Marine Le Pen Faces Three Years in Prison for Anti-ISIS Tweets
Few Western democracies have anything quite like our First Amendment. This is a case where the United States gets it right.
AP (“French far-right leader Marine Le Pen charged over IS photos“):
French prosecutors filed preliminary charges Thursday against far-right leader Marine Le Pen for tweeting brutal images of Islamic State violence, in a new blow to a woman long seen as the face of Europe’s anti-immigrant populism.
The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said the charges were issued Thursday for “distribution of violent images.” If the case eventually reaches trial and she’s convicted, Le Pen could face up to three years in prison and 75,000 euros ($90,000) in fines.
Le Pen’s December 2015 tweets showed executions by IS extremists, including the killing of American reporter James Foley. She posted them in the wake of the November 2015 IS attacks on Paris, as she accused the government of not doing enough to protect France.
Le Pen, like her father before her, is an awful human being. But the notion that she should be fined, much less go to prison, for engaging in speech—against perhaps the vilest terrorist organization in history—is just crazy.
As I’ve noted many times over the years, few of our fellow Western democracies have anything quite like our First Amendment. Most of them regulate speech that might offend much more vigorously than we do. While I understand the sentiment behind many of these restrictions, this is a case where the United States gets it right.