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Tunisians protest against court approval of marriage of pregnant 13-year old

Tunisians protest against court approval of marriage of pregnant 13-year old

Tunisia

A section of members of Tunisian civil society gathered outside parliament buildings on Wednesday after a Tunisian court approved the marriage of a 13-year old girl to a 21-year old man relative, who raped and got her pregnant

The protesters were calling for the abolishment of article 227 of the penal code that requires rape charges be dropped if a perpetrator marries the victim.

“Article 227 gives a a rapist the right to marry the victim and in this case there will be no legal proceedings against the aggressor. This law is in human and goes against the Tunisian constitution, said a protester.

Media reports indicate that a judge from the north western region of Keg decided the girl was “fit for marriage” as she was already pregnant and discharged the rapist as both families “demanded marriage to avoid a scandal”.

Tunisia’s ministry of women’s affairs, family and children released a statement indicating deep concerns over the judge’s decision and it had been trying to annul the marriage “for the sake of the child’s interest.”

It also urged the country’s parliament to speed up the process of adopting a bill to counter violence against women which was proposed in 2014 but still waiting to be discussed.

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