Tunisians protest woman's treatment in rape case

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By Sarah Barchus

Hundreds of Tunisians protested Tuesday to support a woman who was accused with violating modesty laws after she reported two police officers raped her, The New York Times reported.

Human rights groups like the Tunisian League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women called for protests outside the Tunis courthouse where the second session in a series of hearing took place Tuesday, the Cable News Network reported.

The woman's lawyer said the case began Sept. 3 when the woman and her fiancé were in their car in Tunisia's capital and three police officers approached them, CNN reported.

The woman said one of the police held her fiancé back while the other two raped her, The New York Times reported. Only after the woman filed a complaint, the police said they found the couple in an "immoral position" and in turn charged them with "intentional indecent behavior," which could lead to up to six months in prison, CCN reported.

"This caused a major upheaval in Tunisian public opinion," Salah Eddine El Jorshi of the Tunisian League of Human Rights said. "Some felt that maybe the woman was part of the crime, but others strongly felt that she was solely targeted because she was a woman," CNN reported.

The case turned Tunisia's focus to the government and how it will address women's rights in the new constitution, which a moderate Islamist-led coalition is drafting, the New York Times reported.

Last month, a U.N. Human Rights Council's recommend that the government abolish discrimination against women in areas like inheritance and child custody, CNN reported. The government rejected the proposal.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on October 3, 2012 10:02 AM.

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