The case of a Tunisian man who told authorities he was gang raped only to end up behind bars has refocused attention on the continued harassment of individuals based on sexual orientation in Tunisia. The 22-year-old, known by his initials A.F., had sought police assistance in the southern Tunisian town of Sfax in January. He was promptly arrested on charges of homosexual conduct. Yesterday, A.F. was sentenced to six months in prison for violating Article 230 of Tunisia’s penal code, which proscribes same-sex relations.
The court sentenced A.F.'s assailants to six months under the same law and to an additional two months for robbery and assault. A.F. later retracted his claim of rape, presumably to avoid imprisonment, but he was still sentenced.