He lodged a complaint for rape and found himself convicted of homosexuality

Thousands of Tunisians protest against a reform concerning gender equality and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Tunis on August 11, 2018. – Mohammed Hammi / SIPA

A man who had filed a complaint for rape, found himself sentenced to 6 months in prison in Tunisia for homosexuality, told AFP Monday the prosecution and an activist association for the rights of homosexuals.

The 26-year-old man had gone to a sexual encounter with another man on Facebook, according to Shams. Homosexuality being illegal in Tunisia, meeting places are rare, and social networks are an alternative, sometimes risky.

At the rendezvous, the victim was confronted by two men who raped her and stole her belongings, according to the version of the victim relayed by the association Shams. He went to the police station to denounce his attackers, but the prosecutor ordered an anal test, a practice contested but frequent in Tunisia, to establish if he had already had homosexual relations in the past.

The association calls for an end to "humiliating" anal exams

He was sentenced to six months in prison for sodomy, and two months for slanderous denunciations, the court having ruled that it was not a rape but a dispute following the sexual relationship, said the floor of Sfax. The other two men were each sentenced to six months in prison for sodomy, 15 days for violence, and a month and a half for theft, according to the same source.

In a statement, the Tunisian Association Damj defending the rights of homosexuals, denounced this "kind of trial that represents a flagrant violation of human rights and moral dignity." She called for an "immediate cessation" of all court proceedings based on Article 230 which penalizes homosexual sex and the end of "humiliating" anal exams. This association called for "the revision of all discriminatory legal texts that go against freedom and that no longer correspond with the individual freedoms stipulated in the new Constitution".

Convictions for homosexuality have multiplied in recent years. In 2018, 127 people were sentenced to prison terms for homosexuality, against 79 in 2017, and 56 in 2016 according to Shams. "Judges are becoming more and more strict about mores," said lawyer Mounir Baatour, who heads the Shams association, blaming it on the "growing influence" of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party. in the courts.

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