A Tunisian student received one year in prison for homosexuality after he allegedly failed an “anal exam” he was forced into by the government.
Authorities arrested him in Sousse after they discovered his telephone number on a dead body. He admitted he “had sexual relations with the victim.”
“Another statement was drawn up and my client had to undergo an anal exam against his will,” explained his lawyer Fadoua Braham.
Article 230 of the penal code states that “sodomy between consenting adults is punishable by up to three years in prison.” The court passed the sentence on Tuesday.
“I don’t understand why I was sentenced… nor why I was detained for six days without being allowed to contact my lawyer,” said the teen. “I want to get out and resume a normal life. I wonder what I’m going to do about my job and studies. I don’t want to be rejected by society.”
In February, a Tunisian court sentenced a Swedish man to two years in prison for homosexuality.
“(Sweden) highlighted its belief in equal rights regardless of sexual orientation as a fundamental principle of democracy,” stated Victoria Bell, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry. “The man, who is in his 50s, was sentenced February 4 to two years in prison for homosexual acts.”
People established the group Shams (“Sun”) in June in an attempt to defend gays and change the homosexuality laws.
“The name of the association is inspired by Shams Tabrizi, the lover and mentor of Rumi, the spiritual leader of the Sufi. The purpose is to send a message of peace and love,” explained Vice President Ahmed Ben Amor.
Shams wants to defend gay rights in Tunisia, raise “awareness about sexually transmitted diseases,” and provide “emotional and social support for fragile youth.”
“Some Tunisian homosexuals commit suicide because they cannot stand being gay in this society. They cannot face the abuse of their families. We try to help these people through our organisation,” continued Amor.