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Tunisian activists demonstrate against homophobia

Article 230 of the Tunisian penal code punishes homosexuality with up to three years in prison   -  
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In Tunisia, human rights activists protested on Monday outside an appeals court in Kairouan, a city in the centre of the country, as a man known only as "Daniel" appeared before judges on the first day of an appeal hearing.

The defendant is accused of homosexuality and faces returning to prison for more than two years in a case dating back to 2015.

"Today, in front of the Court of Appeal of Kairouan, in a demonstration to support "Daniel", the only person remaining in the case of Kairouan since 2015, who returned from the Appeals Court, we are waiting for a decision that will bring justice to the victims, most of them have left the country because of abuse and homophobia", said Seif Ayedi, activist with Damj rights group.

Many demonstrators held up placards calling for the "article of shame" to be removed, referring to Article 230 of the penal code which punishes homosexual acts by both men and women with a prison sentence.

"I look at the case today in all its parts as a case to rehabilitate rights and freedoms, not to attack residential sanctity or physical sanctity", said lawyer Naama Nsiri.

"Daniel", along with five other men, was originally charged in 2015 with "homosexual acts", which is punishable by up to three years in prison in Tunisia.

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