The Public Prosecutor of Nanterre has launched criminal proceedings against Marine Le Pen. The legal basis for this? Article 227-24 of the Criminal Code (the so-called “Jolibois article” so named after its originator). The European Parliament is considering lifting the Euro MP’s parliamentary immunity.

The accused had responded to a journalist (who had compared the French “Front national” to Daesh), by tweeting three photographs of crimes committed by Daesh, already published in the Press.

The Criminal Code bans publishing messages that are “pornographic, violent or which are a serious affront to human dignity, capable of being seen or perceived by a minor”; all facts that, as well as being inherently subjective, may shock yet at the same time are the lifeblood for democratic debate and are therefore constitutionally protected.

It is the first time that an attempt has been made to use this criminal provision against a political personality.

Voltaire Network was established in 1994, in the European Parliament, in the context of the adoption of the Law Jolibois. Thus it gathered together hundreds of personalities to denounce a text that attacks the liberty of expression, a sine qua non of democracy. Thierry Meyssan had intervened as a witness in several proceedings to explain that such a law violates the Declaration of the Human and Civil Rights. The magistrates that had been assigned to these proceedings, ruled that this law could not be applied.

Voltaire Network has always denounced article 227-24 and for this reason, opposes the proceedings against Marine Le Pen. It invites all those that were mobilized in 1994 to oppose Law Jolibois once again, regardless of the opinion they may hold of this parliamentarian. For it is democracy which is at stake.

Anoosha Boralessa