Tunisia jails feminist activist Rania Amdouni for six months - lawyers

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Tunisian activist Rania Amdouni was jailed for six months.
  • She was convicted of "insulting police and abuse of morals".
  • She was involved in protests calling for social and economic justice.

A Tunisian judge sentenced on Thursday a feminist activist to six months in prison on charges of "insulting police and abuse of morals", her lawyers said, raising concerns about freedom of expression in the North African country a decade after its Arab Spring revolution.

Rania Amdouni, 26, a member of the human rights group Damj, Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality was arrested last weekend in Tunis, the country's capital.

READ | Hundreds protest police repression, corruption in Tunisia

Amdouni was involved in the recent protests calling for social and economic justice and against police abuse during two last months.

"Rania was sentenced six months for insulting police and abuse of morals," said Saida Guarach, who is among the lawyers representing Amdouni.

Amin Hidiji, who represented Amdouni in a Tunis court on Thursday, confirmed the sentence.

Activists told Reuters Amdouni was increasingly targeted since February as she became a visible part of the daily protests in the capital.


Tunisian feminist activist Rania Amdouni dressed a
Tunisian feminist activist Rania Amdouni dressed as a clown, takes part in an anti-government demonstration in the capital Tunis.

Asrar Ben Jouira, a feminist activist, told Reuters that Amdouni was arrested after she was chased by policemen who were harassing her.

Ben Jouira said that Amdouni went to a police department complain about the officers, but the police refused to accept her complaint, and instead accused her of insulting police.

Police and the Interior Ministry were not immediately available for comment.

"Rania case confirms that freedoms have become threatened and that the message is to silence the protesters... (they are choosing the wrong) way after a decade of the revolution," Guarach said.

Protesters have been demonstrating in Tunisia since 15 January, the day after the 10th anniversary of the revolution, calling for social equality and access to jobs.

The police arrested more than 1 600 people during the protests, and dozens of arrestees complained of ill-treatment and torture.

Tunisian authorities denied the accusations and said that the police performed well.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nappies, they cost too much
6% - 155 votes
Formula and food, it's getting so expensive
18% - 457 votes
Creche and school fees are a struggle every month
75% - 1878 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.