Religious minorities are concerned at the rise of puritanical Islamic groups in post-revolution Tunisia – I’ve cut this package and it’s available for sale. Please leave a comment or contact @billcode on Twitter if you’re interested in screening it.
A Tunisian court today handed down a handful of fines to a Tunisian TV station which had the temerity to broadcast the Franco-Iranian animated film Persepolis, and thus offend public sentiments due to its depiction of God in one admittedly brief scene.
Something of a test-case in Tunisia, the trial of the Nessma TV chief Nabil Karoui and his colleagues has been criticised by secular Tunisians and press freedom organisations, keen to see a fearless media flower in the post-revolution environment. As it happens, no one is really happy with today’s result of a fine instead of jail time; the prosecutors and conservative protesters outside the courthouse today wanted time served, and organisations such as Reporters Sans Frontieres say there should be no fine at all. As it stands, the prosecution looks set to appeal the decision not to award a taxpayer-funded holiday in the lock-up.
Balcony beep beep-BGAN, Sony Z1 and iPad autocue: France24’s David Thomson does his stand-up after my Anglophone take.
I reported on the happenings in front of the court and the reaction in Tunisia for France24 English, via a series of live crosses and phone interviews. Which is quite fitting, as in Tunisia everyone thinks that as a white journalist, you’re naturally working for France24 anyway. Thankfully, no Salafists turned up to the hearing to clobber me over the head for my (perceived) role in extending the hand of soft French power, as I was half expecting.
It’s an interesting operation, with both English and French BGAN’d from the balcony of Francophone correspondent David Thomson. Voila.
I took a trip to the Gafsa region of Tunisia this weekend, including the mining towns of Redeyef and Umm-al-Arais, where there’s still plenty of unemployment and festering discontent 18 months after the start of the revolution. Speak to locals, and it’s a revolution which began out in these phosphate towns, and not in Sidi Bouzid as is widely reported. I travelled with local photographer Nacer Talel who interpreted, and we spoke to the unemployed, phosphate company workers and miners, the firebrand unionist Adnan Hajji and formerly jailed journalist Fahem Boukadous. Here’s a blog on the issue for SBS News.
There’s phosphates in them there hills: Photo Bill Code (use with credit and URL)
The face peered down from the statue in the middle of Redeyef’s roundabout; the martyr’s eye keeping watch over his peers.
Images like this one have become commonplace since Tunisia’s revolution was borne from the vegetable seller who self-immolated in a desperate bid for recognition of his situation.
It was in the same style of one particularly his face peering out, along with his name and date of death.
But there it was, clearly written: 2008. Not 2010, the year that Bouazizi kicked off the Tunisian revolution and broader Arab Spring.
Below – remembering the martyr’s of 2008 alongside those of January 2011. (Photo: Bill Code. Use with credit and URL)