In the early hours of November 16, 2011, Tunisian prisoner Yosri Trigui, aged 27, who was convicted of terrorism by the Iraqi authorities, was executed in Iraq. Trigui had entered the Iraqi territories when he was only 19 years old.
On May 20, 2006, he was arrested by United States (US) forces, and later on in that same year he was sentenced to death by a court in Baghdad for his alleged involvement in the bombing of one of Shi'a's holiest sites al-Askari shrine, in the city of Samarra, and the killing of a journalist from Al-Arabiya channel, Atwar Bahjat. The bombing lit the flame for sectarian violence between the Sunnis and Shi'ites in Iraq.
In 2009, and due to lack of evidence, the death penalty was overturned, and Trigui was sentenced to 15 years in prison for entering ”the Iraqi territories illegally.” His family claims that, in February 2011, and in a phone call he told them that he had been sentenced – in absentia – to death, again.
His father wrote [ar], before the execution of his son on the Facebook page, ‘Tous pour que Yosri Trigui rentre chez lui, en tunisie’ (All united so that Yosri Trigui returns home to Tunisia) [fr]:
In July, 2011, Amnesty International appealed to the Iraqi authorities to commute the death penalty against Trigui, who ”was sentenced to death following a trial which appeared not to meet international standards for fair trials”, said the organization in a statement.
According to Amnesty, Trigui, was among 11 people convicted of terrorist acts, to be hanged on November 16.
The execution of Trigui divided Tunisian netizens. There are those who believe, that for his involvement in the killing of dozens of innocent people, he deserved the punishment he got.
@djerbafr tweets [fr]:
avant de pleurer l’exécution de #yossritriki ayez une petite pensée pour la famille des centaines de ses victimes!
Le supplice du Pal adds [fr]:
ce n'etait q'un terroriste… pourquoi s'indigner
Those who sympathized with Trigui's plight claim that his trial did not meet international standards, and that he might have been brainwashed to commit such atrocities.
Blogger Tarek Kahlaoui blamed the current interim government for not doing enough to save him [ar]:
Tarek Kahloui urged the Tunisian authorities to intervene in order to save the lives of other Tunisians sentenced to death in Iraq:
Tarek Cheniti notes [fr]:
Dégouté par l’annonce de l’exécution de Yosri Trigui en Irak. Stop à toute cette violence y’en a marre.
In protest against the execution, a Tunisian hacker known as GlaDiaT0R hacked a page of the website of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. ”We do not forget, we do not forgive, we are not anonymous, we are Tunisians. Expect us” was the message published by the hacker, in an imitation to the style of the international hacking group Anonymous.
Meanwhile, the writer of the blog Boukornine puts the blame [fr] on Yosri, his father, the Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi, and the Tunisian elite:
J'accuse Yosri Triqui de naïveté, de bêtise, d'avoir été embobiné, endoctriné, manipulé (…)Je l'accuse… d'avoir faussement rassuré l'opinion publique(…)J'accuse l'élite tunisienne de ne pas guider cette jeunesse (…)J'accuse le père de Yosri Triqui de glorifier la mort bête et inutile de son enfant, de ne pas s'avouer qu'il a échoué dans son éducation, qu'il n'a pas été là pour le guider quand il a commencé à avoir ces idées macabres (…)Ton départ me torture, Yosri. Ton exécution me hante, je te regarde mais ne vois pas de terroriste.
The writer finishes the post with a message to all parents:
Expliquez à vos enfants que le plus intense et le plus glorieux des djihad est de réussir à l'école, de devenir un bon citoyen, de trouver un boulot, de fonder une famille et de vivre heureux