Tunisian government ignores LGBT advocacy groups as six more are jailed

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

In December 2015, a court in Tunisia ruled three years’ jail time each for six students accused of homosexuality, which is the maximum sentence allowed. Even against rising pressure from advocacy groups, the government refuses to change its criminal code, which outlaws homosexuality. Although this is an ongoing issue, this is the most recent publicized incident of a conviction.

After neighbours denounced them, the six young men were forced to undergo anal exams, which “amount to torture when carried out involuntarily” said the human rights group Amnesty International. The teens, aged between 18 and 19, were also banished from the city of Kairouan for five years after their convictions have been served. In addition to Amnesty International, many human rights groups are behind the movement to abolish the “draconian” law such as: Shams (a local gay rights group), Human Rights Watch, and Human Rights League.

Agence Press-France (AFP) produced a story which was then shared on one major news outlet: Yahoo News but was also posted by alternative sites including The Telegraph, The New Arab, and The Guardian. IBT, Human Rights Watch, Huffington Post, Middle East Eye and the Independent each produced their own version of the story.


“Tunisia jails six students for homosexuality” Agence Press-France, December 14, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/tunisia-jails-six-students-homosexuality-lawyer-130623786.html

Morgan Windsor, “Tunisian Students Charged With Homosexuality Get Maximum Prison Sentence” International Business Times, December 14, 2015, http://www.ibtimes.com/tunisian-students-charged-homosexuality-get-maximum-prison-sentence-2224865

Rihab Boukhayatia, “Tunisia’s War On LGBT People Is Heating Up” Huffington Post, December 21, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tunisia-lgbt-criminalization-prison_us_56781d35e4b06fa6887ddfd9

Student Researcher: Emily Pasiuk (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)