22 November 2012

Tunisia Delays Manouba Dean Trial

A Tunisian court on Thursday (November 21st) postponed the trial of Manouba University dean Habib Kazdaghli until January 3rd, TAP reported.

Some 100 rights activists and political leaders attended the hearing to show support for the Faculty of Arts administrator, who stands accused of assaulting a student wearing the niqab.

The protesters came "to defend the Tunisia we want: modern, democratic, open and tolerant", AFP quoted Kazdaghli as telling the courtroom.

Earlier this year, the university near Tunis was rocked by protests and weeks-long sit-ins by salafists over the niqab ban.

According to Kazdaghli, the student who lodged the complaint against him was expelled from his faculty for six months because she had refused to remove her veil.

"This case is a pretext to advance another agenda, of separating girls and boys at university", Kazdaghli said in July.

He faces five years in jail if convicted.

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