Statement about the threat of dissolution, faced by Shams organization,

The organisations : 

  • Chouf that is mobilised for the rights of all individuals identifying as women as well as for all the rights of individuals discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and their identity and/or gender expression. 

  • Mawjoudin, that works to guarantee equality, to protect human rights, sexual and bodily rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community and any other marginalized groups through advocacy, documentation, capacity building, awareness raising, creating safe and secure spaces, and lobbying. 
Denounce the threat of dissolution, faced by Shams organization, and directed by the government based on not only their activities supporting Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender persons but also their advocacy against article 230.

These practices go counter the freedom of organization and association ensured and protected by Article 35 of the Tunisian Constitution of 2014 and by the foundations of a state grounded on the rule of law where civil society ensures a system of checks and balances in the face of regressive and anti-constitutional laws including Article 230 of the Tunisian Criminal Code, which criminalizes feminine and masculine homosexuality with a sentence of up to three years of prison and which indictment practices during arrests (the anal test) violate human dignity. This article, which is a colonial French heritage, goes against the content of the 2014 constitution which guarantees citizens’ dignity, freedom, and individual and collective rights without discrimination of any kind. 

Nonetheless, Chouf and Mawjoudin organizations would like to highlight that they do NOT revoke the reservations expressed in a previous statement due to certain methods and stands adopted by Shams organization such as the practice of “outing”, the dangerous exposure of the private life of LGBTQI+ vulnerable individuals, the normalization with the Zionist entity, in addition to the complaints received of sexual harassment cases allegedly committed by the President of Shams organization. For fear of being arrested and charged with Article 230, victims decide not to file a claim -the thing that increases the possibility of impunity for this person. 

Therefore, Chouf and Mawjoudin, support Shams organization in the midst of the threat of dissolution without turning a blind eye to these issues that tarnish and jeopardize our common cause. 

Signed by Chouf and Mawjoudin 

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