Tunisian courts today dropped charges against the woman, who was raped by two policemen and then accused of public indecency after she came forward.
“She was contacted by the judge to inform her that the charges were dropped and that the accusations against the aggressors have been retained,” said Saida Guerach, a lawyer representing the woman.
The trial will proceed for two policemen accused of raping the woman as well as a third one charged with extorting the woman’s fiancée, according to Guerach. All three policemen are in custody.
The policemen stopped the 27-year-old woman and her fiancée in their car on the night of September 3, and two of them allegedly raped her while the third detained and demanded money from her fiancée, who also faced charges that were dropped today. The police have denied the accusations and said that they found the woman in an “immoral position.”
This is “a beginning of victory,” the woman, whose identity has been withheld, told the private radio station Shems FM.
The charges enraged activists, who considered the saga a step backwards for Tunisia’s women’s rights record.
Hundreds of people came out in support of the woman last month at her first hearing, claiming that that the counter charges were intended to force her to drop the accusations against the policemen.
Later that week, President Moncef Marzouki offered an “official apology” to the woman, although the charges were not officially dropped till today.