Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/29 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/29 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/29 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Americas

Le Pen denies defending torture, far-right MP says it can be courageous

media Front National.leader Marine Le Pen Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

The leader of France’s far-right Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, on Wednesday denied that she had defended the use of torture when commenting on the US’s report on its use by the CIA. But one of her key supporters later said it could be a brave choice in some circumstances.

Marine Le Pen on Wednesday tweeted that it was “malicious” to interpret her reply to a TV interviewer earlier in the day were a defence of using torture.

Asked on BFMTV to comment on the damning report on the CIA’s use of torture that hit world headlines on Tuesday, Le Pen answered, "I don't personally disapprove."

"On these subjects it is pretty easy to come into a television studio and say 'Ouh la la, that is bad!'," she said.

People who “deal with terrorists” are “responsible people", she went on, but the US needs to find out of there has been abuse.

“Allow me to say this,” the FN leader added. “There can be cases, for example when a bomb is ticking – tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock - and will explode in an hour or two and could cause 200 or 300 civilian victims when it is useful to get someone to talk."

Asked whether torture could be used to do so she said, "With the means at your disposal."

As her comments hit social media and news websites, Le Pen tweeted that she was the victim of a “malicious interpretation”, insisting that she meant “legal means, obviously not torture”.

But the tweet does not seem to have reached Gilbert Collard, an MP elected on the Front National’s Rassemblement Bleu Marine ticket.

“Torture for torture’s sake is appalling,” he told BFMTV’s rival, i-Télé but he described a refusal to use it if it can save lives as “cowardice”.

“If, to save 20 or 10 or two or one life, I have to mistreat a torturer, I do it,” Collard said. “I do it with disgust but these choices are absolutely courageous.”

The US report found that CIA agents had used brutal techniques, including waterboarding, Russian roulette and unnecessary rectal feeding and then misled elected representatives about their use and effectiveness.

Seven of 39 detainees known to have been subjected to “enhanced interrogations” were found to have “produced no intelligence while in CIA custody," while others "provided significant accurate intelligence prior to or without having been subjected to these techniques", the report said.

French Socialist Party spokesperson Corinne Narassuiguin claimed that Le Pen’s “backpedalling” on Twitter demonstrated her “frivolity” in addressing the question, accusing the far-right leader of basing her analysis on the TV series 24.

“All intelligence experts know that such a scenario is improbable and it has been shown that torture does not produce viable information,” she said.

French generals have admitted that the use of torture was widespread during the Algerian War of Independence, a defeat for France that is still regretted by many right-wingers.

Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, who founded the FN, has several times been accused of practising torture while serving as a paratrooper in Algeria.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.