A Tunisian court has upheld a seven year sentence against a young Tunisian who posted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Facebook, in a case that has fuelled allegations that the country’s new Islamist leaders are gagging free speech.
Jabeur Mejri was convicted on Monday 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 28 against Mejri, who is in jail, and against Ghazi Beji, who was sentenced in absentia. Mejri was able to appeal, but Beji remains on the run.
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.