One of Tunisia’s best known television programs got suspended for three months after its presenter suggested that a teenager was to blame for the rape she experienced.
The girl named Hajar, said she had been sexually abused by three different men in her family since the age of 14 and that she was eight months pregnant by one of her abusers.
While the 17 years old’s face was blurred during the episode of Alaa Chebbi’s show “Andi mankolek” (I’ve got something to tell you), both her father and brother were present.
When her father joined the set, Chebbi suggested to him that “whoever did it should marry her to close the case” and “contain the situation”. He then criticized her for not reporting any of her abusers. “Admit that you are at fault” he asked, before advising her to seek forgiveness from her father.
After his remarks, Chebbi has been the center of nationwide criticism for his behavior. Thousands of people joined the Facebook page called “‘Marry your rapist’ he says. ‘we will see you in court’ we reply.”
On his defence, Chebbi insisted that his words were taken out of context and restated his view that Hajar has made a mistake in remaining silent, adding “Silent is the core of this case”.
Meanwhile the channel Elhiwar Ettounsi has agreed not to rebroadcast the episode and has pulled its content from all social media accounts.