Tunisia: Homosexuality Convictions Upheld

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08/04/2020

A Tunisian appeals court on July 28, 2020 upheld the conviction of two men accused of sodomy but reduced their sentence to one year in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. This conviction contradicts the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination under international law, which are also enshrined in Tunisia’s 2014 constitution. In June, police arrested the men, both 26, on suspicion of same-sex conduct in Le Kef, a city 175 kilometers southwest of Tunis, after one of them filed a complaint against the other regarding an outstanding loan. The first instance court in Le Kef sentenced both men on June 6 to two years in prison for sodomy under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. The lower court’s decision, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, was based on the defendants’ alleged “confessions” during the police investigation to engaging in same-sex relations, which both defendants repudiated before that court.

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