SHAFAQNA – Tunisian blogger Yassine Ayari has been jailed by a military court for three years on charges of defaming the army and insulting the military high command.
Human Rights Watch reports that Ayari, a Tunisian national who lives in France, was arrested at Tunis-Carthage airport when he arrived from France on 24 December 2014. Next day he appeared before a military judge who informed him he had been convicted in absentia on 18 November.
The charges relate to Ayari’s Facebook posts in August and September which were critical of Tunisia’s defence minister for refusing to appoint a new head for military intelligence and for weakening military institutions.
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.
Source: Human Rights Watch