Tunisia: Sentence of Imprisonment to the Former Media Advisor of Marzouqi due to accusations of “military contempt”
Cairo September 24, 2012
ANHRI declared its severe resentment due to the verdict issued against “Ayob El-Masoudi”, the former media advisor to the Tunisian president, of imprisoning him for four months with suspend due to accusation of “military contempt”.
On September 22, 2012, the Tunisian Millitary Court sentenced “El-Masoudi” for four months with suspend and delete his name from the travel ban as it added since mid of August 2012. The Chief of Staff “Rashid Ammar”, filed a military lawsuit against “El-Masoudi” due to a statement in which “El-Masoudi” accused him of “Betrayal of the Sate”. He was brought to trial in August 2012, in closed hearings in which the court pressed the charges of “military contempt and disrespect the prestigious of the state” and “pressing false accusations on a public officer” on him.
ANHRI said that “the legal prosecution of the political activists due to criticizing the military institution as a state institution deemed to be severe violation to the freedom of opinion and expression which is guaranteed by Article no. 19 of the international charter on the civil and political rights of which Tunisia is a party in this charter. Moreover, it does mean that this institution enjoys an aura of holiness that the political activists can’t criticize or account.”
ANHRI said “the civilians shall appear before the natural judge, if it is required, which means that they must not appear before the military court or sentences to be issued against them from it. The Military courts shall be only related to the military crimes committed by the military elements.”
ANHRI says that “in the beginning of the new era after the popular revolution, in which the masses called for freedoms, it is not acceptable to violate the freedoms and the fundamental rights of the citizens. It is unimaginable that some of them their lives put into risks and prosecuting them due to exercising their natural right to freedom of opinion and expression”.
ANHRI asserted that “the civil society, various institution, shall bear its responsibility to address who seeks to impose a hostile atmosphere to the freedoms. The civil society institutions shall unite in calling the ruler authorities to protect the rights of the citizens to freedom of opinion and expression”.