SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — A Tunisian man sentenced to 7 years in prison in March for posting cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed on his Facebook page lost his appeal on Monday, court officials reported.
Jabeur Mejri and another young Tunisian were sentenced to seven and half years imprisonment for “transgressing morality, defamation and disrupting public order.”
Mejri’s co-defendant is believed to be in hiding in Europe, reports said.
The pair are accused of posting pictures of the Prophet “in the nude” on the their Facebook pages and others slandering prominent Tunisian figures.
“We are aware of how important it is to respect sacred values but this ruling is particularly harsh and not consistent with human rights,” the young man’s lawyer, Ahmed Msalmi, told AFP.
He said he might consider taking the case to the high court of cassation, the last court of appeals in the country.
“Such a harsh judgment can be considered a form of torture,” he said, also deploring that the court rejected a defence request for Mejri to undergo medical tests.
“The accused is mentally unstable and his social background should also be taken into consideration,” the lawyer said, explaining that Mejri had been without a job for 6 years.
In Tunisia over the past few months, the authorities, attempting to appease the ultra-conservatives in the country have been cracking down on any and all action deemed offensive to Islam, but activists in the country say the moves are infringing on their freedom of speech and have condemned the government’s moves. —www.shafaqna.com/english/