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“The Salafists have closed 12 brothels, thereby increasing the risk of AIDS due to illegal prostitution”

gigi-ibrahim

“With the revolution, the people of Tunisia discovered democracy and freedom of expression, and now we are learning how to implement them; it is not easy, because we are not used to it”, explains Anouar Moalla, Tunisian human rights activist. One of the most surprising problems in Tunisia today, two years after the revolution, is that “the promises made during the electoral campaign created a lot of expectations, and those now in government are not only responsible for keeping their own promises, but also the promises made by others. When a country has so many illiterate and uneducated people, they end up thinking that anything that someone promises, even if that person is not elected, will be done”, he explains. Anouar Moalla, who also collaborates in an organization to combat STIs and AIDS in Tunisia, explains that Tunisian society is having many problems with the religious extremists, the Salafists, who are trying to impose their vision of society on lay people. “The Salafists clamped down on many places where prostitution was legal, 12 venues across the country, giving rise to a major problem with illegal prostitution, which is one of the risk groups for spreading AIDS, together with drug addicts and sex between men.” “The Salafists think that prostitution goes against religion”, says Moalla, who also explains that there are over 500 orally contracted marriages between Salafists, with no civil contract. This practice has led to many pregnant girls who have not been able to register their children.

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Anouar Moalla >

Tunisian Association to Fight Against STD and AIDS
Anouar Moalla is a human rights activist in Tunisia. He has worked for the United Nations and the World Bank, and on creating interstate cooperation networks in North Africa and the Arab world. He works with the Tunisian Association to combat Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS.