On September 27, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting uploaded an interview with the Tunisian woman who was raped by two policemen. The woman brought charges against the police officers who violated her, only to be charged with indecency when the Ministry of the Interior claimed the police officers caught her and her fiance in an “immoral act” before she was raped.
The two policemen, and a third who is alleged to have held her fiance, are currently in prison awaiting trial. The young woman is waiting for her third hearing. If the judge does not drop the charges, she could face six months in prison.
The following is our exclusive translation of her story.
On the 3rd of September we were having dinner in La Marsa. We were heading back, I was driving him to Ain Zagouan where he lives. We stopped the car to talk. While we were there another car stopped and three guys approached us. They were yelling “Police, police open the door!” We opened the door and they grabbed my fiancé, handcuffed him and pushed me to their car without even asking us for any papers. They searched my car for drugs or alcohol because they wanted to find anything to pin on me. But they found nothing, so they started accusing me of being married and wanted to take me down to the station. I asked them not to, I was telling them that they can find out anything they want just by running a computer check but they kept insisting that I was married. Two of the three guys stayed with me in the car. One took a seat next to me, and the other took the driving wheel. The third guy stayed outside with my fiancé. While sitting there the guy next me asked me what I could give them. I told him I have a 40 dt I can give it to you. He replied, “No, this is not going to cut you a deal.” He pretended to leave saying, “Money is everything for you ha!!”
The guy with my fiancé drove him in my car in an opposite direction to where the other two drove me. They took to some deserted place, it was dark all u can hear is dogs, it was frightening. Once the car started moving the guy who was sitting next me unbuttoned his pants and pushed my head down and forced me to perform oral sex on him. I haven’t been responsive but he forced me. He violently pulled me up and placed me on top of him, placed my head to the front and raped me. I was crying and begging them to let me go. One of them yelled at me saying that if you shed another tear you are not going home. The car started moving again and they switched places and the guy on the driving wheel came next to me, they both got back in the car and he raped me again. In that time I was so scared that I didn’t understand what was happening. I was scared of them especially that we were in deserted place. At that time I started thinking that these are not police officers and they will kill me and throw me here. I thought “They will keep taking turns on me and then they will leave me here.”
At that time my brain stopped working and I was not able to think of anything. I was so shocked. They started driving to the main road we headed to a place where the Amen bank was and we met the other guy who was holding my fiancé. But immediately they took me back to the deserted place again and the second guy kept raping me. When we arrived by a factory and a school I saw my car parked there and the third guy was standing outside. We came and parked right behind them. One of them pulled me out of the car and I was asking them if the third guy was going to rape me too but they were all silent. None of them said a word.
They put me in my car and when I tried to resist they slammed the door on my finger so that my finger was left stuck between the door and the car. The second guy raped me again in my car this time and the other two were outside smoking.
While the second guy was raping me my fiancé came and fought them. They threatened him with pepper spray and the guy who was raping me was telling me that he will be helping me wash off but I ran and I started yelling. Then my fiancé ran away and jumped over to the factory and asked people to call the police. He said, “Those are not police. They are pretending to be police. They are raping my fiancé, call the police.” The guy asked me call him so he would come back and we could talk about it. I called him and the guy talked to him on the phone too and asked him to bring back the pepper spray in exchange for me and his papers. My fiancé came back, gave them their pepper spray and so they let us go.
The video can be viewed at this url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIzFTrcfrYY&feature=plcp
Translation by Myriam Ben Ghazi. Editing by Megan Radford.