About the Book

"Article 230 : A History of the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Tunisia" traces the history of the Tunisian Sodomy Law, from its original appearance in an early draft of the 1913 Penal Code under the French Protectorate, to its contemporary application in Post-Revolution Tunisia. Based on original archival research, dozens of interviews with historians, Tunisian LGBTQ activists, diplomats, lawyers, and journalists, and legal analysis of Article 230 in the context of Tunisia’s constitutional and international human rights obligations, the report sheds light on the law’s colonial origins and its devastating effects on the Tunisian LGBTQ community in the present-day. The report additionally discusses the emergence of the Tunisian LGBTQ movement, and its critical efforts against Article 230, and for a free, egalitarian, and democratic Tunisia.

The report seeks to respond to a number of pressing questions: Why did the drafters of the 1913 Tunisian Penal Code include a law criminalizing sodomy? How did the drafters decide on three years’ imprisonment as the appropriate punishment, given that said punishment has no clear basis in French law, Tunisian law, or Shari’a ? Should Article 230 be read as a pure product of colonialism, or is it rooted in
certain—potentially erroneous—conceptions of the requirements of Shari’a or Tunisian tradition? How is Article 230 applied today, in Post-Revolution Tunisia? What strategies have LGBTQ Tunisians adopted in their struggle for the abrogation of the Tunisian sodomy law ?

Ramy Khouili@khouiliramy

The Authors

Ramy Khouili is a medical doctor and a human rights activist in Tunisia, and has been engaged in Tunisian civil society for over a decade. His work focuses principally on questions of individual liberties, sexual and reproductive rights, women’s rights and equality, and refugee and migrants’ rights.

Daniel Levine-Spound@dlspound

Daniel Levine-Spound is a human rights lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School. His work centers primarily on the protection of human rights in armed conflict, international humanitarian law, and respect for the rule of law in the context of counterterrorism. He spent several years in Tunisia, where he worked for two human rights NGOs.


Contact Us

Ramy Khouili : ramykhouili@gmail.com

Daniel Levine-Spound : dlspound@gmail.com