Ahead of tomorrow’s appeal (20 February 2023) trial at a Nabeul Appeal court of two members of the LGBTI community in Tunisia, a transgender woman and a gay man, convicted of homosexuality and sentenced by a lower court, on 21 December 2022 to three and one year in prison respectively, Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa, said:
It is appalling and unacceptable that Tunisia’s judiciary continues to interfere in people’s private livesAmna Guellali, Amnesty International
“It is appalling and unacceptable that Tunisia’s judiciary continues to interfere in people’s private lives by authorizing police to conduct arbitrary home raids permitting the prosecution of individuals on allegations related to their sexual orientation and identity. The Nabeul Appeal court should take this opportunity to repair the damage done by past violations, overturning the sentence and acquitting them would be a step in the right direction.
“Article 230 which criminalizes same-sex activity is deeply homophobic and must be urgently removed from Tunisia’s Penal Code. The government should order an immediate halt of arrests and prosecutions in relation to this provision.
On 21 December, the Grombalia First Instance Court sentenced the transgender woman and the gay man to prison terms of one year and three years respectively.
On 11 December, the Gorjeni Judicial Police Brigade conducted a raid on a residence in Hammamet and arrested eight individuals suspected of carrying out homosexual acts. According to lawyer Safouen Jouili, the individuals were then subjected to questioning without legal representation.
Two of the individuals were formally charged under Article 230 of Tunisia’s Penal Code, which criminalizes same -sex sexual activity and carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The others were released due to a lack of evidence.