That people shouldn’t be jailed for having consensual sex seems to us to be part of what freedom and liberty mean – whatever the form of that sex, homo-, hetero-, sexual or other. As long as it’s all consenting adults then chacun a son gout. Non-consensual sex is of course rape and thus should be criminal.
The law isn’t this way in other parts of the world, this we know. There are plenty of places where adultery, even fornication, are crimes and even some that carry out death penalties for such. There are others where homosexual sex is similarly forbidden – as it was in our own countries within living memory.
Which brings us to this story of a man jailed in Tunisia for reporting that he had been raped. Well, no, not quite:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] An alleged rape victim who tried to report his assault to police was sentenced to eight months imprisonment by a Tunisian court for engaging in homosexual acts. The man, known as “Anas” attended a police station in the coastal city of Sfax on 2 January, where he reported that he had been raped and robbed by two men, according to Shams, a leading gay rights group in the north African nation. Following initial questioning, Anas was accused of homosexuality and subjected to an enforced anal examination – an invasive procedure designed to detect evidence of sodomy, an act prohibited under Article 230 of Tunisia’s penal code and punishable by up to three years in prison. Following his examination, Anas was remanded in custody until his trial this week. [/perfectpullquote]
We can see how we’re expected to take that story. Obviously, if the guy is claiming to have been raped then – assuming his claimed rapists were men – then he’s been having homosexual sex. So, jail him! And thus we all splutter about believing the victim and so on. Except that’s not quite what did happen – at least according to the court and they’re the people who heard the evidence:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] A man has been jailed for eight months under Tunisia’s anti-gay laws after reporting that he had been raped by two male robbers, it has been claimed. The 22-year-old is said to have gone to a police station in the southern Tunisian town of Sfax to report the alleged assault and robbery – only to be arrested himself. [/perfectpullquote]
You can see again how the story is being pitched.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]A court in Sfax, eastern Tunisia, sentenced the man to serve six months in jail for sodomy and an additional two months for filing false charges, ruling that the man had rowed after having had sex.[/perfectpullquote]
No, I don’t know either, the court there being the one group of people who have seen that evidence.
That a bloke shouldn’t be jailed for getting his jollies in a consensual manner is just and righteous, as is jugging those who rape. But the finding of the court was that he was complaining after having consented to that illegal sex rather than that a rape had occurred.
We’ve even been known to have trials on the same point in our own fair and pleasant land, haven’t we? Over those issues of consent?