Tunisia: Justice for Meriem at last.

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On the 20th of November, a Tunisian court of appeal handed down a 15 year prison sentence to the policemen who gang raped Meriem Ben Mohamed in September 2012. This verdict, along with Meriem’s courage and determination, constitutes an important step against the impunity of sexual violence in a country where it remains a taboo.

FIDH and its member organizations [1] legally represented Meriem and fought alongside her for the past 2 years. Meriem was initially charged with “public indecency”. She not only had to face her rapists, but also a number of detractors, including the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, who spread insults and defamation.

FIDH calls upon the Tunisian authorities to harmonize its national legislation with its international commitments and adopt a comprehensive law for all forms of violence and discrimination against women. Although a step in this direction was announced by the Tunisian government on National Women’s Day last August, it remains to be effectively translated into action.

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