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Tunisia investigates sexual abuse of 20 children in school

Tunisian authorities are investigating the sexual abuse of 20 children who had been mistreated in a public school by their teacher.

A spokesman for the Sfax courts, Murad Turki, told the German Press Agency (DPA) that the court is investigating 20 independent cases of sexual abuse committed against the children, adding that the number of victims is likely to rise.

Child marriage in the Middle East - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Child marriage in the Middle East – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Turki explained that 17 of the victims were female and that the attacks took place between 2018 and 2019 when the teacher began working at the school. "The ages of the victims range between five and ten years old," he added.

Turki said on Tuesday that another family had filed a new lawsuit against the teacher, noting that the children are currently undergoing psychological treatment and medical checks.

READ: Child exploitation cases increased by 60% in 2017 compared to 2016

The Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family, and Children said in a statement that a number of students had been subjected to "sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape" by a teacher at an educational institution in Sfax.

It explained that the examining magistrate issued an arrest warrant against the accused teacher and authorised the opening of an investigation.

Last month, Tunisian authorities said a private "religious" school in the town of Regueb in Sidi Bouzid province was found to have mistreated and abused children, adding that some had been subjected to violence, made to do agricultural and construction work and sexually abused.

READ: Horrific sexual assaults and calls for castrating rapists

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