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Swede jailed in Tunisia for 'homosexual acts'

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A gay pride parade in Argentina. Photo: TT
09:54 CET+01:00
A Swedish man has been jailed for two years in Tunisia for "homosexual acts", a case which has prompted protests from Swedish diplomats.

"(Sweden) highlighted its belief in equal rights regardless of sexual orientation as a fundamental principle of democracy," said Victoria Bell, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

"The man, who is in his 50s, was sentenced February 4 to two years in prison for homosexual acts," she added.

Tunisia confirmed the conviction, but has not provided further comment.

A report in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet said the man, who has been living in France for years, appealed the sentence.

Homosexuality is considered a crime in Tunisia, with convictions carrying a penalty of up to three years behind bars.

A Tunisian rights watchdog called on authorities to change the law and condemned the Swede's prison sentence.

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"This law is an infringement upon freedom," said Yamina Thabet, president of rights group ATSM. "The ATSM is repeating its call for the decriminalization of homosexuality."

Nearly three-quarters of African countries have laws against homosexuality.

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