Alaa Eddine Yaakoubi, better known as "Oueld El 15" ("The 15-Year-Old Boy"), was recently sentenced to two years in prison for a rap song he created in which he was accused of "insulting the police".
The song appears in a video, called "Cops Are Dogs", which shows police physically harming people. During the sentencing for Yaakoubi, police forced journalists and supporters of him out of the courtroom, chasing them and beating them.
This is just one of many trials in Tunisia that have concluded in artists, journalists, and other individuals being charged for criticizing the government. For example, Tunisian bloggers were recently sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for writings considered offensive to Islam.
Citizens should be able to voice their opinions and exercise their freedom of speech without being punished.
Please tell Tunisia to uphold the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion and stop jailing its citizens for criticizing their government!
Dear Tunisia Government,
Recently Alaa Eddine Yaakoubi was sentenced to two years in prison for a song called "Cops Are Dogs", which in the video shows cops physically harming people. Known as the 15-year-old boy, at his trial his supporters and journalists were forced out of the courtroom, chased, and beaten.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened -- recently two bloggers were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for writings considered offensive to Islam. Many other bloggers, artists, and journalists have been charged with similar "crimes".
Tunisians should be able to voice their opinions and express their right to freedom of speech without fear of being punished. Please uphold these rights and make sure this doesn't happen again.
Thank you for your time.