REG Mhenni-1580132401271
In this file photo taken on October 7, 2013 Human rights defender, internet-activist and blogger Lina Ben Mhenni, who was previously nominated for the Nobel Peace prize, holds a camera as she arrives to attend the trial of two Tunisian rappers Mustapha Fakhfakh and Aymen El-Fikih at the court in the Tunis suburb of Ben Arous. Ben Mhenni, an activist blogger who was prominent during the popular uprising that led to the downfall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, died on January 27, 2020 at the age of 36 from long-term complications of kidney failure. / AFP / Fethi Belaid AND Fethi Belaid Image Credit: AFP

Tunis: Acclaimed Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni, who chronicled the popular uprising that toppled longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, died on Monday aged 36 after a long illness, her family said.

Despite the risks, Ben Mhenni for years spoke out against the Ben Ali regime through her blog “Tunisian Girl”.

She travelled to disadvantaged cities in the country’s interior and used social media to broadcast some of the first expressions of anger against those in power.

After young street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest against police harassment on December 17, 2010, Ben Mhenni was the first blogger to go to Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the revolution.

In English, French and Arabic, her chronicles of the uprising were the highlight of her engagement against the dictatorship.

Ben Mhenni had been touted as a Nobel Peace Prize frontrunner in 2011 for chronicling the protests that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

Battle with chronic illness

After the revolution, she continued to fight for human rights and freedoms, despite suffering from a chronic illness.

Tributes have poured in for the young human rights activist.

“After years of battles, both physically and mentally, Lina Ben Mhenni has left us,” fellow activist Amira Yahyaoui wrote on Twitter.

She “will be remembered as the most amazing citizen”.

She will be buried on Tuesday.

In 2011, Ben Mhenni released a book titled “Tunisian Girl: A blogger for an Arab Spring”. She also taught English at a university in Tunis.

She took part in multiple demonstrations and trials on freedom of expression.

In her final months, Ben Mhenni had denounced the state of hospitals in the Tunisian capital.