Sentence upheld over cartoons of Muhammad


A Tunisian court yesterday upheld a seven-year sentence against a young Tunisian who posted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook, in a case that has fuelled allegations that the country’s new Islamist leaders are gagging free speech.

Jabeur Mejri was convicted of upsetting public order and morals in a country where Muslim values have taken on a greater significance since a revolt last year ousted secular strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, ushering the Islamist Ennahda party into power.

The initial sentence was handed down on March 28th against Mejri, who is in jail, and against Ghazi Beji, who was sentenced in absentia.

Mejri’s lawyer criticised the ruling, which she said proved Tunisia’s judiciary was still subject to political interference some 18 months after the revolution. – (Reuters)