On December 21st, 2022, a Tunisian court issued a verdict sentencing a transgender woman, Maya, to three years in prison, and a man who was arrested with her to one year. Help amplify their voices against injustice.
On the night of December 11th-12th, the "Social Protection Unit" raided a private residence due to doubts that it hosted a group of LGBTQIA++ individuals. This resulted in the arrest of 4 individuals, who despite the lack of any evidence against them were led to a detention centre, where they were "questioned," or more accurately intimidated, degraded, and subjected to countless violations of their rights as citizens.
Maya, a trans woman, had her head forcibly shaved, and continues to be detained with men.
On December 21st, 2022, the First Instance Court issued a maximum sentence verdict against her, sentencing her to three years in prison under Article 230 of the penal code. One other man who was also arrested with her was sentenced to one year under the same law, while the remaining two were acquitted.
What does Article 230 entail?
As per this article, private acts of homosexuality between consenting adults are punishable by up to three years in jail in Tunisia. One can be incriminated based on their appearance, their private messages, or confessions under duress.
This case sets precedent for people's homes to be raided on the basis of nothing but a suspicion, putting them at risk of imprisonment for just existing in their private spaces.
Damj the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality provided lawyers for the detainees with the support of several other NGOs and associations, such as Mawjoudin, ASF, O3DT among others.
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