Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

International Francophone Games kick off in Abidjan

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spicer bows out of White House

Read more

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

Read more

Africa

TV boss goes on trial for showing 'Persepolis'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-17

The head of Tunisian station Nessma TV, Nabil Karoui (pictured), went on trial Thursday for "undermining" sacred Islamic values when his channel broadcast the animated film Persepolis, about Iran’s 1979 revolution. Karoui risks three years in prison.

AFP - A Tunisian television channel boss went on trial Thursday amid rowdy scenes in a packed court for "undermining sacred values" by showing the film "Persepolis", to the wrath of Islamic hardliners.

"I feel an immense sadness because the people who wanted to destroy the channel are free and I am here because I broadcast a film," Nabil Karoui, the head of private Nessma TV, said when he arrived at the courtroom in Tunis.

Two of his employees were also on trial. After an hour of noisy debates, the proceedings were adjourned until January 23 at the request of the defence team and the prosecution alike.

The court was filled with hundreds of people including numerous workers for Nessma TV, who had crowded into the small audience room. Lawyers also loudly argued with each other and some wanted the proceedings to be broadcast.

Nessma TV's broadcast of the animated film "Persepolis" on October 7, dubbed into the Tunisian dialect, provoked a wave of protests that included an attack on the station's offices and violent street demonstrations.

"Persepolis", a globally acclaimed film on Iran's 1979 revolution, offended many Muslims because of a scene showing a representation of God. All depictions of God are forbidden by Islam.

Karoui, who faces a suit filed by more than 140 lawyers, is being prosecuted for "undermining sacred values, undermining decent standards and causing trouble to public order." He risks three years in prison.

"I am going to plead not guilty, of course," he told AFP before the trial.

The unrest sparked by the film began with an attempted attack by Islamist hardliners on the headquarters of Nessma TV in Tunis and culminated when more than 100 people carried out a firebomb attack on Karoui's home on October 14. He was absent, but his family had to flee.

Witnesses said the attackers were members of the ultra-conservative Salafist sect, who continued the violence even though Karoui apologised for showing the most controversial scene in the film.

Date created : 2011-11-17

  • TUNISIA

    Moderate Islamist party big winner in Tunisia’s election

    Read more

  • Tunisia

    Tunisians show support for 'offensive' TV station

    Read more

COMMENT(S)