"Ikhwanophobia"

Tunisia: Opposition Leader Arrested For “Gay Sex”

Things are not going well in Tunisia:

Mounir Baatour, the leader of Tunisia’s opposition Liberal Party (PLT), has been arrested along with another man for allegedly participating in a gay sex act in a Tunis hotel Sunday (31 March) evening.

A pro-Ennahda Facebook page uses highly inflammatory and graphic descriptions of the man who was arrested along with Baatour and the alleged sexual activity – apparently in a bid to discredit PLT’s leader.

Baatour appeared Wednesday (3 April) in a Tunisian courtroom to answer the charges against him and make a plea of not guilty according to a source in the Tunisian Justice Ministry.

Abd Wahab Heni, leader of Majd party, also alleged the case was ‘fabricated’, saying it was designed to incite moral panic and outrage Tunisians against the country’s secular left parties.

Tarek (name protected), a Tunisian blogger and LGBT rights activist, told Gay Star News: ‘Pro-Ennahda elements are spreading rumors and allegation about Baatour being a “passive sodomite” to humiliate and discredited him politically and socially.

‘If he is not arrested it is already bad enough to spread such slander. But, if he was then it’s even more frightening because we are back to the post-revolutionary methods which used “morality” and the country’s anti-gay law to silence critical voices.

‘LGBT Tunisians can’t even be safe in privacy now’.

As far as I can see, this story hasn’t been covered by The Guardian, which is odd. Because they used to be so interested in Tunisian politics that they had article after article from members of Ennadha supremo Rachid Ghannouchi’s family in its pages. Indeed, we were told by Jonathan Steele that parties such as the PLT were trying to “manipulate Islamophobia“: perhaps by raising concerns that this would be precisely what would happen under Ennadha.

Well, now that Brian Whitaker has taken early retirement, I expect that there’s nobody at The Guardian prepared to tell its readers how the “moderate Islamist” regime is working out in practice. Perhaps I’ll be surprised.

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