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    Trial of Saber Mraihi Postponed

    By Afef Abrougui | Oct 1 2013 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

    Tags: Azyz Amami ,Lina Ben Mhenni ,saber mraihi ,Tunisian revolution

    An image of the imprisoned Saber Mraihi, shared widely on social networks. Photo credit: Facebook.

    More than one year after his initial arrest, the controversial legal case of a man awaiting trial for his activities during the 2011 revolution has been further delayed.

    Saber Mraihi is accused of assaulting a police officer and setting fire to his car shortly after the 2011 revolution, but supporters believe he is being unfairly targeted for his participation in the uprising that overthrew the government of former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. [display_posts type="related" limit="3" position="right"]

    The trial was postponed Tuesday because the plaintiff and his lawyers did not appear at a scheduled court date, according to activist and blogger Lina Ben Menni.

    Mraihi was arrested in 2012 and is accused of attempted homicide, armed robbery, and setting other people’s properties on fire, his sister Samia Mraihi said in an interview with Molotov Lejournal.

    The twenty-five year old Mraihi was a member of a local committee to protect his neighborhood from the acts of vandalism that followed the fall of the Ben Ali regime.

    After the ousting of Ben Ali, the security situation in Tunisia grew chaotic. In the absence of official security forces, young men across the country created informal local committees to protect their neighborhood from looters and vandals.

    According to investigative blog Nawaat, a police officer alleged that Mraihi assaulted him and set fire to his car on January 16, 2011, two days after the fall of Ben Ali. The officer claimed that Mraihi was joined by other members of the local protection committee in the Kabbaria district of Tunis. [display_posts type="same_author" limit="3" position="right"]

    Mraihi was not arrested, however, until April 2012, more that one year after the incident allegedly took place.

    According to police documents obtained by Nawaat, the evidence used to prosecute him is a video uploaded on Facebook that dates back to January 2011. In the video, Mraihi reportedly said: “As long as we are here, these dogs [referring to police officers] will not come through.” The video has since been deleted.

    Mraihi had spent 412 days in prison awaiting trial before being released in May, Abdelnaceur Laouini, a member of his legal team, told Tunisia Live.

    To those supporting him, he is being prosecuted for simply participating in the Tunisian Revolution.

    ‘’Mraihi was not convicted over an opinion but for what he is and for what he did at that time: a young revolutionary man. They are sentencing his active commitment to this process,” activist Azyz Amami wrote this month in a letter addressed to French philosopher Edgar Morin.

    In an interview broadcast on the Nessma television station on Monday, Mraihi called upon civil society and activists to continue supporting him and all those jailed over “charges related to the revolution.”

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