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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tunisian TV executive fined over showing "blasphemous" film

Last year I reported about how a Tunisian TV director was stand trial for screening an "offensive" cartoon, called Persepolis, which shows how an Iranian girl conceives of God. Days of violent riots followed, including the firebombing of the director's house.

The director has been fined:

A Tunisian court on Thursday imposed a 2,400-dinar ($1,550) fine on a television boss over blasphemy charges after a trial that deepened the division between Islamists and secularists.

The director of Nessma television is accused of insulting sacred values by screening the film “Persepolis,” which showed depictions of God.

Nabil Karoui was charged over the decision by his Nessma television station to broadcast the award-winning animated film that includes a scene depicting Allah, which is forbidden in Islam.

“Persepolis” is a cartoon film directed by comic book writer Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic regime of Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeiny through the eyes of a precocious young girl.

Nessma’s head, Nabil Karoui had earlier said in January at the opening of his hearing: “I am sorry to be here today, this is a political trial.

It’s the trial of 10 million Tunisians who dreamed of having a democratic country.”
While he could have been jailed, the penalty is still a serious setback for human rights in post-revolution Tunisia.