Tunisian blogger wins pardon, stays in jail anyway
Feb. 20, 2014
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The attorney for a blogger given a seven-year prison sentence for blasphemy says his client remains behind bars on politically motivated charges despite a presidential pardon.
The lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, said Thursday that the blogger, Jaber Mejeri, has been charged with embezzlement and kept in prison despite this week's pardon of his 2012 conviction.
Mejeri was found guilty of disturbing public order and public morals after posting cartoons deemed insulting to Islam on Facebook. The case and its heavy sentence were seen as emblematic of the threats in post-revolutionary Tunisia to freedom of expression.
Mrabet said he had not known anything about the new charges alleging Mejeri embezzled money from his former employer, Tunisia's railway company, and discovered them only when seeking his client's release.