Tunisians Condemn Police Who Raped Woman Then Charged Her With Indecency

Tunisians Condemn Police Who Raped Woman Then Charged Her With IndecencyOutraged Tunisians took to the streets by the hundreds Tuesday, angrily protesting the treatment of a woman who was allegedly raped by police officers — and then charged with public indecency when she filed a complaint.

‘Attempt to discredit a rape victim’

“At best, charging the victim of a rape by police officers instead of protecting her from intimidation and stigma highlights the deep flaws on Tunisian law and criminal justice system,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy Middle East and North Africa program director at Amnesty International. “At worst, it is an insidious attempt to discredit a rape victim and protect those she accused of raping her.”

The case began September 3 when three police officers approached the woman and her fiance while they were in their car in the capital Tunis, the woman’s lawyer told Amnesty. Two of the officers then raped the woman inside the car, while the third took her fiance to a nearby ATM to extort money from him, the woman claimed. It was only after she filed a complaint against the officers — and they were charged with rape and extortion — that the officers said they found the couple in an “immoral position” in the car. Both have denied the charges. Tuesday’s session is the second of what is expected to be several court hearings on the matter.


‘Major upheaval’

The decision to charge the woman incensed human rights groups like the Tunisian League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, who called for protests outside the Tunis courthouse. Because of the case, rights groups are taking a closer look at the Tunisian government and judiciary.

“This caused a major upheaval in Tunisian public opinion,” Salah Eddine El Jorshi of the Tunisian League of Human Rights said. “Some felt that maybe the woman was part of the crime, but others strongly felt that she was solely targeted because she was a woman.”

What can you say about the Tunisian authority’s attempt to intimidate a rape victim by charging her with indecency? Feel free to comment on this hot issue!

Source: CNN

Image: TNT Magazine

Cancer Survivor Jailed Over Medical Bill She Didn’t Owe

How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn’t pay a medical bill — one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn’t owe.

“She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,” The Associated Press reports. “But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs.”

Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to card and auto loans. Under the law, debtors aren’t arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing “contempt of court” in connection with a creditor lawsuit.


According to the ACLU: “The sad truth is that debtors’ prisons are flourishing today, more than two decades after the Supreme Court prohibited imprisoning those who are too poor to pay their legal debts. In this era of shrinking budgets, state and local governments have turned aggressively to using the threat and reality of imprisonment to squeeze revenue out of the poorest defendants who appear in their courts.”

Such practices, heightened in recent years by the effects of the recession, amount to criminalizing poverty, say critics in urging federal authorities to intervene. “More people are unemployed, more people are struggling financially, and more creditors are trying to get their debt paid,” Madigan told the AP.

Do you think debtors’ prisons should be abolished for good? Share your opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: NY Daily News