Stop Criminalizing Same-Sex Relationships

Target: Mohamed Salah Ben Aissa, Minister of Justice

Goal: Drop all charges against a man accused of having homosexual relations and encourage the decriminalization of homosexuality in Tunisia.

A 22-year-old student has been sentenced to one year in prison after admitting to engaging in a homosexual relationship. The man, known by the pseudonym “Marwan,” was intimidated and humiliated throughout his interrogation and was not properly informed of his rights. Furthermore, his imprisonment violates his human rights, as it is based solely on his sexual orientation. Sign the petition and demand justice for Marwan.

Marwan initially came into contact with the police as part of a murder investigation–his phone number was discovered on the phone of a murder victim. He was summoned for questioning and interrogated about his relationship with the deceased man. He admitted to a homosexual relationship with him after the police slapped him and threatened to rape him. He was also told that failing to admit to the relationship would result in his being charged with the murder.

After confessing, he was subjected to an invasive anal examination to “prove” that he’d participated in anal sex. His lawyers claim that he was not advised of his right to refuse such an examination, and Amnesty International maintains that there is no scientific support for the effectiveness or accuracy of this kind of test.

Marwan has been sentenced to a year behind bars simply for engaging in consensual, private activities with another adult. Sign the petition demanding his immediate release, and urge Tunisia to put an end to its unnecessarily cruel and restrictive anti-homosexuality laws.


Your Excellency,

I am writing to express my grave concern over the treatment suffered by “Marwan,” a 22-year-old student convicted of engaging in homosexual relations. He was threatened, humiliated, and ill-treated during his interrogation and after his arrest, and his sentence violates a number of internationally-recognized human rights standards. I demand that he be released immediately, and I implore you to do away with Tunisia’s cruel and unnecessary restrictions on homosexuality.

Marwan’s sexuality was uncovered in the course of a murder investigation; officers called him in for questioning after discovering his name and phone number on the phone of a murder victim. Marwan was questioned about his relationship with the man and eventually admitted to having a homosexual relationship with him after officers slapped him, threatened to rape him, and said they would charge him with the murder if he did not confess to the relationship.

After his confession, Marwan was subjected to a humiliating anal examination to “prove” that he’d had anal sex. His lawyers allege that he was not told that he could refuse the examination, and Amnesty International maintains that such examinations are scientifically unfounded, as well as a violation of human rights.

Consenting adults are entitled to do whatever they like in their own private lives so long as they are not hurting anyone. Tunisia’s anti-homosexuality laws are archaic, cruel, unjust, and unnecessary, and I urge you to do away with them as quickly as possible. In the meantime, however, I demand the immediate release of Marwan, and I call for the charges against him to be dropped.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond

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