Africa / Middle East / North Africa

Tunisian court cuts off student’s homosexuality sentence

Agence France-Presse reported today:

Tunisia: On appeal, sentence reduced for student convicted of homosexuality

Supporters of Marwan / Mawjoudin on the Facebook page

Supporters of Marwen (also spelled Marwan and Mawjoudin) sought his release with these photos on the Facebook page “Mawjoudin we exist”

A Tunisian student initially sentenced to a year in prison for homosexuality had his sentence reduced to two months on Thursday in Sousse (in east central Tunisia), which is the length of the sentence that he has already served, his lawyer told AFP.

The Court of Appeal confirmed the guilty verdict against Marwen (an assumed name) and “reduced the sentence from one year in prison to two months, the period that my client has already served,” said Fadwa Braham. She said that he was also fined 300 dinars (about 130 euros).

“This is unfair and unacceptable,” Braham insisted. She announced that she would appeal.

The youth, Marwen, was arrested in September and sentenced to one year imprisonment by a court in Sousse, before being released from prison in early November after he posted bail of 500 dinars (230 euros).

Detained for questioning on a homicide case, the student denied any involvement in the death but admitted having had sex with the victim. According to his lawyer, police then wrote up a second charge sheet and forced him to submit to an anal examination, before his conviction for homosexuality.

His sentence has been denounced by several local and international NGOs, which have called for a revision of the Tunisian penal code on the basis of the new Constitution, in which the Tunisian government “guarantees the protection of citizens’ privacy.”

Under Article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code, the punishment for sodomy and lesbianism is three years in prison.

Under the same article, six other students were sentenced Dec. 10 by a court in Kairouan (in central Tunisia) to three years in prison and three years of banishment from the city. …

For more information, read the full article (if you can read French)– “Tunisia: On appeal, sentence reduced for student convicted of homosexuality” — or read the related articles below, which are in English.

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