Please verify

Blaze Media
Watch LIVE

French woman arrested, faces $13,000 fine for calling President Macron 'filth' on Facebook

Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

In the wake of Parisian schoolteacher Samuel Paty's beheading by an Islamic terrorist in 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed he would continue "the fight for freedom."

That fight for freedom appears to have been short-lived or, at the very least, narrowly constructed.

A middle-aged French woman identified as Valérie was recently arrested and now faces a crushing penalty for allegedly calling Macron "filth" online.

Valérie, who hails from the northern French commune of Saint-Martin-lez-Tatinghem, wrote in a March 21 Facebook post, "This piece of filth is going to address you at 1:00 pm… it's always on television that we see this filth."

The post was in reference to Macron's televised TF1/France 2 interview on March 22 where he discussed raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 and suggested that the French people needed to make sacrifices — while allegedly concealing his luxury wristwatch worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Valérie, who had previously taken part in the populist "Yellow Vest" protests critical of Macron's administration, was not alone in her antipathy for the former World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.

After 10 days of protests, roughly 740,000 protesters took to the streets on March 28 to denounce Macron and his proposed pension plan changes, reported France 24.

Amid the unrest, Valérie was reportedly arrested in northern France on March 24 and charged with "public insult to the President of the Republic by word, written image or means of communication by electronic voice."

Mehdi Benbouzid, the prosecutor in the town of Saint Omer, told AFP that Valérie was held in custody for questioning and faces a fine of 12,000 euros if convicted at her trial on June 20.

"They want to make an example of me," Valérie told the regional newspaper La Voix du Nord.

"I asked them if it was a joke, I had never been arrested," Valérie added. "I am not public enemy number one."

In 1881, after the collapse of the Second French Empire (France is presently on its fifth republic since 1792), the National Assembly passed a law making it illegal to insult the French president. The purpose of this legislation was, in part, to bolster the relatively impotent figurehead at the time, Jules Grèvy, reported the Washington Post.

Grèvy had been called a "profane thug" and an iconoclastic boor (i.e., "goujat iconoclaste") by a man named Simon Boubée, whom the regime saw fit to make an example of.

The law was used against critics of the powerful nine times between 1881 and 1958. The punishment for this supposed crime is jail time or a fine.

The French Parliament all but overturned the law 132 years after its ratification, but it is still on the books. This change was triggered by a European Court of Human Rights ruling, which found that freedom of expression had been violated in the case of a protester who was punished for issuing choice words to then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Since the ostensible change to the law in 2013, the Local indicated many thousands of Frenchmen have blasted Macron and his presidency. While the law has largely been put out of use, the prosecutor Benbouzid indicated that prosecution is permitted "on condition that the victim files a complaint," reported La Voix du Nord.

A state representative filed the complaint on Macron's behalf.

While France has an extradition treaty with the United States, Americans can freely and without fear of fine insult Macron online.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Most recent

Hannity to moderate DeSantis vs. Newsom debate in November, Fox News Media announces

White woman wins Miss Universe Zimbabwe — and not everyone is cheering

All Articles