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Tunisia: Student Marwa Maalawi sentenced to three months of jail for using a derogatory word

Student Marwa Maalawai holding a sign which reads: “In the era of terrorist Ennahdha, a chaste woman is raped because her minister is a whore.”

On Wednesday October 9th, 2013, the 20- year old student Marwa Maalawi was sentenced to 3 months of jail on charge of addressing women's minister Sihem Badi with derogatory word.

On the 27th of March, 2013, student Marwa raised a sign in a protest in front of the ministry of women on which she wrote:

In the era of terrorist Ennahdha, a chaste woman is raped because her minister is a whore.

Marwa's imprisonment was severely condemned by the media, civil society and students, who see the the minister’s actions as "persecutive" and "anti-revolutionary" ministerial conduct. The arrest came after a series of recent cases of human rights violations and the suppression of freedom of expression.

It Is worth noting that the minister Sihem Badi has has been largely discredited over many scandals, such as taking a picture with Laila ben Ali's pair of shoes and failing to take seriously to the horrifying incident of raping a three year old girl in a public kindergarden. She has also been scathingly criticized by civil society activists for her improper language and disrespect for the Tunisian people - as when she addressed Tunisians in one of the TV programs saying "if they are not pleased then they can go drink from the sea water!"

Unfortunately, the current government’s policy of unequal retributions and human rights violations seems to likely to continue.


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