Tunisian Military Court Sentences Blogger To Three Years In Jail For Defaming Army Officers

B5ugWIBCQAA1JG3The attack on free speech continues unabated around the world. The latest violation occurred in Tunis where a military court has handed down an absurd three year jail sentence to a blogger, blogger Yassine Ayari, for “insulting” Army officers. That is what free speech means in Tunisia. You can be criminally sentenced for “undermining” the Army through criticism.

Ayari had written about financial abuse in the military. The military court responded by convicting Ayari, 33, for “defam[ing] army officers and senior defence ministry officials.” He was convicted on November 18th while he was abroad. He then returned to Tunisia on December 25th and was arrested. He said that he was never informed of the verdict, which is quite believable given his return. (It is worth noting that we once as a nation could condemn the use of military tribunals until we embraced the “option” for some terrorist suspects — allowing presidents to make Caesar like decisions on who gets a real court and who gets a tribunal).

Ayari is undeterred and is standing firm in defense of free speech and his accusations against the Army, which is widely ridiculed. What is notable is that Ayari’s own father died in service of the Army. He was an army colonel who denied in combat with jihadists in May 2011. Now he is fighting an even greater battle against the Army itself.

The very concept of criminal defamation is an assault on free speech. Italy has such an absurd law and has used it against people who dare to criticize police or prosecutors, even in criminal cases as shown in the Amanda Knox case.

Source: Yahoo

29 thoughts on “Tunisian Military Court Sentences Blogger To Three Years In Jail For Defaming Army Officers”

  1. Paul – it was spelled out.
    Inga- I was trying to say, in shorthand, that WHEN JT is out of town…as in I just want to thank you for lettin’ me be mice elf again.

    Oily – SOTU is a good code word.

  2. Ah well, if it neighs and winnies, I guess the feces isn’t as objectionable. 😉

  3. Yup, just tried typing out BS and it put it into moderation. From now on I’ll just type SOTU; that’ll getter done! 😀

  4. No, Bill, I don’t know if he’s out of town now. When my comment was put into moderation an few days ago, he was out of town. And another time time I had some moderation issues, he was also out of town.

  5. Inga,

    JTout of town? Well, ain’t that peculiar. Surely he leaves a trusted somebody with the awe-inspiring duty of gate security. A person who isn’t threatened by ideas, information, or opinion that may conflict with his or her accepted worldview – doncha?

  6. Well thank you Bill. I would like to know if there is a rhyme or reason as to why some of the comments are put into “moderation”, this seems to often happen when JT is out of town.

  7. Bill, I don’t know if the word BS puts a comment into moderation. I know that the word horse$h!t is often used without deletion or moderation. Does the animal that the feces comes from really matter?

  8. Paul, Inga et al.

    Here’s what I wrote:

    Has there been a more vastly overrated person in the past 50 years than Colin Powell? He helped cover up My Lai. He did his part to make sure that the Iran-Contra mess never came fully to light. He buckled under to chickenhawk bullies in the Bush White House and did his part to lie us into a destructive war with a speech to the U.N. that he knew was based on stovepiped from people he already didn’t trust. And still, people trust him and revere him and, I have no doubt, if he came to them shilling another war, they’d salute and agree with him as devoutly as they colin-powell-it-worked-for-me-8834861did back in 2003, when he was before the UN talking about those lagoons of anthrax consomme that didn’t really exist.


    I deleted the word bs from this quote. Maybe that word is verboten?

    1. bill mcwilliams – if it was just bs I do not see the problem. If you spelled it out there might have been a problem.

  9. Mr. McWilliams,
    This is not a manually moderated site. WordPress will automatically snag comments with 3+ links and certain words that I haven’t concerned myself with. Your paranoia/conspiracy theory couldn’t be more unwarranted as Darren DOES NOT sit around in his blog popo hat waiting to dump progressive posts. If that were true then we wouldn’t have so much fun. 😉

  10. Bill, I had a comment put into “moderation” a couple of days ago, because I said someone was a “master debater”, but used it as one word. Did someone think I was saying another word that sounds similar? Or did someone not read carefully? I simply had to chuckle, it was just plain silly. I doubt Professor Turley was the person who put it into moderation.

  11. Karen

    It shows up / “your comment is awaiting moderation”. Nice tacti, huh. Right out of the “how to censor without it be blazeingly obvious that’s what’s going on.

    Also, one intellectual giant called me a four letter word, and unless that uncivil comment was just deleted, it’s still there.

    The Moderator is a LEO – or was one. It’s an old trick: have an apparently progressive forum but use a conservative-right wing Moderator in charge.

    They did that at the Education Forum (Australian military officer – believed to be an intelligence service agent — I think he even admitted so). Finally, new owners have taken over and free speech is now allowed there. I’m talking about: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=126

    1. Bill McWilliams – the ‘awaiting moderation’ is an automatic. It is usually because you used a forbidden word or 3 links. No one is doing it on purpose. It is a WordPress thing.

  12. We are lucky that we live in a country with the most robust free speech freedoms in the world. Hopefully, we will not throw away what we take for granted by Hillary’s attempts to impose international anti-blasphemy laws.

    Bill – sometimes Word Mess eats posts. The only filter rules I know of are no more than 2 web links and no profanity. Either can trigger an automatic filter. But sometimes Word Mess filters comments for no apparent reason. If you write a comment that doesn’t post, try posting a comment asking for help, comment eaten. A moderator can fish it out of the filter. On the other hand, a comment that was posted may be deleted by a moderator if it does not follow the civility rules in the tab at the top. If it never showed up, most likely WM ate it.

  13. DARREN,

    Why is my comment not published, and what is JT’s policy about when you are allowed to decide which comments will be published?

  14. “Perhaps Texas also because the Sixth Commandment does not apply there.”

    It does for the innocent, unborn child; at least they are making an effort there.

  15. We in America must draw a line and establish an Iron Curtain around these Pirate Territories which are basically East of Corfu where the Ten Commandments Don’t Apply. Perhaps Texas also because the Sixth Commandment does not apply there.

  16. (Democracy?)Maybe it was in the recent Idaho thread, but someone said the will of the people can amend the 2nd amendment; all they need is a majority to do so. We had better pray our country maintains enough civics literacy to know speech is a NATURAL RIGHT that no majority can legitimately take away.

  17. Slightly different twist. What’s the U.S. Navy and special Ops teams doing in the Peru Amazon jungle? Hint: 20 tons of cocaine per month. Free speech, the floor is open.

  18. It always bothers me when the military has jurisdiction over civilians. Still, their country, their laws.

  19. Another case for the need of the military to have no jurisdiction over civilians.

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