Authorities in Tunisia announced on Thursday that nine women who have been accused of terrorism and plotting the assassination of a minister since 2016 had been given sentences of up to 25 years in jail.
The Criminal Chamber of the court of first instance in Tunis condemned two of the ten members of this group, all of whom were women, to 25 years in prison for “terrorist crimes” on Tuesday.
Seven further suspects were given prison terms ranging from three to fourteen years. The same source claims that another was rejected. The court accused the defendants of plotting an assault on a minister.
On social media, there were claims made in 2016 that Hédi Majdoub, the interior minister at the time, had been the target of an assassination attempt while visiting his parents. His communications office refuted these claims.
One of the women found guilty, according to privately owned Tunisian radio station Mosaque FM, is a neighbour of the minister’s parents who was suspected of telling her family about his trips. More information wasn’t provided by the media.
Following the 2011 popular revolt in Tunisia that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, insurgents groups there saw a surge in activity and launched many attacks that resulted in the deaths of numerous tourists and security personnel.
The government asserts that in recent years, the war against insurgents has advanced significantly. However, this is the first instance of an all-female gang engaging in terrorism.
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