Marine Le Pen to undergo psychiatric test after ISIS propaganda tweets
Marine Le Pen to undergo psychiatric test after ISIS propaganda tweets
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen
21 September, 2018, 09:20
French politician Marine Le Pen is under a court order to receive a psychiatric examination for tweeting gruesome images from the terrorist group Islamic State.
According to a court document, published by Le Pen herself, the judge wants a psychiatrist to assess if she suffers from any mental illness and, if so, if that could have affected her understanding of what she was doing when she posted the tweets.
Le Pen, who has said the case against her is a violation of her freedom of expression, claims the government of France is employing the tactics of defamation that totalitarian regimes use to discredit political opponents in an attempt "to make them look insane".
"I thought I had been through it all: well, no!" "For denouncing the horrors of [ISIS] by tweets the "justice system" has referred me for a psychiatric assessment. Just how far will they go?" she asked, repeating her view that it was part of a government plot to discredit her.
Le Pen's hard-left rival Jean-Luc Melenchon said the evaluation was unnecessary because Le Pen was "politically responsible for her political acts".
The investigation relates to three graphic images that Le Pen posted on the social media network in 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.
"The regime is really starting to be frightening", she said. Le Pen captioned the images with the words: "Daesh is this!"
But there were howls of indignation from Le Pen's supporters and allies nonetheless.
A number of politicians have lambasted the judges' decision towards Le Pen.
The politician, who was runner-up to Emmanuel Macron in last year's French presidential election, posted images of the body of murdered United States journalist James Foley in December 2015. "Of course I will not go to this psychiatric assessment and I will wait to see how the magistrate intends to force me", she told a French TV network.
Another showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a tank, and a third showed a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage. She posted the images in response to a journalist's comparison between her far-right party and "Islamic State", which is also known as Daesh. Le Pen later deleted that tweet at the request of Foley's family.
If Le Pen is convicted in court, she faces up to three years in prison and a fine of about $87,000.
Le Pen condemned the move as "a blow to democracy", since withholding the funding would likely result in her party becoming defunct.
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