The LGBT rights group Shams was ordered by the Tunisian government today to suspend its activities for 30 days.
Business News reported that:
Hedi Sahli, vice president of Shams, said the reason given for this suspension was non-compliance with the principles of the rule of law. Shams was sanctioned on the basis of Article 45, the law governing associations.
Shams seeks the repeal of Article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexual relations. It announced the government order on its Facebook page.
In December, Ahmed Zarrouk, the secretary general of the Tunisian government, requested the dissolution of Shams, which had obtained its official registration only recently — on May 18.
On Dec. 12, Shams had called for a demonstration outside parliament seeking recognition of the human rights of LGBT people, but the rally was banned by the government.
The protest was also aimed at countering the statements of Ahmed Zarrouk and of member of parliament Abdellatif Mekki of the Islamist Ennahda party, who said that official recognition of Shams is dangerous for the “social peace.”
On Sept. 28, the then Minister of Justice, Mohamed Salah Ben Aïssa, called for the repeal of Article 230.
But on Oct. 20, Ben Aïssa was dismissed . A government spokesman criticized Ben Aïssa for “an accumulation of statements that lacked seriousness.”
Related articles in this blog:
- Tunisian court cuts off student’s homosexuality sentence (Dec. 17, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Human rights advocates decry 3-year sentences in Tunisia (Dec. 16, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Tunisia: Death threats against LGBT activists (Dec. 13, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Three-year jail sentence for six Tunisian youths (Dec. 13, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Tunisian LGBT rights group under attack (Dec. 2, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- LGBTI news from the UN, UK, Russia, Tunisia, Algeria
- Tunisian justice minister seeks repeal of gay sex ban
- Tunisia: Protests against anal exam, sodomy sentence (September 2015, 76crimes.com)