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Tunisia: The long road to reform is far from over

alt informationTunisia made a major stride by adopting a new constitution. However, the long road to reform is far from over as the authorities should amend or abolish all repressive laws of the dictatorship era. Afef Abrougui reports

Tunisia: Man jailed for Facebook post to be released

Jabeur Mejri has been in prison for nearly two years for publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on Facebook

Tunisia’s draft constitution raises concerns about democratic transition

alt informationTunisia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is voting on a new constitution, following a political crisis which put on hold the country’s democratic transition after the assassination of opposition deputy last July, Afef Abrougui writes

Tunisians cast a wary eye on new crime agency

alt informationYears of massive surveillance haunt Tunisians as they commemorate three years since the toppling of the police State of former dictator Zeine al Abidin Ben Ali. Afef Abrougi reports

Net Freedom in Tunisia: Still a Long Way to Go

Once labelled the "enemy of the internet" -- Tunisia has made tremendous strides in the past two years towards opening up the internet. Still, the country continues to face challenges in its road to expanding freedom online. Afef Abrougui reports

Tunisian court fails to review verdict in Muhammad cartoon case

Tunisia’s Court of Cassation yesterday failed to review the seven-and-a-half year sentence of Jabeur Mejri, who was convicted last year of publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Mejri’s lawyer, Mohammed Mselmi, told AFP that the demand for an appeal “was mysteriously withdrawn”, even though a hearing had been scheduled on 25 April. The defence team will now seek a presidential pardon for their client. Last March, a primary court in Mahdia (eastern Tunisia) sentenced Mejri and his friend Ghazi Beji to seven and half years in prison. Beji, who published a satirical book entitled “the illusion of Islam” online, fled Tunisia. Mejir, however, has been in prison since he was arrested on 5 March 2012. Both men were fined [...]

Free speech on hold in Tunisia as rapper faces jail

On 21 March, a Tunisian court sentenced rapper Ala Yacoubi (aka Weld El15) to two years in prison in absentia, over an anti-police song and video, Boulicia Kleb published on YouTube. In the song, Weld El15 describes police officers as “dogs” and says “he would like to slaughter a police officer instead of sheep at Eid al-Adha”. Four other rappers, to whom Weld El15 dedicated the song, were also sentenced to two years in prison in absentia. Actress Sabrine Klibi, who appears in the video, and cameraman Mohamed Hedi Belgueyed, were arrested on 10 March. They each received a six-month suspended jail sentence. Yacoubi, who is in hiding, told award-winning blog Nawaat: There are those who accuse me of inciting violence [...]

Free speech on hold in Tunisia as rapper faces jail

On 21 March, a Tunisian court sentenced rapper Ala Yacoubi (aka Weld El15) to two years in prison in absentia, over an anti-police song and video, Boulicia Kleb published on YouTube. In the song, Weld El15 describes police officers as “dogs” and says “he would like to slaughter a police officer instead of sheep at Eid […]

Free speech on hold in Tunisia as rapper faces jail

On 21 March, a Tunisian court sentenced rapper Ala Yacoubi (aka Weld El15) to two years in prison in absentia, over an anti-police song and video, Boulicia Kleb published on YouTube. In the song, Weld El15 describes police officers as “dogs” and says “he would like to slaughter a police officer instead of sheep at Eid […]

Free speech in Tunisia: New year, same fears

Free speech in Tunisia will continue to remain in jeopardy as a new year kicks off. During the next few months, the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is scheduled to adopt Tunisia’s new constitution. Last December, the NCA published a second draft constitution which guarantees the right to free speech and prohibits prior censorship. Yet a […]

Tunisia builds blasphemy law

In Tunisia, politicians and the people are abandoning freedom of expression. In a conservative society, Islamists’ obsession with blasphemy and the opposition’s passivity in defying an illiberal constitutional clause are placing free speech and Tunisia’s democratic transition under threat. After years of being deprived of it, the Tunisian public agrees that freedom of expression is […]