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Amnesty International Club

Monday 18 January 2016

Students have been researching and campaigning for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves;

Marwan’s story is horrific. He was taken in for questioning by the Tunisian authorities on 6th September, after police found his number on the phone of a man who had been murdered. He was not suspected of committing the murder but under questioning, was forced to confess to having a relationship with the murdered man. The police officers beat him, threatened to rape him and charge him with murder. A few days after, he was subjected to an examination to establish ‘proof’ of anal sex. He was then sentenced to a year in prison.

Tragically, it’s still illegal to be gay in Tunisia, with Article 230 of the Penal Code criminalising homosexuality. Unsurprisingly, this leads to widespread violence and discrimination towards the Tunisian LGBTI community. But, things are changing. Already, many people in Tunisia have been outraged by Marwan’s case. On 28th September, Tunisia’s Minister for Justice acknowledged that Article 230 violates rights. Things are changing, but we have to keep up this pressure.

Amnesty International club members decided this was a good case to campaign for as Marwan is a student and would be relatable to other Bishop Barrington students, and some may have holidayed in Tunisia.

Members decided to petition the Tunisian government and collated 344 signatures of support from members of Bishop Barrington School including teachers and students (aged 11-16).  They are showing their support for this cause and their objection to the inhumane treatment of Marwan.

Amnesty International Club has moved to a lunchtime to enable more students to get involved and join the fight as we continue with the campaign to free Marwan.