International human rights advocates at Front Line Defenders issued a statement today condemning Tunisia for ordering the LGBT group Shams to suspend activities. In the process, the statement clarified the context and background of this violation of Tunisian citizens’ rights to association and free speech.
The Tunisian government had filed a complaint accusing Shams (‘sun’ in Arabic) of violating NGO laws which led to its 30-day suspension by the Tunisian Court of First Instance on January 4. Shams, which seeks the decriminalization of gay sex acts in the northern African country, is the first group of its kind to receive official authorization from the country’s interior ministry in May 2015.
Members of the group have however been subjected to systematic smear campaigns by conservative political groups and individuals, with some members receiving death threats following public appearances in the media. Read more via 76crimes