#FreeAzyz spreads on social media as Tunisian blogger-revolutionary is arrested for pot

(Via Your Middle East)

Smoking weed or hash is punishable with between one and five years in jail in Tunisia, a law currently used against cyber-activism icon Azyz.

On Monday 12 the Tunisian cyber-activism icon Azyz Amami and photographer Sabri Ben Mlouka were arrested in La Goulette, a seaside suburb to Tunis, accused of being in possession of cannabis.

The arrest has caused an outcry in Tunisia and his supporters claim the arrest is politically motivated. Azyz is one of the young bloggers associated with the uprising in 2011 and is widely known for his political activism, which imprisoned him under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Manifestations have been held in the capital Tunis and social media has exploded with #FreeAzyz trending on Twitter and Facebook.

freeazyz.jpg

Even students from Harvard University have expressed their support by posting photos of themselves holding signs such as “Solidarity from Harvard University #FreeSabri #FreeAzyz.” French philosopher Edgar Morin has also joined the many calls for their release.

The arrest has a legal basis in Law 52/1992, which holds that a citizen found in possession of or having consumed narcotics may be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to 3.000 Dinars. Out of roughly 25.000 Tunisian prisoners, 8.000 are accused of consumption of drugs.

Many direct criticism against the law. Human rights organization Nawaat posted a mocking photo on Facebook warning tourists visiting Tunisia:

 Dear Tourists, make sure that your urine test is negative before entering Tunisia.  Smoking weed or hash is punishable by between one and five years in jail © Nawaat.jpg

“Dear Tourists, make sure that your urine test is negative before entering Tunisia.
Smoking weed or hash is punishable by between one and five years in jail.”

Azyz and Sabri deny all accusations and will appear before court on Thursday.

Mirrored from Your Middle East

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Related video:

Demonstration to free Azyz Amami et Sabri Ben Mlouka

3 Responses

  1. This is not any different than the same tyrannical laws the government here in the states has imposed on its people for the last 40+ years with incarceration, paranoia, fear, etc… The US Govt has been spreading the same false propaganda against its own people against a historically well-documented and researched medicinal plant. I hope changes come to Tunisia, the USA and to this helpful medicinal plant.

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