In a recent interview with the Human Rights Watch (HRW), four of the six Tunisian students who were imprisoned last December for sodomy spoke out about their nightmarish experience which involved forced anal examinations, beatings and humiliation.

The six students were first arrested in Kairouan on December 4 after their home was raided by the police based on the intel that ‘a number of homosexuals are using a house in Kairouan to do sodomy.’
During their interrogation at the police station, the students were bullied continuously and insulted with demeaning Arabic words for ‘homosexual.’

One student named Jamel described:
‘They started saying we are gay, and we denied it and said we don’t have gay practices. Then they started slapping, kicking and beating us all together.’

Jamel also shared that one of the policemen ordered him to take off his boxers to see if his pubic hair was shaved.
The students were then brought to the hospital the next day and were forced to undergo anal examinations.

Student Amar talked about what happened when he refused the orders:
‘I was the first to enter to the room where the doctor was. I asked the doctor, “What is the test?” He said, “A test like a woman” – meaning a virginity test.

‘I said “No, I will not do that test.” The policeman screamed at me, “Respect the doctor!” I said, “I am respecting the doctor, but I refuse the test.” The policeman told me to write that I refuse the test, so I wrote it.