A number of Tunisian celebrities and well-known figures in the civil society demanded the cancelation of the Article 230 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality.
Several Tunisian celebrities posed to camera with posters of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) flag, on which the following phrase was written: “Article 230, until when?”
Among those supported the rights of LGBT are Suhair Bin Amara, Sawsen Maalej, Jalila Baccar, Salma Baccar and Raouf Ben Amor.
Article 230 of the Penal Code was passed in 1913 and later modified in 1964, a year after declaring Tunisia as a one party-state (the Socialist Destourian Party) under President Habib Bourguiba. Private acts of same-sex in Tunisia are illegal between consenting adults and the penalty could reach three years in prison.
But the answer came strong from the President Beji Caid Essebsi in mid-December 2015, who confirmed his refusal to cancel or modify the penalty against homosexuals. Essebsi retaliated: “I absolutely refuse the cancelation of the penalty against homosexuals and the article 230 of the Penal Code.”