Tunisian ministry against rapist-victim marriage ruling

Asks court to annul consent for marriage to 13-year-old victim

14 December, 14:05

    International Women's Day in Tunis International Women's Day in Tunis

    TUNIS - The Tunisian Ministry for Women, Family and Children called for the annulment of a recent court decision authorising the marriage of a rapist to his 13-year-old victim.

    The request came in the form of a statement expressing concern after having learned of the decision by a court of first instance in Kef, which based its ruling on article 227 bis of the Tunisian criminal code that stipulates "marriage by the perpetrator of sexual violence with the victim of the same annuls the crime and the effects of the conviction".

    The law has been criticised on numerous occasions by international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International.

    The Tunisian ministry said it got involved in the case "to safeguard the higher interests of the minor, availing itself of article 20 of the child protection code".

    The ministry said it is working within its own structures and those of other ministries "to offer the victim the necessary psychological and medical assistance and bring aid to her family in order to ensure her social integration".

    The ministry is also calling on parliament to speed up the process for approving the law against violence and mistreatment of women and for gender equality, which has long been awaiting a debate and vote.

    The law is made up of 43 articles divided into five chapters, and aims to put effective measures into place in the fight against every form of violence or abuse of power based on gender.

    The goal of the law is to guarantee women the respect of dignity and ensure equality between the sexes, guaranteed by the Constitution, through a global approach based on prevention, punishment of the perpetrators, and victim protection.

    It aims to eliminate all forms of inequality between the sexes on the job.

    The Kef-based association Femmes et Citoyenneté organised a protest for Wednesday against the court's decision.

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