Le Pen ordered to get psychiatric evaluation

Le Pen ordered to get psychiatric evaluation

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to undergo court-ordered psychiatric testing, almost three years after she shared graphic images of Islamic extremists on Twitter.

Le Pen, who has said the case against her is a violation of her freedom of expression, claims the government of France is employing the tactics of defamation that totalitarian regimes use to discredit political opponents in an attempt "to make them look insane".

"I thought I had experienced everything, but no! Just how far will they go?" she wrote on Twitter.

"Of course I won't go and submit myself to this psychiatric evaluation", she declared, daring the investigating magistrate to "force" her.

She posted the images following the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, in which 130 people were killed, after a journalist compared her party to ISIS militants.

She then said it was all part government plot to discredit her, even though there is a strict separation of powers between the executive and judiciary in France.

Le Pen has labelled the order "crazy".

Magistrates in Nanterre near Paris apparently gave the directive for Le Pen to visit a psychiatrist for an expert assessment, according to The Local.

"This country is really starting to scare me".

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This is not the first time Marine Le Pen has locked horns with the authorities.

If convicted, Marine Le Pen faces up to three years in jail and a fine of €75,000 ($87,000).

The images showed the bodies of people who were executed by the Islamic State and included the decapitated body of USA reporter James Foley. "Words fail me! Solidarity with her and with the French who love freedom!"

"It's not these kind of methods that will drive back the far right", wrote Melenchon, a fierce critic of Macron, who denounced the court order as a "political decision".

Leader of France's Rassemblement National (RN) far-right political party Marine Le Pen gestures as she delivers a speech at a meeting in Fréjus, southern France on September 16, 2018.

The other images showed a tank running over a man in an orange jumpsuit, while another jumpsuit-clad man was shown in a cage being burned alive.

"Daesh is this!" she'd written along with the images, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Le Pen's tweets infuriated the Foley family, but Le Pen later claimed: "I am being charged with condemning the horrors of Daesh [ISIS]".

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