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Tunisian Graffiti Artists Fined, Most Serious Charges Dismissed

A Tunisian court in Gabes, in the South East of Tunisia, fined graffiti artists Oussama Bouagila and Chahine Berriche, 100 Tunisian Dinars [approximately 63 USD], for “writing, without permission, on public property” today [April 10, 2013]. However, the court dismissed the most serious charges of “breaching the state of emergency” and “publishing fake news that could disturb public order”.

Photo Via Zwewla Facebook Page

Photo Via Zwewla Facebook Page


Last November, Bouagila and Berriche were caught by police as they were drawing a graffiti that says “the people want the poor's rights.” The two young men are members of the street art group Zwewla [ar] ["the poor" in Tunisian dialect], known for drawing graffiti in support of the underprivileged and the poor.
Caricature by Nidhal Ghariani

Caricature by Nidhal Ghariani


In a statement, the support committee for Zwewla, described [fr] the verdict as a “symbolic victory for free expression”:

Le Comité de soutien #FreeZwewla est fier de cette victoire symbolique et annonce des initiatives et actions qui auront lieu prochainement afin de réunir l’argent demandé et de régler cette amende.

The support committee #FreeZwewla is proud of this symbolic victory, and announces that a number of initiatives and actions will take place soon to collect the needed sum of money and pay the fine

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