Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Marine Le Pen charged for posting images of Islamic State atrocities

Marine Le Pen charged for posting images of Islamic State atrocities

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right Front National, has been charged over photographs she tweeted showing gruesome images of purported atrocities by Islamic State.

Le Pen, who disputed the presidential election last year, but lost to President Emmanuel Macron, faces a maximum three-year jail term and a Dollars 90,000 fine, if convicted, France 24 Television said.

At the time of the outcry over her tweets Le Pen told French news agency AFP: "I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh".

Le Pen didn't comment publicly on Thursday's preliminary charges, made possible after the French parliament lifted her immunity from prosecution in the case late previous year. One image showed the decapitated body of Foley, the BBC reports.

Foley's bereaved parents John and Diane said they wanted the images removed immediately, accusing Le Pen in a statement of using the "shamefully uncensored" image to her own political ends.

Another image showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being crushed by a tank driven by an ISIL fighter.

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Le Pen, who lost to Emmanuel Macron in last year's presidential vote, is facing charges of circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity", and that can be viewed by a minor.

Marine Le Pen's French-first, Islam-skeptic nationalism resonated widely in the wake of Donald Trump's election and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

As the president of the populist National Front Party, Le Pen is France's most prominent critic of mass immigration, particularly by people from Muslim-majority countries.

The anti-immigration leader lost to centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election run-off in May a year ago.

Le Pen, who has over two million Twitter followers, addressed the tweets to BFM TV journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of likening her party to the jihadist group.

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