Courtroom clash cuts short trial over “Persepolis”

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Fol­low­ing a court­room foo­faraw, the trial in Tunisia’s cap­i­tal over the air­ing of the ani­mated French movie Perse­po­lis was cut short last Thursday.

The judge in Tunis was prompted to call an adjourn­ment until Jan­u­ary 23 after lawyers for both sides shouted at each other and traded insults.

Last month, the pri­vate Nessma tele­vi­sion chan­nel drew anger from Islamic fun­da­men­tal­ists when it broad­cast a dubbed ver­sion of expa­tri­ate direc­tor Mar­jane Satrapi’s adap­ta­tion of her graphic nov­els about grow­ing up dur­ing the 1979 Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion in Iran. Perse­po­lis won the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

The film includes a scene show­ing a char­ac­ter rep­re­sent­ing God. In Islam, depic­tions of God are con­sid­ered sacrilegious.

Sta­tion owner Nabil Karoui’s home was attacked by a mob hold­ing gaso­line bombs.

I am very sad when I see that the peo­ple that burned my house are free while I am here because I broad­cast a film which was autho­rized,” Karoui told jour­nal­ists out­side the courtroom.

He called the trial against him and his sta­tion the begin­ning of the “death of free­dom of expression.”

Under ques­tion­ing from the judge, Karoui apol­o­gized for those who felt insulted by the film. He repeated his belief that the broad­cast was in good faith.

Dur­ing his tes­ti­mony, lawyers for the two sides started insult­ing each other. After calm couldn’t be restored, the judge adjourned the session.

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MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.


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