A couple have been sentenced to several months in prison in Tunisia after they were caught naked 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.
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.
But the couple’s arrest last week, and subsequent sentencing, has drawn widespread outrage on social media, as reports began to emerge that the couple were first approached by police as they were kissing.
According to the police, they were found “in an indecent position”.
The man was handed four months in prison for “public indecency” and “refusing to obey the police”, with the woman given a two-month sentence on the first charge only.
A spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office, Sofiene Sliti said.”It’s an independent decision. What has been reported nationally and internationally is wrong, they weren’t arrested for a kiss, the couple was naked,” he added.
At the hearing Wednesday, the woman collapsed into tears when the court president read a police description saying a sexual act was in process when the couple were stopped on October 1 in a suburb of Tunis.
The woman said that her friend had simply taken her into his arms when the plainclothes police stopped them and made them get out of the car.
The Frenchman confirmed to the judge that he had tried to film the police to make a complaint about their behaviour.
A dozen defence lawyers had been arguing for an acquittal for the couple. The majority of the lawyers were working for free on the case, which has triggered an uproar in Tunisia over morality campaigns and police behaviour.
The defence pointed to numerous flaws in the case, including hearings in Arabic which the Frenchman, who is of Algerian origin, did not understand.
“It is normal that he reacts badly when his fundamental rights were being violated,” said lawyer Ghazi Mrabet, whose client is accused of intimidating police.
He pointed to what he said was “bad faith” on the part of the police, who he said were looking for revenge after being implicated over their handling of the case.
“This case highlights key problems with the judicial system and the police. Abuse of powers… lack of respect for citizens and their rights, attacks on individual liberty,” said former deputy Nadia Chaabane, who is a member of a group to support the couple.
“The problem is that we have judges now who accept all these breaches and procedural problems,” she said before the judgement.
Tourists declared missing after volcano eruption in New Zealand
A huge plume of white ash soars into the sky was seen after a volcano erupted off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Some group of tourist has been declared missing and one reported dead.
Earlier, about 50 people were feared to have been nearby.
The authorities has double their effort by launching helicopters in the affected area.
Hoever, the mobile triage unit has been spotted with medics onboard.
Michael Schade, an engineering manager from San Francisco, was one of the tourists who made it off the island minutes before the eruption.
Schade says, This is so hard to believe,” Schade said. “Our whole tour group were literally standing at the edge of the main crater not 30 minutes before.”
The authorities has responded by assuring thay’re doing everything they can to topple the situation..
Fans Heart-broken as U.S rapper Juice Wrld dies at 21
US rapper Juice Wrld has died at the age of 21, authorities say.
The musician’s death, first reported by celebrity news website TMZ, has been confirmed by medical authorities in Illinois.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died on Sunday. The cause of death is not yet known, the office said.
The rapper, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins, was best-known for his viral 2018 hit Lucid Dreams.
Higgins, according to TMZ, died after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway airport Sunday morning.
Chicago police told the BBC a 21-year-old man suffered a medical emergency at around 02:00 (08:00 GMT) local time and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have launched an investigation into the death.
The rapper rose to fame in 2018, when hit singles All Girls Are the Same and Lucid Dreams, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, drew the attention of music fans and record labels.
In early 2018, he was signed by Interscope Records, landing a record deal reported to be worth more than $3m (£2.2m).
He topped the Billboard chart this year with his second album Death Race for Love.
In one of his songs, Juice Wrld rapped about the short lives of artists, saying “all the legends seem to die out”.
Tributes to the rapper have been pouring in on social media, with many writing “RIP Juice Wrld” to pay their respects.
In a tweet, British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, who collaborated with Juice Wrld on her 2019 single Hate Me, described the rapper as “such a sweet soul” who had “so much further to go”.
Hip hop artist HaHa Davis wrote on Twitter: “Heartbroken @JuiceWorlddd I love you bro.”
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