Paris climate change talks: Activists placed under house arrest by French authorities using emergency laws

Thousands of climate campaigners have vowed to defy the blanket ban on demonstrations

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The Independent Online

At least 24 climate change activists have been put under house arrest by French police.

They are accused of defying a ban on organising protests during next week's 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Three people have been placed under house arrest in Rens, two in Paris, two in Rouen and one in Lyons, according to a campaigns website collating information about police actions against activists.

They are only allowed to leave their houses three times a day to sign a post office register verifying their whereabouts.

Legal advisors to the activists told The Guardian warrants were issued under the country's state of emergency laws, enacted after the terrorist attacks which murdered 130 people.

Climate change campaigner and author Naomi Klein accused French authorities of "a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce".

“Climate summits are not photo opportunities to boost the popularity of politicians,” she told The Guardian.

“Given the stakes of the climate crisis, they are by their nature highly contested. That is democracy, messy as it may be.

"The French government, under cover of anti-terrorism laws, seems to be trying to avoid this, shamefully banning peaceful demonstrations and using emergency powers to pre-emptively detain key activists.”

It is hoped the climate change meeting, which will take place from 30 November to 11 December, will see world leaders agree on measures to limit the annual rise in global temperatures to 2°C.

Thousands of climate campaigners have reportedly vowed to defy the blanket ban on demonstrations.