Tunisian police target LGBTQ protesters
Protesters in Tunisia have faced hate messages, threats, and other types of harassment on social media, and been arrested when they complain to police. Arrests and prosecutions based on Facebook posts are becoming more frequent, and in street protests law enforcement appears to target LGBTQ community members for mistreament. In a report, Human Rights Watch collected testimonies to document dozens of cases in which LGBTQ people were harassed online, doxxed, and forcibly outed; some have been arbitrarily arrested, assaulted, threatened, and refused access to legal counsel. Dozens of Facebook pages are associated with Tunisia's police unions, who use them to post propaganda and images of drug busts and arrests, as well as to propagate disinformation inciting violence against specific parts of society and even individual protesters. The tactic is expanding across the region and beginning to target pro-democracy protesters.
Writer: Framcesca Ebel