The Tunisian LGBT+ rights group Damj has issued a “Queer State of Emergency” in response to a barrage of raids targeting LGBT+ people that was launched by Tunisia’s Ministry of the Interior.
Damj said its emergency hotlines “are being frighteningly showered with requests for urgent legal interventions day and night.”
The crackdown began with a raid on the homes of three trans women on Feb. 13, Damj said. It has continued with unconstitutional arrests and other human rights abuses, including torture, forced confessions and denial of detainees’ right to an attorney.
On Feb. 27, the Court of Appeals sentenced a trans woman, Maya, and her companion to six months in prison for violating Tunisia’s anti-homosexuality law, Article 230, which human rights advocates say is unconstitutional. She was harassed, intimidated and denied access to an attorney, and her hair was forcibly shaved off in prison, Damj said.
This is the English version of the statement from Damj: