A Tunisian appeals court on Thursday [March 3] reduced the sentence imposed on six students for homosexual activity from three years in jail to one month, their lawyer said.
The court in the coastal city of Sousse ordered them to pay a fine of 400 dinars (180 euros, $195) each but lifted a previous five-year ban on entering the central city of Kairouan, Fadwa Braham said.
Four of the defendants will appeal to the Court of Cassation, she added.
The six students — aged between 19 and 23 — had been freed on a bail of 500 dinars (230 euros, $249) each in January.
They were arrested in early December after neighbours denounced them, and were made to undergo anal examinations, according to their lawyers.
A Kairouan court the same month handed them three years each – the harshest possible jail term under Article 230 of the penal code that criminalises sex between males. …
During an interview with an Egyptian television channel in October, President Beji Caid Essebsi ruled out a repeal of the law [against same-sex intimacy].
“That will not happen,” he said. “I reject it.”
Shams (Arabic for “Sun”), the Tunisian organization seeking decriminalization of homosexuality, expressed disappointment at the court’s “lack of courage.” It declared the decision “a violation of human rights and human dignity.”
- Men’s homosexual activity sentence reduced (AFP report published by South Africa’s IOL, March 4, 2016)
- Tunisia: homosexuality crime, debate on abolition re-kindled (March 4, 2016, ANSAmed)
- Victory in Tunisia: Activist group Shams wins in court (Feb. 23, 2016)
- Call to action for Tunisia — petitions backing LGBT rights (Jan. 17, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Here’s why Tunisian LGBT group should not be suspended (Jan. 15, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Menaced with dissolution, Tunisian LGBT group seeks help (Jan. 11, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Advocates urge pressure on Tunisia to spare LGBT group (Jan. 8, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Tunisia orders 30-day suspension for pro-LGBT group (Jan. 4, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- 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)
- Tunisian justice minister seeks repeal of gay sex ban
- Tunisia: Protests against anal exam, sodomy sentence (September 2015, 76crimes.com)