Target: Habib Essid, Prime Minister
Goal: Heed Tunisia’s Minister of Justice’s call to decriminalize same-sex relations.
A student was recently convicted for having a consensual homosexual relationship and given a one-year prison sentence. Authorities threatened the student with a murder charge if he didn’t admit to “sodomy,” as the official charge is called. Mohamed Salah Ben Aissa, the Tunisia Minister of Justice, has called for the repeal of Tunisia Penal Code Article 230, and we must stand in solidarity with him to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations in Tunisia.
This is just one of many cases against LGBT+ individuals in the nation, and activists argue that these convictions violate key allowances under Tunisia’s new constitution, which protects citizens against discrimination and affords them the right to conduct a private life. The student who was arrested was forced to undergo an anal examination to confirm he’d engaged in sex with another man. This, too, blatantly violates a human’s right to privacy.
Amnesty International has been tracking cases against Tunisia’s LGBT+ community since 2009 and confirms that numerous gay men have been arrested, detained and even prosecuted. In their discussion with the human rights organization, some men said they were arrested because they looked too feminine or were seen speaking with other men; others were arrested because they do not “conform” to social norms. Like the student, many were forced to undergo anal examinations.
Many LGBT+ community members are also met with violence and harassment against them and their families. People have been beaten, burned with cigarette butts, stabbed and received death threats because they are gay. This type of treatment must be stopped.
Stand in solidarity with Mohamed Salah Ben Aissa and encourage the Tunisian Prime Minister to repeal Tunisia Penal Code Article 230 and stop discrimination against LGBT+ persons.
Dear Prime Minister Essid,
The recent case of a 22-year-old man being arrested, subjected to an involuntary anal exam, and then sentenced to one year in jail for engaging in a consensual homosexual relationship is an act against human rights. I stand in solidarity with your country’s minister of justice and ask that you repeal Penal Code Article 230 and stop Tunisia’s discrimination against its LGBT+ community.
Recent changes in your government have brought about positive revisions to your country’s constitution. Two of those provisions afford your people the right to privacy and protection against discrimination. Penal Code Article 230 goes against those rights by invading people’s privacy and discriminating against them for their sexual orientation. This article must be scrapped.
As head of Tunisia’s government, I encourage you to move forward with Minister Mohamed Salah Ben Aissa’s call to repeal the legislation that violates your people’s right to privacy and encourages discrimination against your LGBT+ community. Stop this archaic and hateful legislation from being carried out by your police.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: DrRandomFactor