Tunis, Tunisia - Tunisian blogger, Jaber Mejri, imprisoned for more than two years for publishing online caricatures deemed 'blasphemous' and 'offensive' to the Prophet Muhammad, was released Tuesday evening, PANA learnt from his lawyer, Bochra Belhaj Hamida.
According to counsel, Mejri is 'back home' in Mahdia, a town about 100 kilometres south of Tunis.
She assured that protective measures have been taken to ensure his safety, for fear of threats from extremists.
Despite the presidential pardon of 19 February, he was kept in prison to everyone’s surprise, following a warrant issued in a case of 'embezzlement' in a transport company he worked for.
His lawyers lodged an appeal and won the case before the court which ordered his release on bail, pending a court appearance.
The support committee of the blogger, considered to be 'the first prisoner of conscience in the post- revolution Tunisia', welcomed his release, saying in a statement that it was 'a victory for all advocates of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression'.
The Committee stated that it 'will remain active until charges against Jaber Mejri are dropped and until he is cleared'.
The 29-year surfer was sentenced in 2012 to seven and a half years in prison for 'disturbing public order' and 'infringing morality', given that the Criminal Code provides for no punishment in case of 'blasphemy' .
Involved in the same case, his friend Ghazi Beji, who had received a similar sentence, preferred to flee to France where he was granted political asylum.