Tunisian activist Lina Ben Mhenni, one of the main icons of the 2011 Jasmine revolution in Tunisia, died on Monday aged 36 after suffering from a long illness, AFP reports.
Ben Mhenni is founder of the blog ‘A Tunisian Girl‘, which documented the human rights abuses during the rule of former president Ben Ali.
She was the first to report on the first protests after street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on 17 December in 2010, which sparked the Arab uprising.
Her reports of the protests and crackdown in English, French and Arabic were a vital source of information for other reporters.
She won El Mundo’s International Journalism Prize for her “fight for freedom” in 2011, and was also awarded the Deutsche Welle International Blog Award for “A Tunisian Girl”.
“Beautiful human beings like #LinaBenMhenni kindle hope in humanity’s fight in the Arab world against sinister tyrannies,” assistant professor in sociology at the American University in Cairo, Amro Ali, wrote on Twitter, “Thank you Tunisia for giving us Lina, thank you Lina for giving us Tunisia as a shining beacon in the region.”