed," the president told the mayors at Paris’ Elysee Palace, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.

"When things die down, maybe there should be a regulation or a restriction on (internet) access,” said Macron. “This must especially not be done in the heat of the moment, and I am glad that we didn’t have to do it.”

Macron also called for reviewing the use of social media by the youngest, and mentioned bans.

Police arrested 16 people Tuesday night, including seven in Paris, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday, according to daily Le Figaro. The figures were down sharply from previous nights.

Over 110 fires on public roads were started and 78 vehicles were set on fire, the same source added.

The protests started last week when a police officer shot dead Nahel M., 17, of Algerian descent during a traffic check in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre after he allegedly ignored orders to stop.

The officer who fired the fatal shot faces a formal investigation for voluntary homicide and has been placed under preliminary detention.

After starting in Nanterre, the protests quickly spread to other cities, including Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Marseille.

Tensions rose following clashes between the police and protesters.

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