The marriage of a 13-year-old Tunisian girl with one of her relatives was authorized by the courts. The girl is also pregnant. Several child protection associations were outraged.
The Tunisian authorities authorized the marriage of a 13-year-old girl with a relative who put her pregnant, provoking the outrage of organizations that believe she was raped.
Article 227 of the Tunisian Penal Code provides for a prison sentence of six years for anyone who has “sexually abused a child under the age of 15 years without violence.” The marriage of the culprit with the victim (…) stops the prosecution “.
According to the court spokesman, the child is “fit for marriage”.
The child of Kef region is “13 years and 11 months old and has not been raped,” the spokesman for Kef Court of First Instance told AFP on Tuesday. And after verification of all the details, we considered that she was fit for marriage. The proof is pregnant, he said, referring to a pregnancy of two or three months.
According to him, she had sexual intercourse with the brother of her two brothers-in-law. “Both families have asked for marriage not to cause scandal,” he said. Kef court gave the approval on 1st December and the signing of the marriage contract took place on 5th December.
Child welfare associations request cancellation of the marriage contract.
A party was scheduled for Sunday but was cancelled after Kef’s child protection intervention, which also claimed the cancellation of the marriage contract. “When it comes to a 13-year-old child, we cannot talk about sexual intercourse with consent, it is a rape. This child … who goes in addition to marrying his rapist “, which constitutes” a violation of his physical and mental integrity “, she insisted.
The president of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women considered this case “scandalous”.
“Judges consider that at the age of 13, as she is pubescent, she is consenting … But at 13 years, one cannot give free and enlightened consent, there is no sex education at school, “she denounced, demanding the repeal of article 227.
Mamadou Dian Donghol Diallo.