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Tunisians defend their right to free speech

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Tunisians defend their right to free speech


An estimated 2,000 Tunisians have marched through the capital Tunis to defend their right to free speech.

The rally was in response to recent Islamic attacks on the Nessma Television channel for broadcasting an animated film featuring a depiction of god.

Such an image is forbidden under Islamic law.

The film Persepolis is an award winning cartoon based on an account of a woman growing up in Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Its broadcast has polarised religious and secular groups within Tunisia ahead of the country’s first election since the ousting of its president earlier this year.

A test vote for that poll has been held in Tunis to ensure a smooth run on October 23. The election is for an assembly which will write the nation’s new constitution.

But the vote is pitting Islamists who are free to express their faith for the first time against secularists who say their liberal values are under threat. It is thought the well organised Islamist Ennahda party will emerge as the largest in the assembly.

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