A man who had filed a complaint for rape found himself sentenced to 6 months in prison for homosexuality, told AFP on Monday the prosecution and an activist association for the rights of homosexuals. The 26-year-old man had gone to a sexual meeting with another man on Facebook, according to the Shams association.
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 then 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.
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 imprisonment 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 lawsuit that represents a flagrant violation of human rights and moral dignityShe called for "the immediate stop " of all the legal proceedings based on article 230 which penalizes the homosexual relations and the end of the anal examinations "humiliating". This association claimed "the revision of all discriminatory legal texts which go against freedom and which 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 become more and more strict on the affairs of morals"said lawyer Mounir Baatour, who heads the Shams association, putting this on the account of "the growing influence " of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party in the courts.