target: The President of Tunisia Moncef Marzouki The Constituent Assembly of Tunisia The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon
we've got signatures,
help us get to 250
by February 11, 2013
A draft bill to criminalize offenses against ‘sacred values’ was submitted to parliament this week [Wednesday 8 August 2012] by Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party Ennahda.
Human rights defenders warn if passed it would threaten freedom of expression and may worsen an already difficult situation for Tunisia’s gay community.
If passed, the new law would effectively punish remarks and words broadly deemed as insult or mocking the ‘sanctity of religion’ by large fines and imprisonment.
If this draft law is passed it will introduce a new and another form of censorship in a country that already suffers from so much censorship as it is.
This is extreme bill even by most Islamic states standards. It is additionally worrying in the fact that if it was ever to be passed, other Islamic states would follow suit and use Tunisia as a president and by example to establish their own similar laws.
The introduction of this bill also violates International Human Rights law, which generally prohibits criminalising the defamation of religion.
The bill lists subjects it deems sacred in the three Abrahamic religions, including God and the Prophet Mohammed, the earlier prophets, the holy books, mosques, churches and synagogues.
Offences to religious feelings include ‘insults, profanity, derision and representation of Allah and Mohammed’.
The bill orders a prison sentence of up to two years or a fine of 2000 dinars in fines (US$ 1,236, €1,006) to anyone convicted of violating sacred values and up to four years for repeat offences.
"If passed, this draft law would introduce a new form of censorship in a country that suffered from so much censorship under the ousted president," Zine El Abidine Ben Ali [HRW deputy regional director Eric Goldstein] said.
One year after protesters ended the repressive rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisians are still waiting for their human rights to be guaranteed.
We the people of the world request and demand that International Law is not violated and that religious belief do not supersede those of individuals Human Rights.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
embed this petition onto your site or blog
Make a difference for the issues you care about while adding cool interactive
content. Your readers sign without ever leaving your site. It's simple, just choose
your widget size and color and copy the embed code to your site or blog.