Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 29, 2014

Totally Missed This: Jabeur Mejri Back In Jail

Probably the most depressing -- and telling -- thing about the young Tunisian activist Jabeur Mejri being back in jail is that it's not for the charges related to making caricatures of Muhammed for which he received a presidential pardon earlier this year after serving nearly two year and that it's also not the charges that complicated the application of that pardon to Mejri's case. This is a third set of charges, stemming from Mejri speaking caustically about the timing of a summons to come face a judge. If you were one to believe that the Mejri is less a thoroughly engaged and active doer of crimes and more the kind of young, outspoke atheist bound to have troubles in a country with a deep streak of religious authority ingrained into the government culture, you'd be nodding a lot after the events of the last couple of weeks.

The idea of criminal law protecting sitting officials from insult is something we've seen in a lot of countries in that region, and these are not laws that are kind to anyone with a satirical or expressive proclivity. Hopefully, international agencies will continue to advocate on behalf of the cartoonist, and against such brittle laws more generally.
posted 9:25 am PST | Permalink

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