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Tunisia: The status of homosexual men and women, including their treatment; the laws dealing with homosexuality, protection offered by the State and the availability of support services

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 23 November 2009
Citation / Document Symbol TUN103274.FE
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tunisia: The status of homosexual men and women, including their treatment; the laws dealing with homosexuality, protection offered by the State and the availability of support services, 23 November 2009, TUN103274.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b20f04ac.html [accessed 3 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Information on the situation of homosexuals in Tunisia was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Section 230 of Tunisia's Penal Code, which was amended in 2005, states that sodomy is punishable by three years in prison (Tunisia 1 Oct. 1913; ILGA May 2009, 45).

In a 6 November 2009 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Réseau euro-méditerranéen des droits de l'homme (REMDH), a network of over 80 human rights organizations active in over 30 countries in the Euro-Mediterranean region (REMDH n.d.), stated that homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia and is socially stigmatized. According to the REMDH Representative, homosexual men who are open about their sexuality risk being rejected by their family, being marginalized and being attacked (6 Nov. 2009). The REMDH Representative also noted that Tunisian authorities are not tolerant towards homosexuals, who are sometimes brutalized by police officers who accuse them of being the cause of illnesses, such as AIDS (REMDH 6 Nov. 2009). Further or corroborating information on the attitude of Tunisian authorities towards homosexuals or on the protection that is available to them in Tunisia could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). May 2009. Daniel Ottosson. Homophobie d'État : une enquête mondiale sur les lois qui interdisent la sexualité entre les adultes consentants de même sexe. [Accessed 7 Oct. 2009]

Réseau euro-méditerranéen des droits de l'homme (REMDH). 6 November 2009. Telephone interview with a representative.
_____. N.d. "Qui sommes-nous." [Accessed 10 Nov. 2009]

Tunisia. 1 October 1913 (amended 17 June 2005). Penal Code. [Accessed 9 Nov. 2009]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact the French author of numerous articles on homosexuality in Maghreb, and the president of the Comité pour le respect des libertés et des droits de l'homme en Tunisie (CRLDHT) were unsuccessful.

Internet sites, including: Afrol News, Agence France-Presse (AFP), AllAfrica.com, Amnesty International (AI), Association des gais, lesbiennes et bisexuel(le)s de l'Université de Sherbrooke (AGLEBUS), Association lyonaise de jeunes gais, lesbiennes et ceux qui les accompagnent, Belgium – Ministère des Affaires étrangères, Commerce extérieur et Coopération au développement, Le Conseil national pour les libertés en Tunisie (CNLT), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) of Canada, DomPHP, Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), Femmes de Tunisie, France gaie et lesbienne, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Gay Normandie, Gay Rights Info (GRI), Génération gay, Genre en action, InfoSud Belgique (InfoSud), International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Islamic Institute for Human Rights (IIHR), Kelmaghreb, Maghreb des droits de l'homme, Le Monde diplomatique, Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF), La Presse [Tunis], Le Quotidien [Tunis], Radio France internationale (RFI), Réalités [Tunis], Sodomy Laws, Switzerland – Département fédéral des Affaires étrangères (DFAE), Le Temps [Tunis], Tunis Hebdo [Tunis], United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, United States (US) – Department of State, World News Connection (WNC).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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