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Tunisian University Dean Accused Of Slapping Student For Refusing To Remove Veil



TUNIS - A Tunisian university dean risks a five year prison sentence for allegedly slapping a student who refused to take off her veil, Le Monde reports.

The case is the latest development in the bitter row at Manouba University between secularists and Salafi students who follow an ultraconservative strand of Islam. Habib Kazdaghli, dean of arts, letters and humanities at the university outside of Tunis has been fiercely opposed to Salafi plans to impose prayer rooms and full-face veils for women on campus.

A Salafi student filed a complaint against Kazdaghli, accusing him of assaulting her in his office. The dean denies the charges, claiming two young women ransacked his office, one of whom he realised had been expelled for six months after refusing to take off her niqab.

Le Courrier de l'Atlas reported that more than 200 people demonstrated outside the court on Thursday to express their support for Kazdaghli.

The AFP reported that a local human rights lawyer, Mohamed Hedi Laabidi accused the Islamist-dominated government of being involved in the case: "It's a set-up because the dean refuses to sign up to a model of society that is contrary to modernity."

The trial was postponed on Thursday July, and was rescheduled to October 25. At first facing just 15 days in prison for simple assault, the charges have been toughened due to the fact that Kazdaghli was on duty as an official civil servant.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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