Amnesty International Sunday called for a Tunisian lower court to quash convictions against two LGBTQ+ individuals who were convicted for homosexuality.
A transgender woman and gay man were arrested along with six others December 11, 2022 in a raid carried out by the Gorjeni Judicial Police Brigade. All eight were suspected of committing homosexual acts, but two were charged under Article 230 of Tunisia’s penal code and subsequently convicted December 21, 2022 by the Grombalia First Instance Court. The woman was sentenced to one year, while the man was sentenced to three years.
Amnesty International has condemned the conviction, urging Tunisia to quash the prison sentence and repeal the legislation, which they deem “deeply homophobic.” Article 230 of the 1913 Penal Code states that homosexual acts between consenting adults are to be punished by a maximum sentence of three years. Commenting on the situation, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa, Amna Guellali, said:
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.
The two individuals requested to appeal the convictions, the result of which will be decided at an appeal trial at Nabeul Appeal Court on February 20.