Tunisia, Tunis. 01 December, 2016. A posed portrait of 36 year old, gay man Badr (+216 58111790, baaboubadr@yahoo.com). Badr is the Executive Director of DAMJ, a human rights organization. He has worked as an LGBTQI+ activist for many years. This work has also made him the target of violence. For his safety, he moves house every four to five months. ÒThe worst moment of my life was in December 2012, the first president of the association received death threats and I was hiding him in my home to protect him. So I became the target of a group of homophobic gangsters who infiltrated into my home in the medina of Tunis, they took my archives and many documents of the NGO after having violently brutalized meÓ. Photo Robin Hammond /NOOR for Witness Change. The Tunisian Revolution, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, was an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia, and led to the ousting of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. It eventually led to a thorough democratization of the country and to free and democratic elections. Tunisian LGBTQI+ community hoped that the revolution would usher in a more open society, and an end to homophobia and transphobia. This has not come to pass. The laws that target LGBTQI+ people remain, most notably article 230 which makes same-sex acts illegal, punishable by up the 3 years in prison. Transgender people are targeted under public decency laws. The general public is no more accepting of LGBTQI+ people than they were before the revolution. Despite the legal and societal discrimination, LGBTQI+ activists are dedicated to campaigning more openly.

Berlin shines light on illegal love

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Robin Hammond

An exhibition was hosted by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Foundation and featured images from Where Love is Illegal’s stories from Tunisia. The exhibition was attended by Tunisian community member Badr Baabou whose story features in Where Love is Illegal.

 “The members of the community need to be brave enough to show who they really are – and people have to deal with it, because it’s a fact: gay people they are real, not a myth, so it’s a daily struggle and we have to be ourselves, not hide, be loud, it’s about visibility.”

Badr Baabou is a gay man and chairs the organization Damj, which means inclusion, for the rights of the LGBTI, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, in Tunisia. That alone is enough for him to be subject to physical assault, and even death.

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