Introduction — Sept 21, 2018
The fact that Marine Le Pen has been ordered by a court to undergo a psychiatric evaluation is nothing if not sinister. It comes after Le Pen shared images of an Islamic state attack in Paris in 2015 and it recalls how the Soviet Union once used similar methods to silence and discredit dissidents.
Following the introduction of a Stalin-era criminal code, Russian political dissidents were routinely locked away on the pretext that they were suffering from a variety of psychiatric disorders. Thousands are thought to have been incarcerated on the basis of such false assessments.
Now it seems a similar ploy is being used in France. Although, of course, the intention is not to incarcerate Le Pen in some mental institution. Instead, the objective now seems to be to smear her as suffering from some sort of psychiatric disorder.
The parallels between what happened in communist Russia and Le Pen’s case are all too obvious. However, like the rest of the mainstream media, TIME magazine reports on Le Pen’s case without any reference to earlier precedents in the Soviet Union. Ed.
France’s Marine Le Pen Ordered to Undergo Psychiatric Tests Over Graphic Tweets
Eli Meixler — TIME Magazine Sept 21, 2018
French far-right politician Marine Le Pen expressed indignation Thursday over a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation in response to photos she tweeted of violent acts committed by the Islamic State.
Le Pen tweeted copies of the court order, which was issued last week instructing her to undertake testing “as soon as possible,” Agence France-Presse reports. Le Pen called the directive “crazy.”
“I thought I had been through it all: well, no! For having condemned Daesh [ISIS] horrors in tweets, the ‘justice system’ is putting me through psychiatric tests! Just how far will they go?” she tweeted, according to AFP.
Le Pen had shared the shocking images in December 2015, a few weeks after ISIS-aligned militants launched coordinated attacks that killed 130 people around Paris, including at the Bataclan concert hall. Then-French President François Hollande called the attacks “an act of war.”
Le Pen was stripped of parliamentary immunity over the graphic tweets, which included images of executed American journalist James Foley, and charged with disseminating violent images that could be viewed by a minor. She faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $87,000 if convicted.
Le Pen insisted that she would not comply with the court-ordered evaluation, which is not enforceable, according to AFP. She also received support from other far-right figures, including Steve Bannon and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who expressed “solidarity with her and those French people who love liberty.”