Jailed Tunisian comic freed

After the jump is a press release (in French) by Tunisian rights activist Sihem Bensedrine on the release of comic Hedi Ouled Baballah, who recently spent two months in prison for cannabis possession. It’s widely believed by Tunisian NGOs that the real reason for his imprisonment (and the beatings he received at the hands of police) was a sketch he made at a private event in Tunis imitating President Zine Eddin Ben Ali. The sketch had been taped by mobile phone and widely circulated in Tunisia.

Don’t forget Tunisia — along with Syria and Jordan it is the worst police state in the region, but is completely ignored by much of the Western media because it is a “liberal” country (i.e. it persecutes Islamists and frowns on the veil). In fact it’s one of the most perverse and most corrupt regimes around — it makes Egypt look good in comparison — and sooner or later this small and relatively developed country will pay the price for ignoring political reform. It’s a real shame, because it some respects it is more like a southern European country in terms of education levels, etc.

Continue reading Jailed Tunisian comic freed

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