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Tunisia student jailed for gay sex released after international outcry

His phone number was found on the body of a man he had been sleeping with

Tunisia student jailed for gay sex released after international outcry
Wikipedia
Student was detained in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse.

A Tunisian student who was sentenced to a year in jail for gay sex has been released on appeal after an international outcry.

The 22-year-old, only identified as Marwan, was released Thursday (5 November) on bail of 500 dinars (230 euros), his lawyer Fadwa Braham told AFP.

Marwan was taken in for questioning in the resort town of Sousse on 6 September after his phone number was found on the body of a murder victim.

After six days in police custody and alleged abuse, Marwan confessed to having sex with the man.

His lawyer said police had threatened him to bring a murder charge against him if he could not explain their relationship.

Cleared of suspicion of murder, Marwan was then investigated separately for gay sex and was forced to undergo an anal examination.

Human Rights Watch decried the examination as ‘grossly intrusive, invasive, and abusive,’ and more than 80,000 people signed a petition demanding Marwan’s release.

MEPs from across Sweden, Germany and Scotland also wrote a letter of concern to Tunisian Justice Minister Mohamed Ali Ben Aissa, who then called for a repeal the country’s gay sex ban.

‘My problem is Article 230… Nothing can justify infringement on private life,’ he said.

Article 230 of Tunisia’s penal code punishes ‘homosexual acts’ by up to three years imprisonment.


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