Tunisia blogger nabbed for drinking alcohol during Ramadan

August 5, 2012 19:30


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TUNIS - A Tunisian secular activist and blogger was arrested on Sunday for drinking alcohol during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a move set to anger the opposition which is suspicious of the Islamist-led government's policies on public morality.

Soufiene Chourabi made a name for himself criticizing former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's policies before the start of a revolt that later toppled the autocrat and sparked a wave of popular protests that came to be known as the "Arab Spring".

Chourabi has since warned that the Ennahda Islamist Movement - which is leading the current government - is imposing an increasing number of restrictions on public freedom. A few days before his arrest, he had called for a protest in front of the Interior Ministry to demand greater liberty.

Anis Zine, his lawyer, said Chourabi was arrested along with two of his friends early on Sunday when police spotted them drinking on a beach in the western town of Menzel Temime.

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