Middle East

A Tunisian blogger jailed for insulting the Military


Yassine Ayari, a Tunisian blogger has been jailed by a military court for three years on charges of defaming the army and insulting the military high command.

Ayari, a Tunisia citizen who lives in France  was convicted in absentia by a military court on November 18, published several Facebook posts in August and September criticising Minister of Defence, Ghazi Jeribi, for refusing to appoint a new head for military intelligence and for weakening military institutions.

The judge presiding over the case said Ayari's posts had defamed the army command and could harm the "morale" of the armed forces.

Human Rights Group have argued that International law prohibits the trial of civilians before military courts and Ayari's lawyer has requested a retrial. But he was consigned to prison pending that trial.

Ayari's father, Taher, was shot dead in May 2011 by a radical Islamist group.

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