An unnamed woman in France is facing a fine of roughly $13,000 for referring to French President Emmanuel Macron “filth” in a Facebook post, according to a report from the AFP news service that cites local prosecutors. According to reports, the woman even got arrested after asking police whether her arrest was a joke.
The woman allegedly created a Facebook post on March 21 where she referred to Macron as “this piece of filth,” describing the French President as “filth” at least twice on social media. The post was reportedly about Macron’s controversial attempt to raise the retirement age for most workers from 62 to 64.
A wave of violence has erupted in response to the proposed reforms to pensions. CNN reports that 740,000 people marched in protest at rallies held across the country on Tuesday.
While France has some constitutional protections for freedom of speech, they’re not nearly as robust as the First Amendment protections afforded to Americans, who are free to call any political leader they like a piece of filth without fear of arrest or fines.
The unnamed woman, who’s reportedly in her 50s, was arrested on Friday near the town of Saint Omer, France after a local administrative office apparently filed a complaint. The woman is being charged under a law that bans “insulting the president of the republic,” according to the AFP.
She is due to stand trial on June 20th, but she will not be sentenced.