Suspended jail term for Tunisia martyr’s mother

SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — The mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked Tunisia's revolution, was given a suspended four-month jail term on Friday for insulting an official, the justice ministry said.

Manoubia Bouazizi, 60, was handed the suspended sentence after being convicted by a court in the central western town of Sidi Bouzid of insulting an official, ministry official Mondher Bedhiafi said.

Earlier, a court source told AFP that she was found guilty of "insulting an official while he was performing his duties and of indecent behavior."

Bouazizi, who was arrested last week after an angry altercation with a judge in the Sidi Bouzid court, was freed on Friday following the verdict.

She had originally been at the courthouse to sign documents that would allow her to receive government compensation awarded to "martyrs of the revolution."

The popular uprising in Tunisia that touched off the Arab Spring began in December 2010 when Bouazizi's son Mohamed, a 26-year-old who was complaining of unemployment and police harassment, set himself on fire.

The Bouazizi family later had to leave Sidi Bouzid, as rumurs circulated that Mohamed's mother had profited unjustly from his death.

Tunisia's mass protests forced long-time strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country for Saudi Arabia on 14 January 2011.

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