Tunisia's new Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh attends a government meeting in Tunis
Tunisia's new Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh attends a government meeting in Tunis Reuters

An unverified video allegedly showing the Tunisian interior minister Ali Laarayedh performing a sexual act has been posted on the web.

The video, posted on Youtube and Facebook, allegedly shows Laaarayedh performing a sexual act with a fellow inmate in a prison cell.

The footage was supposedly filmed during incarceration of the minister in the 1990s.

Laarayedh , a prominent opposition figure under the now ousted Zine Abedine Ben Ali regime, was detained by the Ministry of Interior on numerous occasions and accused security forces of torturing him.

"I almost died several times in the cells of the Ministry of the Interior. However, I can differentiate between that period and now. The revolution is a step forward that aims to implement transitional justice and not revenge," Laarayedh told AFP in December.

The video went viral, prompting a rapid response from the interim government which said it was part of a smear campaign.

Samir Dilou, spokesperson for the government, accused the former regime of being behind the video.

"During the Ben Ali era, videos of political prisoners performing sexual acts were commonly fabricated by the Interior Ministry to be used as a means of disparaging the regime's political rivals in the future", the tunisianlive.com website noted.

According to the French organisation NGO Ban Public, in the past officials have also targeted Laarayedh's family.

In a report, it said: "His wife was abducted and sexually abused by security officials within Ben Ali's regime - who filmed her naked - causing Laarayedh to have a nervous breakdown. "

Following the video, many took to Twitter to dismiss the Laaarayedh video and a Facebook support message has been created for people to post on their wall.