A couple have been sentenced to several months in prison in Tunisia after they were caught kissing in their car.
Nassim Ouadi, a 33-year-old French-Algerian, and his 44-year-old Tunisian girlfriend were sentenced on Wednesday by a judge at the Carthage district court, having been convicted of public indecency, intoxication and insulting a public official.
According to their lawyer, Ghazi Mrabet, the couple were driving last Friday when they pulled over in Gammarth, a suburb of the capital, Tunis, to discuss the route.
“After two minutes, a police car arrived, and asked the couple for their IDs,” the lawyer said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The woman handed over her ID from her handbag, but Ouadi, who does not speak any Arabic, went to get his passport from his suitcase, which was in the boot of the car.The policemen shouted at him, insulted him and forced him to the ground. He handed over his passport, and they then searched his luggage and then the car, even under the carpets,” the lawyer added.
The couple were then taken to a police station, but after 20 minutes were told they could go home. A police officer warned them, however, that the episode would not end there.
“The Franco-Algerian, believing himself in France or in a film, then told the police: ‘You think it will stop there? I want your names and your numbers. I intend to speak to my embassy. And that’s when your lives will change,’” Mrabet’s Facebook statement continued.
According to The Middle east eye Ouadi was then accused of contempt of a public official, indecent assault and refusal to obey the police – charges often levelled against protesters in Tunisia, or against couples publicly displaying affection.