Media practitioners and activists gathered in Tunis for World Press Freedom Day were shocked to hear that Nabil Karoui, head of Nessma television station, has been fined for broadcasting 'Persepolis' the award-winning Franco-Iranian film about a child's account of the Iranian revolution.
Karoui was prosecuted for broadcasting the film on TV even though it had previously been approved for distribution in cinemas.
The film sparked outrage last year because of scenes depicting God, whose representation is banned in Islam. Police fired tear gas at large crowds of angry protestors to stop them marching on the TV station in October 2011.
Karoui was fined 2,400 dinars ($1550) for "disturbing public order and attacking moral values", a sentence much lighter than the prison term sought by religiously conservative politicians.
This incident highlights the challenges involved in balancing the rights of all people in a modern, multicultural nation.
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