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Le Pen stripped of French immunity over gruesome IS pictures

France ’ s National Assembly on Wednesday lifted the immunity from prosecution of far -right leader Marine Le Pen for tweeting pictures of Islamic State group atrocities .

The decision was taken by a cross-party committee in charge of the internal functioning of the assembly , after a request from the authorities to lift Le Pen’ s parliamentary immunity over a crime that carries up to three years in prison.

The leader of the National Front, who ran a failed bid for president this year, in 2015 tweeted three pictures of IS violence .

One showed the body of James Foley, an American journalist beheaded by the Sunni extremists . The others showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being driven over by a tank and a man being burned alive in a cage.
“ Daesh is this !” Le Pen wrote in a caption , using an Arabic acronym for IS .

Circulating “ violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity” and that can be viewed by a minor, is a crime punishable by up to three years and a fine of 75 , 000 euros in France .
Following a request from Foley’ s family Le Pen eventually deleted the image of the American , saying she had been unaware of his identity.

In September , parliament also lifted the immunity of another FN MP , Gilbert Collard, over similar tweets containing IS images.
Le Pen, a trained lawyer, slammed the move as a “ lowly , purely political decision ” which violated her freedom of expression .

“ It ’ s better to be a jihadist returning from Syria than an MP condemning the ignominies of IS , ” she told AFP , suggesting that France was softer on IS members than their opponents .

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