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54 Moslems Sentenced in Tunis for Participation in Anti-jewish Riots

August 2, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

One Moslem was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years at hard labor, and 53 others received terms ranging up to 15 years at the conclusion of a four day trial in Tunis yesterday on charges of participating in anti-Jewish riots on June 5, the day war broke out between the Arab states and Israel.

The 20-year sentence was given Mohamed Ben Janet, 20, a theological student whom the police charged with leading the riots. In the disturbances, a synagogue was burned down in the capital of Tunisia and many shops owned by Jews were looted. The rioters also set fire to the British Embassy in Tunis and smashed windows in the United States Embassy.

All of the defendants pleaded guilty, but defense counsel maintained there was no proof of their participation in or leadership of the riots. However they were judged by the court on the basis of police reports. Ben Janet was described by the prosecution as a man “known for his political ideas and his opposition to the Tunisian regime.” All of the defendants were under 30 years of age and five were under 17.

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