Yassine Ayari Plans to Return to Tunisia to Challenge Prison Sentence


Yassine Ayari.

Blogger Yassine Ayari will return to Tunisia next Friday to appeal a six-month prison sentence issued after he was found guilty of calling for the murder of leftist political analyst Mondher Thabet in a Facebook post.

The blogger claimed that Thabet represents “the remnants” of the former Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali government and that he should be held accountable, along with judges and media personnel he also believes to be corrupt.

The last time Ayari appeared in court was on December 27, 2013. The sentence was issued Monday.

Ahmed Mselmi, Ayari’s lawyer, told Tunisia Live that his client’s sentence did not require him to be imprisoned immediately, and confirmed that Ayari would be returning from France next week.

Ayari, in a Facebook post Wednesday, announced his planned return to Tunisia from Paris, where he works as a computer engineer.

In the post, he referred to Thabet, along with several other officials, as “parliamentarians of Ben Ali.” Thabet served in the Chamber of Advisors, a now-dissolved body functioning as the upper chamber of parliament under Ben Ali.

The post also references the RCD party of Ben Ali and November 7, 1987, the day Ben Ali took office.

“Members of the RCD, corrupt judges, dirty unionists, and media personnel of November 7: are all dogs, and the people’s justice should have reached them by scraping them off or punishing on January 14,” Ayari wrote, referring to the date of the 2011 revolution.

Ayari added that he has been ready to go to prison since deciding to criticize the Ben Ali regime 2007.

He told Tunisia Live Monday that his July 2013 Facebook post “wasn’t personally attacking” Thabet, but using him as an example of “a corrupt politician.” He said the post was not a call to kill anyone.

Ayari was convicted under Articles 50 and 51 of Decree 115 of the post-revolutionary press code issued in February 2011.

(Source / 30.01.2014)

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