The founder of France's right-wing National Front (NF), Jean Marie Le Pen, has urged the nation to reintroduce the death penalty – with decapitation. As France begins to patch the wounds inflicted by Islamic State (Isis) militants on its streets last Friday, the controversial 87-year-old has called on the nation to think about reintroducing the guillotine.
Last Friday, 130 people were murdered in co-ordinated attacks in Paris and in the week following several arrests have been made by French, Belgian and Turkish police across Europe. IS themselves have previously beheaded journalists, aid workers and soldiers in an attempt to shock the west and gain followers.
Le Pen has publicly feuded with the new NF leader, his daughter, Marine Le Pen in the past. And he was dismissed from the party after anti-semitic comments about the Holocaust in 2011.
France used the guillotine through long periods of its history as a punishment, the practice dating back to as early as 1210. France abolished the death penalty in 1981, and the final three people to suffer the punishment were child-murderers Christian Ranucci on 28 July 1976 in Marseille, Jérôme Carrein on 23 June 1977 in Douai, and torturer-murderer Hamida Djandoubi on 10 September 1977 in Marseille.
Speaking at a press conference held at his home in the west Parisian suburb of Saint Cloud, Le Pen said: "We must restore the death penalty for terrorists, with decapitation," according to French magazine Marianne. During the interview he added that France should prepare for a further 100,000 prison spaces to deter further attacks, and urged the automatic deportation of illegal immigrants.
Le Pen has already advocated the guillotine as retribution for Hauchard Maxime, a French jihadist who allegedly beheaded Syrian soldiers in the Middle East. He also believes that citizens of a foreign background should be forced "to make a choice", thus completely eradicating dual French citizenship.
His daughter, Marine, has declared that she wants to hold a referendum on the death penalty if she is elected into office in 2017. The EU stipulate that any state in the union must have abolished the death penalty.
A family feud at the heart of the NF emerged last year when Jean-Marie refused to apologise for describing the Nazi gas chambers, in which millions of Jews were killed during Second World War, as a "detail of history". Marine has tried to rebrand the party bringing it closer to the centre of French politics.
A judge in 2015 ruled that the NF's attempts to expel Jean-Marie as correct procedure had not been followed and the decision should be reviewed by the party's executive committee. Following the committee hearing on 20 August, he launched an attack on his daughter, saying: "She was in command of the firing squad over the telephone. She didn't want to take part because it's wicked to kill your papa, so she didn't kill her father directly, she had him killed by her henchmen."