Trans woman jailed in Tunisia after indecency arrest


Two individuals have been jailed for indecency in Tunisia after they were arrested for “cross-dressing” at a Halloween party.

According to local media, the two (aged 19 and 25) were arrested in November at the private party in an apartment in the town of Hammam Sousse.

At least one of the individuals, Myriam, told officers that she identifies as transgender.

Their lawyer, LGBTI activist Mounir Baatour, has alleged that she was subjected to torture, humiliation and ridicule at the police station.

He also claimed that the only evidence against the two was the possession of women’s clothing and make-up. Baatour further noted that the apartment was searched by the police without a warrant.

Despite a flimsy case, on Tuesday, the individuals were each sentenced to two months in jail for “affecting the modesty of others with an obscene attitude”.

Baatour earlier accused the judge of transphobia and described the charges against his clients as an infringement of their individual freedom.

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are illegal in the North African country, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison. “Cross-dressing” is not specifically outlawed but transgender people are often prosecuted for indecency.

In March last year, Human Rights Watch released a disturbing 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.

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