Police rape woman in Tunisia, then charge her with indecency. Should the US step in?
angrily protesting the treatment of a woman who was allegedly raped by
police officers -- and then charged with public indecency when she filed
"At best, charging the
victim of a rape by police officers instead of protecting her from
intimidation and stigma highlights the deep flaws on Tunisian law and
criminal justice system," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy Middle East
and North Africa program director at Amnesty International.
"At worst, it is an insidious attempt to discredit a rape victim and protect those she accused of raping her."
The case began September 3
when three police officers approached the woman and her fiance while
they were in their car in the capital Tunis, the woman's lawyer told
Two of the officers then
raped the woman inside the car, while the third took her fiance to a
nearby ATM to extort money from him, the woman claimed.
It was only after she
filed a complaint against the officers -- and they were charged with
rape and extortion -- that the officers said they found the couple in an
"immoral position" in the car.
"This case first shocked
public opinion since the innocent woman was raped by policemen," said
Salah Eddine El Jorshi of the Tunisian League of Human Rights. "But when
the verdict was announced, we were shocked even more that they tried to
take this to another level by targeting the victim herself."
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