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Arrest of Tunisia nurse who raped dozens of patients

The Tunisian security forces finally arrested a nurse accused of raping dozens of patients in a hospital in the capital.

Media sources said that a male nurse at the mental hospital Mongi Ben Hamida in the capital was arrested after it turned out that he had raped dozens of patients.

The investigation indicated that the defendant was using sleeping pills to carry out his crimes against patients in the hospital. He was investigated in 2016 on charges of harassment but was released because there was "insufficient evidence" which prove his involvement.

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However, one of his victims finally identified him, gave his descriptions to the security forces, and filed a legal complaint against him.

Tunisian law classifies rape as a terrorist offence. The Anti-Terrorism Law permits the death penalty for anyone who, in the context of a terrorist crime, deliberately rapes a female victim. Assaults on a male or female can be twenty years imprisonment with a fine up to one hundred thousand dinars (around $55,000). The penalty is life imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 18, or if the perpetrator resorts to threats and use of arms.

Researchers and activists have proposed tougher penalties for rape, starting with "castration" and reaching "public torture" to become a lesson to others.

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