The rights group Amnesty International is calling on the Tunisian authorities to halt the prosecution of blogger Emna Chergui, whose trial is set to begin on Thursday.
The 27-year-old blogger is being prosecuted for sharing a satirical post about coronavirus on her social media account that looks like a verse from Islam’s holy book, the Koran.
If convicted, Ms Chergui could face a prison sentence of up to three years.
Imitating a Koranic text is considered a violation of something that is deemed to be sacred.
The image, which was reportedly designed and originally shared by an Algerian atheist who lives in France, contains text that says the virus came from China and tells people to wash their hands.
In a statement, Amnesty's North Africa director Amna Guellali said the right to freedom of expression extended to what “some might consider shocking or offensive”.
She called on the Tunisian government to amend the law "so they are compliant with human rights".
In early May, when the post was first shared during the fasting month of Ramadan and while the country was still largely under lockdown, it caused a stir online.
The head of one political party condemned it without naming her, saying the state had a duty to protect what was sacred in the same way it did to prohibit apostasy and incitement to hatred - but he called for a punishment other than imprisonment.
You may also be interested in: