May 29, 2012
by Afef Abrougui
Monastir Appeal Court has once again postponed issuing a verdict in the case of Jabeur Mejri. On 28 March, a primary court sentenced Mejri along with his friend Ghazi Beji to seven and a half years in prison for publishing cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad. Meji is currently serving his jail sentence, while Beji is now in exile after fleeing the country to avoid persecution.
Defence lawyer Bochra Bel Haji Hmida told Index that Mejri is to be examined in order to determine whether or not he is mentally stable.
Bel Haji Hmida also said that according to Mejri’s family, he has begun to pray to God. “I do not know if it is out of weakness, or if he is convinced,” said the lawyer.
“He is suffering; he faces enormous pressure. His family has received death threats”, she added.
Previously, Mejri reportedly told police that he “does not suffer from any mental disorder” and that the cartoons he published on his Facebook profile page reflect his “beliefs”. When interrogated by police, he said “I do admit that I had published cartoons, and expressions offensive to the prophet…Such acts reflect my beliefs as I do not recognise the Islamic religion, and I am an atheist”.
The next appeal session will take place on 4 June.