Updates on Marwan’s Case in Tunis

I hope people will take the actions Amnesty International recommended regarding the case of Marwan, a young man whom Tunisia has sentenced to 6 months in jail for being gay.

In the meantime, Shams Tunisie, a Tunisian LGBT advocacy group, has updated its Facebook page twice recently regarding Marwan’s case.

المطلوب إطلاق سراح مروان المظلوم في قضية الفحوص الشرجية #تونس

Amnesty International USA asked people to write to Tunisian officials asking them to release “Marwan,” a man who was convicted of same-sex conduct. “Marwan” is an alias. I found a column by Farhat Othman helpful. This is the body of the letter I wrote:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و صلى الله على النبي الأمي محمد بن عبد الله و آله و سلم و السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

قال الله تعالى وإذا حكمتم بين الناس أن تحكموا بالعدل إن الله نعما يعظكم به إن الله كان سميعا بصيرا

فأرجو أن تصل إلىكم هذد الرسالة و أنتم بخير و صحة و عافية و أطلب منكم الإفراج فوراً بدون شروط عن الشاب الملقب بمروان المتهم بالمثلية و مسح سجله من تلك التهمة و إلغاء إدانته ثم إبطال الفصل 230 المجرِّم للمثلية.

كل ذلك ضروري لإرساء دولة القانون في تونس الحرة التي هي قدوة للشعوب العربية جميعا.

لكم الشكر و التقدير

Updated October 25, 2015: Minister of Justice expelled from cabinet, partly over his call to decriminalize same-sex behavior.

Is #Libya Like #Tunisia and #Egypt? #Revolution #Africa #Arab

A friend wrote to me asking for my thoughts on the north African revolutions, particularly Libya.

The world media I have noticed is incredibly biased against all the Middle Eastern and African leaders and there presentation of the events unfolding now is not even close to being neutral.  Ghaddafi is the prime example, we have yet to hear from any of his supporters and when we do hear from Ghaddafi himself the media portrays him as some sort of madman.  Granted he has been the leader of Libya for 42 years and he was at odds with the United States for much of those 42 years.  However, one has to look beneath the surface and question the perspective the media is taking. They tend to focus on his attire and his cadre of female bodyguards, however it is a rare occurrence indeed when the media, including the Arab media, refers to the financial support he has provided to many sub-Saharan African countries.  They prefer to paint him in these broad brush strokes as an unhinged meglomaniac oblivious to the needs of the people.  It seems on the service that the people are protesting in Libya for the same reasons they protested in Egypt, but beneath the surface there most be more because the two countries are very dissimilar.  Libya has oil wealth, Egypt does not, Libya is very sparsely populated, whereas Egypt has a very dense population all concentrated along the banks of the Nile.  Perhaps those who are calling for Ghaddafi’s ouster and merely taking advantage of a situation in order to seize power and when they do, nothing truly will change.  Things may even become worse. What do you think?

My uninformed opinion is that Libya has been ineffective in creating positive change, whether it be domestic or in the rest of the African continent. Having said that, see the article below entitled Libya, Getting it Right. I also remember when I was in Nigeria meeting a South African who told me he was traveling to Libya to present to the Moammar al-Qaddafi a book which praised his government’s achievements.

I believe it is essential to reject all outside military intervention, although there’s really no way to prevent arms from reaching either the government or a rebel faction. In addition, freezing assets is a major intervention which the US had not done in the case of the Tunisian or Egyptian (or Saudi) despots, but it has frozen Libyan assets. So in no case should anybody believe that the U.S. can play a positive role in Libya or elsewhere, other than simply avoiding further intervention.

Tumblrs, do you have anything you’d like to add to this?

    shanfaraa:

    The Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm, is reporting that the Cairo Stock Exchange will suspend trading if and when it reopens if there is a decline in the index in excess of 5%. I will have more to say about this in connection with the economic implications of the January 25th Revolution,…

    Egyptian Stock Market to Suspend Trading if Index Declines by More Than 5%

    maced:

    2.24pm: Jack Shenker has a new update from an “exhilarating” Tahrir Square.

    There is more energy and optimism in Tahrir today than almost anything I’ve seen before – an aimless wander through the packed crowds is a dizzying, exhilarating experience, revealing a hundreds of little…

    that wasn’t an invitation to talk: 2.24pm: Jack Shenker has a new update from an “exhilarating” Tahrir…