Friday 15 December 2017

Children’s magazine faces charge after printing guide to making petrol bomb

Tarek Amara

A POPULAR children's magazine is to be prosecuted for telling its young readers how to make a petrol bomb.

The latest edition of "Qaws Quzah" - Arabic for "Rainbow" – in Tunisia featured a piece about the history of petrol bombs in its "Knowledge Corner", including detailed instructions and a diagram.

"It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage because it is easy to make and use," the article read.

The magazine, read for decades in Tunisia by boys and girls aged 5 to 15, has no political orientation. But the article touched a raw nerve in a country still seeking to tame the unrest stirred up by last year's successful revolution, the first of the Arab Spring.

The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article "encourages violent and terrorist thought" as well as endangering children's lives by "encouraging the use of Molotov cocktails in acts of vandalism or terrorism".

It said it would ask an investigating magistrate to open a case against the publishers and all those involved in the issue. While the specific charges will be for the judge to decide, the ministry's comments suggested they could include incitement to violence.

Tunisia's revolution led to the democratic election of a transitional government headed by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, but violence persists among extreme religious groups, during which petrol bombs have been a weapon of choice.

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