A Tunisian court yesterday sentenced a civil society activist to three months in prison after being charged with insulting President Beji Caid Essebsi.
According to local radio station Shams FM, the defendant allegedly graffitied obscene words on to a wall in the streets of Kairouan. The defendant denied the allegations.
This is not the first time that activists have been arrested for insulting President Essebsi. In November 2017, two people were arrested on charges of spreading a rumour that the 92-year-old Essebsi had died. Prosecutors said that the defendants’ goal was to “stir confusion and chaos”.
Tunisian blogger Sahbi Amri was also arrested in August last year for publishing blog entries that allegedly insulted Essebsi.
Essebsi has been president of Tunisia since December 2014. Previously he served as minister of foreign affairs from 1981 to 1986 and as prime minister from February 2011 to December 2011.