Court issues fines for broadcast of ′Persepolis′ | News | DW | 03.05.2012
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Court issues fines for broadcast of 'Persepolis'

After broadcasting the film 'Persepolis' in October, an animated film that contains a depiction of God forbidden in Islam, a Tunisian TV station boss has been slapped with a fine.

The head of a television station that screened the award-winning Franco-Iranian film "Persepolis" in October was fined by a Tunisian court on Thursday for "broadcasting a film that disturbs public order and threatens proper morals."

The animated film, which is a take on the Iranian revolution through the eyes of a young girl, includes a depiction of God, which is considered sacrilegious in Islam.

Nabil Karoui, who runs the private Nessma TV station that showed the movie, was given a fine of 2,400 dinars (1,200 euros, $1,575). Two other workers at Nessma were also fined.

When the film aired in October, it sparked a furious response from some Muslims in Tunisia. The TV station as well as Karoui's home were attacked.

Defenders of Karoui say the guilty verdict infringes his right to freedom of the press in a country that is still finding its footing ahead of its first democratic elections following the fall of former dictator Ben Ali, which was brought on by popular protests.

Karoui could have faced a much heavier sentence of up to three years in prison. His lawyers have said they will appear the decision of the court.

mz/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)