03:03 GMT06 May 2021
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    The National Rally leader and 2022 presidential candidate was charged with hate speech after posting photos of murders carried out by jihadists back in 2015.

    French politician Marine Le Pen was acquitted by a court on Tuesday. She was accused of breaking hate speech laws after she posted photos of Daesh* terrorists killing people back in 2015, while slamming comparisons between her party (then known as the National Front) and the notorious jihadist group in French media.

    "This is what Daesh is", she wrote under the photos, responding to journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, who made such a comparison.
    Candidates for the 2017 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron (R), head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and Marine Le Pen, of the French National Front (FN) party, pose prior to the start of a live prime-time debate in the studios of French television station France 2, and French private station TF1 in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, near Paris, France, May 3, 2017
    © REUTERS / Eric Feferberg/Pool
    Candidates for the 2017 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron (R), head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and Marine Le Pen, of the French National Front (FN) party, pose prior to the start of a live prime-time debate in the studios of French television station France 2, and French private station TF1 in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, near Paris, France, May 3, 2017

    The politician was accused of "disseminating violent messages that could seriously harm human dignity", but she denied any wrongdoing. Following the court's decision, her defence lawyers noted that the freedom of expression had been safeguarded.

    The court ruling comes ahead of the 2022 French presidential election, which is likely to see a standoff between Le Pen and incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other states

    Tags:
    National Rally, French National Front Party, Daesh, hate speech, Hate Speech, France, Marine Le Pen
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