Tunisia government responsible for police impunity: lawyer
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Tunisia's Islamist-led government is "morally and politically" responsible for police attacks against women, the lawyer for a young women allegedly raped by two policeman and charged with indecency said on Thursday.
"It has a political and moral responsibility," Bouchra Belhaj Hamida told AFP.
Police violence "is not organised, but the language of the (Ennahda) party on women has paved the way for it," she added.
"Since October (when the Islamists were elected to power), there have been many cases of moral, sexual and financial harassment by the police. When they see a modern woman, a Tunisian woman, they reckon they have the right to hold them to account" for their behaviour, Hamida said.
"Women victims (of harassment) are then condemned."
"There is a feeling of impunity among the police," the lawyer charged.
"It is too soon to say whether this case will change things... (but) there is the ever-present question of police reform, and it must be decided on what basis it will take place," she added.
The interior ministry insists that the police are held to account like everybody else when they commit crimes.
Hamida's client, who was allegedly raped on September 3, is accused along with her fiance of "indecency" by the coppers, the couple having been taken by surprise in an "immoral position," according to the ministry.
Posted by: Fred