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Seven years after its Arab spring:Tunisia still hunts homosexuals

The story is of two homosexual couples settled in Tunisia: Christophe and Mehdi (French and Mauritian) and Thierry and Yoan (French and Tunisian). They had a hotel in Carthage (northern suburbs of Tunis), the two French friends had settled there for 4 years. The two couples had to flee Tunisia for fear of being arrested for homosexuality. Their story has been recounted by the French media.

The alert on their imminent arrest for homosexuality was given to Thierry by the French consulate in Tunisia. “They told me that we would be arrested very quickly, and that we had to flee Tunisia very quickly,” says Thierry. The phones of the couples were tapped for six months and the arrest was scheduled at night, was informed Thierry.

This investigation against them began following a denunciation, according to the Consulate, said Christophe. Indeed, the couples explain that they were discreet: “We have always been very careful, because we must not shock the population.It is still a country where there are rules to respect. “he added.

The couples risked three years’ imprisonment for homosexuality under article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code.

Christophe reports that they were able to flee in time thanks to their relations with some of the consulate staff members who were their clients at the hotel. The couples say, however, that the embassy has let them go. “What I’m saying is that there was no accompaniment in the departure, we left on our own, they knew we had all our belongings there. was returning to La Rochelle “, laments Christophe. The couples wish to be able to recover their property remained in Tunisia. They claim that their hotel was looted and that their residence permits in Tunisia were removed.

Meanwhile, the two French wish to regularize the situations of their spouses of Tunisian and Mauritian nationality in France so that they can work.

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