Tunisian parliament bars 2 deputies for attacking female colleague

Tunisian parliament bars 2 deputies for attacking female colleague
Tunisia's parliament has imposed the maximum penalty it can on two of its members after they attacked another deputy last week.
2 min read
06 July, 2021
A number of similar incidents have happened at the Tunisian parliament [Getty Images]

The Tunisian parliament has imposed the maximum penalty that can be passed in the legislature on two deputies Tuesday days after they violently assaulted a female colleague.

Sahbi Samara and Seifeddine Makhlouf were both barred from taking the floor for three consecutive sittings, after attacking Abir Moussi last week.

The penalty does not ban the deputies from voting in sessions, according to lawmaker Naji al-Jamal, a head of a parliamentary committee, who spoke to Arabi21.

The assault happened during a plenary session last Wednesday at the parliament, which discussed an agreement to open an office for the Qatar Development Fund in Tunisia.

A video showed Samara – an Islamist MP - standing up and slapping Moussi twice before other members intervened.

Moussi's Free Constitutional Party are fierce opponents of Islamist parties in Tunisia, especially the prominent Ennahda Movement and the International Union for Muslim Scholars.

The parliament condemned the incident and said it rejected all forms of violence.

Earlier this year, Moussi wore a crash helmet and bulletproof vest in parliament in protest against acts of violence in the house, and in protest against a decision not to allow her bodyguards to accompany her.

Tunisia is currently embroiled in a political deadlock and is reeling under a harsh economic crisis worsened by Covid-19, which has battered its already-weakened tourism sector vital to its economy.