Police charge Marine Le Pen for posting images of a beheaded American journalist

"I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh."
March 2, 2018, 12:15pm
Getty Images

French police Thursday charged Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, for tweeting uncensored images of ISIS atrocities, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

The preliminary charges, for circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity," carry a potential punishment of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($91,000).

The far-right leader posted the images in the weeks after the November 2015 ISIS terror attacks in Paris, writing “Daesh is THIS!” alongside three pictures from the terror group’s propaganda. The photos showed Foley’s decapitated body, a man being burned alive in a cage and a tank rolling over a hostage’s body.

Le Pen protested the charges against her in comments to AFP Thursday.

"I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh," she said. "In other countries this would have earned me a medal." She has previously denounced the investigation as politically motivated.

The charges were only able to be laid after France’s national assembly voted to lift Le Pen’s parliamentary immunity over the matter.

Le Pen’s tweets attracted a major backlash, most notable from Foley’s family. The murdered journalist’s parents, John and Diane, issued a statement at the time saying they were “deeply disturbed” by the politician posting the images for political gain.

Le Pen, who placed second in France’s presidential election last year, subsequently deleted the images.

Cover image: French far-right National Front (FN) political party leader, Marine Le Pen delivers her New Year wishes to the media at the party's headquarters on January 15, 2018 in Nanterre, France.(Chesnot/Getty Images)