Nearly 300 Convicted Terrorists to Be Released From French Prison by 2023

A junction of the prison is pictured, on March 8, 2017 in Strasbourg, eastern France. / AFP PHOTO / PATRICK HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet has revealed that there will be nearly 300 convicted terrorists released from French prisons by 2023, 43 of them by the end of this year.

The French minister said that after the 43 releases this year, another sixty convicted terrorists would be set for release from prison in 2021 and added that they would all be subjected to additional measures to monitor their behaviour upon release, RTL reports.

“They are the subject of a double measure: a judicial control which means that they are taken care of when they leave and administrative surveillance measures,” Belloubet said.

While many, particularly on the right, have called for the government to enact special measures to keep dangerous terrorists behind bars, Belloubet said, “security detention exists for terrorism detainees convicted of murder. It is a limited number of people.”

“We can undoubtedly progress to guarantee the safety of the French and at the same time ensure the balance of the constitution,” she added.

Earlier this month French intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed concern over the upcoming terrorist releases with the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) labelling the released prisoners a “major concern” and officials claiming they represented a bigger threat than returning fighters from the Middle East.

Republican member of parliament Eric Ciotti is one of those on the right concerned about the releases and has tabled a parliamentary motion for May in order to allow the government to keep dangerous jihadis in prison if they are a security threat.

French former anti-terrorist judge Marc Trévidic also warned of the dangers of convicted terrorists set for release last year saying, “We are in an area where the risk of re-offending is very high. You must not fool yourself. I would compare that to serial criminals, or serial rapists.”

“It’s even harder to deradicalise people who are highly radicalised than it is to fight against global warming,” he said and added, “We do not know what the good solutions to de-radicalise someone are. Nobody knows how we can be sure we have even succeeded.”

The French situation contrasts with that in the United Kingdom, where after a series of attacks by recently-released radicals, the government is passing emergency legislation to keep terror detainees behind bars for longer.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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