French prosecutors filed charges Thursday against nationalist leader Marine Le Pen for tweeting pictures showing brutal violence and executions by the Islamic State.
The charges were issued for “distribution of violent images,” reports the Associated Press. Le Pen faces up to three years in prison and 75,000 euros ($90,000) in fines if the case goes to trial and she is convicted.
As the president of the populist National Front Party, Le Pen is France’s most prominent critic of mass immigration, particularly by people from Muslim-majority countries. Along with other right-wing, nationalist movements throughout Europe, the National Front has enjoyed a resurgence amid increasing dissatisfaction with the European Union’s immigration policies.
Le Pen’s newest legal troubles stem from tweets she sent in December 2015 that showed executions by ISIS militants, including the killing of American journalist James Foley. She posted them after ISIS-directed attacks in Paris the previous month, which killed 130 people in a series of bombings and mass shootings across the city. Le Pen accused the French government of not doing enough to prevent the attacks.
Le Pen has said the French government is attacking her for speaking the truth about the dangers of ISIS and other Islamic extremists.
“I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh,” she told Agence France Presse. “In other countries this would have earned me a medal.”
Thursday’s charges come as Le Pen is searching for a new way forward for National Front after she lost her presidential bid to Emmanuel Macron last year. She intends to propose a new name for the party at a National Front meeting later this month, among other reforms aimed at distancing the party from its founder, Marine’s father Jean Marie Le Pen.
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