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Tunisian police convicted of rape in tumultuous case that drew protests

  • Tunisia Trial-1.jpg

    Tunisian women demonstrate outside a Tunis courthouse where three police officers face charges of rape of a 27-year-old woman, Monday, March 31, 2014. The 27-year-old woman says three police officers stopped her in a car in September, and one of them held her fiance back while the other two raped her. The police officers deny wrongdoing, and allege the couple had been engaged in "immoral" behavior. Posters read: at left, 'State Crime, State Rape', and at right 'Rape is right when police is guilty'. (AP Photo/Aimen Zine) (The Associated Press)

  • Tunisia Trial-2.jpg

    Amina Sboui, center, a former Femen activist, and Tunisian women demonstrate outside a Tunis courthouse where three police officers face charges of the rape of a 27-year-old woman, Monday, March 31, 2014. The 27-year-old woman says three police officers stopped her in a car in September, and one of them held her fiance back while the other two raped her. The police officers deny wrongdoing, and allege the couple had been engaged in "immoral" behavior. Poster in Arabic reads "Rape is a curse, silence is worst". Poster in French reads "Stop Impunity". (AP Photo/Aimen Zine) (The Associated Press)

A Tunisian human rights lawyer says two police officers have been convicted of raping a young woman and sentenced to seven years in prison. A third officer was convicted of extorting money from her fiance.

The officers were convicted late Monday, according to Radhia Nasraoui, who represented the woman in the case, which drew protests in Tunisia after she was accused of violating modesty laws. Those charges were ultimately dropped.

The three police officers came upon the woman and her fiance in a car in September 2012, and two raped her. The third drove her fiance to a cash machine to withdraw money.

The case was closely watched for signs of how Tunisia would define women's rights after the 2011 fall of the secular dictatorship.