French Politician Marine Le Pen Might Go To Jail For Sharing Extremist Post On Social Media
March 5th, 2018
The head of the French National Front party in France, Marine Le Pen, a far-right political leader is facing charges for sharing violent extremist posts on Twitter. She tweeted graphic pictures regarding the Islamic State. After losing her parliamentary immunity, Le Pen can face three-years of jail time.
Rejecting the charges, she said, “I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh [ISIS]. In other countries, this would have earned me a medal,” according to Clarion Project.
The tweet was posted in 2015. Le Pen shared images that were captioned “Daesh is THIS” (Daesh is the Arabic acronym used for ISIS). She shared an image of the beheaded body of American journalist James Foley, which was later taken down after outrage from Foley’s family. She also shared an image of a man being run over by a tank and another of a man being burned alive in a cage, as reported by Futurism.
The party leader was charged with distributing “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity” and can be seen by a minor.
Not the first instance
In 2017, Yonatan Tesfaye, a former spokesperson for Ethiopia’s opposition party, was sentenced to more than 6 years of jail time for encouraging acts of terrorism on Facebook.
In the U.K., there is a proposed tax penalty for leaving violent images or extremist content, forcing companies to take action or pay the price. Additionally, in Russian, sharing certain depictions of Putin is now considered “extremism.” New regulations have already led to arrest, reports Futurism.
The Logical Indian take
Anything said or done by political leaders in the public sphere demands responsibility. They come from a position of power with an immense capacity to influence, owing to their popularity. In such cases, it is crucial that they use public platforms responsibly.
Terrorism works on fear. The more you share images of its brutal acts, the more you help the terror group instil that fear. In India too, we need a legal system that addresses these issues. Our current laws need to be overhauled and enforced in ways that the ones in power are not spared the repercussions.