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A statement condemning the verdict issued against Amna Al Sharqi: Not to prejudice freedom in the name of sanctities

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

Following the issuance of a ruling to condemn her, on July 14, 2020, by 6 months in prison and 2000 Tunisian dinars fine for violating sanctities and calling for hatred between religions and races, the associations and organizations affiliated with the Observatory for the Defense of the Right to Difference and the Civil Coalition for Individual Freedoms and the associations and organizations that undersign this statement condemn this ruling judicial issued by the Sixth Chamber of the First Instance Court in Tunisia against Amna El Sharqi.

We recall that on May 2, 2020, Amna Al Sharqi published a sarcastic text on her Facebook page entitled “Surat Al-Corona” speaking on the Covid-19 pandemic and simulating the Quranic fence. As a result, she was summoned on May 4 by the police for interrogation. Then, on May 6, she appeared for the same reason in front of the Public Prosecution Office, which decided to prosecute her in accordance with Chapters 52 and 53 of Decree No. 115 of 2011 of November 2, 2011 related to freedom of the press, printing, and publishing for “violating religious rites permitted to practice” and “inciting inter-religious hatred. This makes her subject to a maximum prison sentence of 3 years. This was not achieved in the, as the text of “Surat Al-Corona” does not in any way represent an attack on religious rituals and does not include any discrimination, incitement, or incitement to hatred.

It is also worth noting that articles 52 and 53 are in stark contrast to the provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of opinion, thought and expression in accordance with Article 31. It also guarantees freedom of conscience and belief in its sixth chapter and with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Tunisia.

On this basis, the constituent associations of the Observatory for the Defense of the Right to Difference and a number of human rights organizations that follow below express their deep regret at the results of violations of freedoms and freedom of expression in Tunisia and call for:

  • 1- Adopting a penal policy that preserves freedom of thought, opinion, and conscience by refraining from following people in order to express their beliefs in any space.
  • 2- More professional treatment by the media of such issues and not directing them in order to serve political or factional interests, as the ruling over Amna was leaked and published by the media before it was demarcated in the court book
  • 3- Calls upon the undersigning organizations and associations to support Amna Al-Sharqi with all possible means, and call in all platforms for the necessity of devoting freedom of conscience, opinion and expression.

The signatory organisations:

  1. Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LTDH)
  2. The Tunisian Judges Association 
  3. Tunisian Association for Democratic Women
  4. The Association to Activate the Right to Difference
  5. Tunisian Association for Defending Individual Liberties
  6. Beity Association
  7. Bawsala
  8. The Tunisian Association for the Defense of University Values
  9. The Tunisian Association of Cultural Mobility
  10. The convergence society
  11. “We are not to to be traded” association
  12. Unity in diversity Association
  13. Tunisian Association DEMJ for justice and equality
  14. The Tunisian Association for Combating Violence “Mawjoudin”
  15. “Chouf” Association
  16. “Tunisia that we want” Association
  17. The Tunisian Association for the Amazigh Culture
  18. Tunisian Association of Rural Women, Jendouba
  19. The Tunisian Association for Positive Prevention
  20. League of Female Voters (LET)
  21. Second Chapter Association
  22. Association of Female Citizens
  23. Tunisian Association for Studies on Gender
  24. Association My Arts Against Me
  25. Kalam Association
  26. Tawhida ben Cheikh Group for Research and Action for Women Health
  27. The National Observatory of Defense of the Civilization of the State
  28. Association of prospects – the Tunisian worker
  29. The Association of Arts and Cultures in both sides
  30. Creation and Creativity Association for Development and Employment
  31. The Association of Citizenship, development, cultures, and immigration on both sides (CDCMIR)
  32. The Euro-Mediterranean Rights Network
  33. Danr Organisation
  34. “Together” Association
  35. Tunisian Union of Associative Media 
  36. Shams Association
  37. Tunisian Female Association for Research on Development (AFTURD)
  38. Mnemti Assocoation
  39. Female Voices Association
  40. Initiative “We exist for equality”
  41. Association of Street Art
  42. Citizenship and Freedom Association
  43. Medenine Association for Development and Strategic Studies
  44. Zarzis New Visions
  45. Tunisian Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Child
  46. Anti-Violence Association
  47. Ibsar Association for Culture and Entertainment of People with Visual Disabilities
  48. Yakadha Association
  49. Hassan Al-Saadawi Foundation for Democracy and Equality
  50. Tunisian Association for Reproductive Health
  51. International Federation for Human Rights
  52. Access Now
  53. World Organization Against Torture
  54. Lawyers Without Borders Organisation
  55. Democratic Transition and Human Rights Support Center (DAAM)

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

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