“Human Rights Watch” criticized a two-year prison sentence for a Tunisian blogger, and criticized the prosecutor for failing to prosecute a Tunisian imam who appeared in a video clip that justified killing someone who insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
The organization said on Tuesday that the Tunis Court of First Instance in the capital, Tunis, on November 12, sentenced blogger Wajdi Al-Mahawashi to two years in prison on November 1 for posting a video clip on “Facebook” in which he denied responsibility for the imam and opened an investigation. What a judicial official considered offensive.
The video of the Imam was released on October 16 when a Chechen refugee killed a teacher Samuel Patty in a French public school as Patti showed cartoons of Muhammad Messenger as part of a class on freedom of expression. It appears that the video posted by the imam was later removed from Facebook.
In a Facebook post, Al-Mahawashi criticized the prosecution for failing to investigate the allegations made against the police who beat him in 2019.
Instead, the organization says, “the prosecutor accused Al-Mahawashi” of “committing crimes without providing evidence to officials, insulting others through communications networks, defaming and insulting a public official while performing his duties. are based on.
Al-Mahawashi posted this video and was arrested in a single day by members of the “Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Unit” in the Al-Khadra district and questioned for at least four hours in front of his lawyer Muhammad Ali Bousheiba.
According to Bousheba, al-Mahawashi told investigators that he was not targeting anyone with his charge, and that his goal was to react only by slandering the video of the magnet, with the sole purpose of denouncing extremist ideas and terrorism.
Bouchiba added, “In 2017 we are stepping up a trial that reminds us of the arrest and trial wave of bloggers and critics on social media. These allegations have not really stopped, but have been eased, and are now back.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Tunisian courts have sentenced six social media activists to five years in prison for critical criticism, but “the two-year prison sentence against Al-Mahawashi is the most severe so far against a blogger who criticizes the Internet.” According to Boucheiba. .
Al-Mahawashi is currently serving his sentence in Mornaguia prison in the capital Tunis, and his lawyers plan to appeal the verdict.