Tunisians outraged over 'immorality' charges against woman for accusing police of rape
Hundreds of women staged protests outside a courthouse in Tunis as a hearing began into whether or not a young woman and her fianc', who have lodged a rape claim against police, should face charges of 'immorality'.
The 27-year-old woman has recounted in media interviews how she had been in the driving seat with her boyfriend beside her, when three police officers approached them.
The woman claimed that after threatening them with possible prison terms if charged with 'immorality', one of the police officers handcuffed her boyfriend and took him to a Cashpoint machine to extract 300 dinars (USD 186) from him.
The two others allegedly took the woman into the back of their car and raped her, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
A rape investigation was launched and the police officers allegedly involved are under arrest.
But to the disgust of many Tunisians, the pre-trial magistrate looking at the case was given the go-ahead to launch a parallel investigation into whether the couple should face an 'immorality' charge, punishable by up to six months in prison.
According to the paper, around 400 people demonstrated, furious that a charge had been introduced against the couple.
A decision is expected from the magistrate soon over whether there is a case to answer on the 'immorality' charges against the couple, in addition to the rape case against the police, the report said.