Two young men in Tunisia face imprisonment after they were arrested and charged with homosexuality.
The men, Achref, a 20-year-old student, and Sabri, 22, were apparently stopped by police as they walked down a street in the city of Sousse earlier this month.
According to L’Express, they were asked if they were gay and were accused of bringing “a curse on the country”.
There are reports that the men were physically abused by officers at the police station and made to sign a statement under duress.
Achref has also claimed that he was forced to undergo an anal exam as part of the investigation against him.
The men were released on bail pending their trail, which has been set down to start on 6 January.
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are illegal in the North African country, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
In March, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the abuse of gay men and men perceived to be homosexual by Tunisia’s police.
Victims claimed that police had subjected them to grave human rights abuses, including beatings, forced anal examinations, and routine humiliating treatment.
Anal exams have no medical or scientific value in determining whether consensual anal sex has taken place and are seen as a form of torture or cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment by human rights groups.