Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The "New" Tunisia: Tunisia must drop unjust charges against graffiti activists

"Two activists in Tunisia, who face charges in relation to their drawing of graffiti last November, must not be jailed for exercising their freedom of expression, Amnesty International said today.

Oussama Bouajila, aged 25, and Chahine Berrich, 23, from the anti-poverty street art group Zwewla (“the poor”) are charged with “spreading false information with the aim of disrupting the public order”, “defying the state of emergency” and “writing on a public building without permission”.

They were charged in November after they were caught writing slogans in support of the poor on a university wall in the city of Gabes, in the south east of Tunisia.

These men should not be penalized for what their graffiti said. It is unjustifiable to threaten them with prison terms simply for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa....."

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