Tunisian military court jails blogger for insulting army

January 20, 2015 21:20


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TUNIS - A Tunisian military court has sentenced a blogger to one year in prison on charges he insulted the army, his lawyers told Reuters, in a case rights activists fear may undermine freedoms won after the 2011 revolution.

The blogger, Yassin Ayari, was well known in Tunisia for his criticism of former autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and restrictions during his rule on freedom of expression. After the 2011 uprising that ousted Ben Ali, Ayari turned to political criticism of the army.

"A military court sentenced the blogger Yassin Ayari to a year on charges of insulting the army and impacting its morale after comments on Facebook criticized the performance of the defense minister," lawyer Malek Ben Amor said.

The army did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the case.

Ayari is the son of a military officer killed by Islamist militants in an attack in 2011. He was arrested at the airport last month on arrival from Paris.

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