Tunisian gays start fight back

Tunisia’s first LGBT organisation gathered together on Saturday to protest against the arrest and unlawful anal examination of a 22-year-old gay man in the resort town of Sousse.

At a cultural centre in La Marsa, Tunis, approximately 100 members of the Shams group hosted a conference in which civil society activists, lawyers, human rights experts, and other noteworthy individuals shared their ideas for how to best assist the imprisoned man.

More details have emerged over the rough treatment the young man received from the Police. At the meeting…

…They referred to the arrested man by his pseudonym Marwen. On 6 September, authorities called Marwen in for questioning about the murder of a 53-year old man in Sousse, since they had found Marwen’s number in the man’s cell phone history.

Before heading to the police station, Marwen made sure to call one of his friends, who insisted that he accompany him to the station. The friend, who remains anonymous for his safety, sat outside the interrogation room while police questioned Marwen. According to Marwen’s friend, after quickly realising Marwen was not involved in the murder, “the police began asking him if he had homosexual relations with the older deceased man.”

Marwen refused to admit to these allegations, which only frustrated the police. Marwen’s friend then heard a loud slap of a hand on a wooden table, and then one of the officers could be heard saying, “Okay you want to do it that way? Take off your pants.”

No wonder they are beginning to get organised.


Hotline Hot issue

London’s Jewish, Muslim and LGBT communities have joined forces to oppose plans by Boris Johnston for a unified hate-crime hotline, presumably to save money, claiming it would dissuade victims from reporting antisemitic, Islamophobic and homophobic attacks at a time of rising attacks, reports the Guardian. “Reporting relies on trust between organisations and their communities, and a one-number, blanket approach ignores this fundamental principle,” said Nik Noone, chief executive of Galop.


Gay life, Moscow, now: Just like Gay Life, London, 1970s, only with Apps!

2012 : Gay men kiss in Moscow | EPA

The Guardian have completed their “Moscow week” with a deep look at gay life in Moscow today. Despite everything, gay life is thriving in Moscow, with gays from remote villages and smaller towns choosing to live there.

Andrey, 27, an engineer, is one of those “gay men from the villages”. Born in Grozny and raised in a village near Moscow, he moved to the capital at 21, drawn by the Eurovision song contest that Russia hosted in 2009. “Of course I was immediately very excited in Moscow,” he said over a coffee on a sunny June afternoon in the rear courtyard of Cafe Mart, next to Moscow’s Museum of Modern Art. “In Grozny I had to keep it a secret from my parents and my friends. But of course I needed to meet men, to have boyfriends and to have sex.” Andrey used apps, but on moving to Moscow found he didn’t need to be quite so discreet any more – although he’s still in the closet at work. “It makes me uncomfortable when men talk about women. A colleague asked me which of the girls at the office I’d like to hook up with. I said I don’t date in the workplace.”

Apps have made life much easier in Moscow it seems – probably for the secret police as well as the gay community!