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Tunisia: Campaign to Free Government Critic Samir Feriani

This page is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

A group of Tunisian bloggers and activists have launched a campaign to free Samir Feriani, a former senior official in Tunisia's Interior Ministry who has been detained since May, 29, 2011.

Feriani was arrested after publishing two letters in the magazine “Al-Khabeer” (The Expert) where he claimed that people holding key positions in the Interior Ministry were responsible for the killing of peaceful protesters during the Tunisian Revolution. He also claimed that classified documents showing collaboration between ousted Tunisian president Ben Ali and Israel's secret service, the Mossad, were intentionally destroyed by officials in the ministry.

On July 11, Houssem Hajlaoui wrote on the collective blog Nawaat that the campaign aims to engage Tunisian artists in the cause. He writes:

Il n’est plus acceptable en Tunisie qu’un citoyen Tunisien soit arrêté, menacé, ou intimidé pour une position ou des propos. La liberté d’expression est une ligne rouge!Un nombre d’activistes de Nawaat, Al Machad et d’autres comme Fatma Arabica et Alé BEN ABDALLAH, nous avons lancé une action de soutien pour exiger la libération de Mr. Samir FERIANI.

It is no longer acceptable in Tunisia, to arrest, threaten or intimidate Tunisian citizens for their opinions. Freedom of expression is a red line! A number of activists from Nawaat, Al Machad, and others like Fatma Arabicca, and Alé Ben Abdallah have launched an action of support to free Mr. Samir Feriani.

The first two artists to join the campaign are Tunisian singers, Bendir Man, and Amel Mathlouthi.
During his last performance in Tunis, Bendi Man wore a T-shirt that said “Free Feriani”.

On Twitter, Eya Turki said on July 9:

Sinon c'tait sympa ce concert de @bendir_man et Baaziz, surtout leur soutien à la cause #FreeFeriani !

The concert of @bendir_man and Baaziz was nice, especially their support to the cause #FreeFeriani!

Singer Amel Mathlouthi on Stage Showing Support to Samir Feriani. Photo shared by Nawaat

An online petition to Free Samir Feriani [Fr] was signed by 453 persons in the first five days. A widget was also created for bloggers who want to show their support for Samir Feriani. Meanwhile Twitter users can follow the latest news about the campaign vis the hashtag #Freeferiani.

This page is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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