Africa / Commentary

Amnesty plea: Six men free on bail, but in grave danger

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Amnesty International is seeking international support for its plea that six Tunisian students be cleared of homosexuality charges. The organization also seeks an investigation into the students’ reports that they were tortured in prison before being released on bail. Amnesty’s plea is in addition to petitions on and in support of the Tunisian LGBT group Shams and in opposition to the Tunisian anti-LGBTI law, Article 230.

Tunisia: Quash Conviction of Six Men

Six Tunisian men, who have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated since they were convicted of “sodomy,” were released on bail on 7 January. The men have been threatened, and fear that their lives are in danger.

1) Please write immediately in Arabic, French, English or your own language:

  • Urging the Tunisian authorities to quash the conviction of the six men convicted of “sodomy”;
  • Calling on them to order an immediate, impartial and effective investigation of the men’s allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and protect them from further reprisals, threats and violence;
  • Calling on them to repeal Article 230 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations, and publicly condemn all forms of violence based on gender and real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

2) For the full Urgent Action, including appeal addresses and further information, please click on the Word or PDF version …

URGENT ACTION: Six men free on bail, but in grave danger

In Tunisia, Kairouan is located about 150 kilometers (100 miles) south of Tunis. (Map courtesy of

In Tunisia, Kairouan is located about 150 kilometers (100 miles) south of Tunis. (Map courtesy of

[The] six Tunisian men … had been arrested on 2 December at a party in the city of Kairouan and sentenced to three years in prison on 10 December, the maximum provided under Article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code, which covers “sodomy and lesbianism”. Their appeal is scheduled to be heard on 25 February.

Some of the men have spoken about being beaten at the police station after they were arrested. A lawyer defending them has told Amnesty International that the signs of the beatings the men received were still clear and that one of them had been left with a broken nose.

The men also described how they were forced to undergo an anal examination against their will. Police took them to the hospital, and went with them into the examination room. The men were seen individually by the forensic doctor and, when each of them refused to be examined, were asked to sign a statement of their refusal. However, each of them was beaten by police when he left the room, and forced to go back and undergo the test. Their refusals were torn up, and they were forced to sign an agreement to the test. This amounts to torture when carried out against the will of the detainee.

The lawyer also told Amnesty International that the men have been threatened since they were released, and are too afraid to go outside. The men’s normal lives and their studies have also been disrupted and they are in constant fear of facing new accusations or charges.

Please write immediately in Arabic, French, English or your own language.


    Minister of Justice
    Omar Mansour
    31, boulevard Bab Bnet
    1006 Tunis
    Fax: +216 71 56 18 04
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Béji Caïd Essebsi
    Presidential Palace
    Carthage, Tunis
    Fax: +216 71 74 47 21
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to:
    Speaker of Parliament
    President Mohamed Ennaceur
    Assembly of the Representatives of the People
    Bardo 2000, Tunis
    Fax: +216 71 514 608

3) Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our impact!

  • EITHER send a short email to with “UA 298/15” in the subject line, and include in the body of the email the number of letters and/or emails you sent,
  • OR fill out this short online form to let us know how you took action.



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