A fine of €75,000 and three years in prison. That’s the shocking sentence Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Rally, could face for tweeting a series of violent photos.
In December 2015, one month after the Paris terror attacks in which 130 people died, the broadcaster Jean-Jacques Bourdin was interviewing a renowned terrorism expert. Bourdin asked if there were similarities between the rise of homegrown jihadism and the rise of the far-right Front National (as Le Pen’s party was called at the time).
Le Pen took to Twitter to express her outrage at the comparison, accusing Bourdin of making ‘vile remarks’ and ‘unacceptable smears’. It was the tweets which followed that could lead to her imprisonment. ‘This is Daesh’, she tweeted, posting a series of violent photos of ISIS executions. One showed a Syrian soldier crushed beneath a tank ...
… The tweets caused uproar among the political class. The police launched an investigation within a day. Le Pen has since been charged with ‘circulating violent pictures liable to be seen by children’. Earlier this month, public prosecutors recommended she face trial.
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