Tunisian internet artist loses appeal
A Tunisian appellate court on Monday (June 25th) rejected the appeal of a young Tunisian artist jailed for publishing cartoons of the Prophet, AFP reported.
Jaber Mejri and Ghazi Beji were charged in March for "attacks on public order and morality". They were sentenced in early April to seven and a half years in prison.
Beji's e-book "Wahm al Islam" (the Illusion of Islam) and Mejri's "Dark Land" both included caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The men were accused of posting pictures of the Prophet "in the nude" on their Facebook pages.
"We are aware of how important it is to respect sacred values but this ruling is particularly harsh and not consistent with human rights," Mejri's attorney Ahmed Msalmi said.
"The accused is mentally unstable and his social background should also be taken into consideration," the lawyer said, explaining that the Mahdia native had been without a job for six years.
Beji, who said he "had to run away" when he learned of his friend's arrest, is reportedly seeking political asylum abroad.
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