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Indecency case against Tunisian rape victim dismissed

Photo: AFP

Charges against a 27-year-old Tunisian woman who was allegedly raped by policemen and then arrested for indecency were dropped by a court in Tunis on Thursday, according to her lawyers. She had faced up to six months in prison.

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The case against a young Tunisian woman, who was allegedly raped by two policemen in September and then slapped with indecency charges, was dismissed by judges on Thursday, her lawyers said.

The charges against the 27-year-old woman and her boyfriend, whom police said were caught in an “immoral position” in their car on September 3 just before the purported attack took place, sparked outrage in the couple’s native Tunisia and abroad.

Tunisian feminists, NGOs and members of the opposition said the case had turned the victim into the accused and exemplified the moderate Islamist-led government's drive to roll back women’s rights.

Two police officers involved in the case have been charged with rape, are awaiting trial and risk the death penalty, while a third is charged with extorting money from the woman’s fiancé.

Speaking to France 24 by telephone in September, the fiancé spoke of the couple’s harrowing ordeal and said the third police officer held him back when he attempted to help his girlfriend.

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in October offered a state apology to the woman.

"The Tunisian president received the young woman raped by the policemen... and after listening to the details of this painful case... he expressed total sympathy (with the woman) and offered a state apology," a statement from his office said.

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