On August 28, 1992, a military court sentenced Jebali, editor of Al-Fajr, the now-defunct weekly newspaper of the banned Islamic Al-Nahda party, to 16 years in prison. He was tried along with 279 others accused of belonging to Al-Nahda. Jebali was convicted of “aggression with the intention of changing the nature of the state” and “membership in an illegal organization.”
During his testimony, Jebali denied the charges and presented evidence that he had been tortured while in custody. Jebali has been imprisoned since January 1991, when he was sentenced to one year in jail after Al-Fajr published an article calling for the abolition of military courts in Tunisia. International human rights groups monitoring the mass trial concluded that the proceedings fell far below international standards of justice.
Jebali waged two hunger strikes in 2005 to protest his imprisonment.