Tragic Homophobic Murder of Gay Italian in Tunisia
An Italian national tourist, was found dead, murdered, in his apartment in the medina, Hammamet city, a touristic city on the east-northern coasts of Tunisia.
Reports indicate he was stabbed ten times and then slaughtered on the night of August 1st around 2 am.
The local police said to arrest the murderer, a jobless twenty year old from Gabes city (South-East of Tunisia) within an hour on same night in possession of a sum of money and goods belonging to the victim.
The victim and the murderer used to go out together to some of the cafes and spend the night together at the victim’s apartment. Chokri Kraiem, head of police in Hammamet, speaking to Shems FM, said that a dispute took place between the victim and his killer before the murder.
The victim was called Angelo and he was gay according to a grieving note published by his friend Martine Costa.
‘At 2 am, our friend Angelo shouted ‘Help!’ In a small street lined with houses. Where all sounds echo and get heard but no one intervened, because in here we let it happen when a homosexual is involved, which according to these people, it is not “normal” to be one’. Said Martine in her note.
‘The neighbor, who said she heard the cries, remained still in front of her plate of Shorba (Soup), during his ordeal, a few meters from her house.’ She adds.
Martine’s note was shared 1250 times at the moment of writing these lines and some of the 213 comments and reactions we found on Facebook expressed the enormous disgust and hate the general society has towards gay people.
Some argue that such murder wouldn’t get the same amount of attention if the victim was a local person. But one sure thing, Angelo’s murder is a wakeup call to look closer at the situation of LGBT individuals in Tunisia.
Martine was shocked at the reactions stirred by her friend’s tragic death. His homosexuality made it sound he deserved it.
‘Seeing children unmoved and joking ‘he was gay, he died ha ha’! At 7 years, we laughed, what will we do when 20 years … become murderers?’ She argued.
Soon Tunisians shall queue up again in voting centers to elect an official government and cut with all the provisionalties they known since January 14th 2010. Next elections will also mark the end of drafting the country’s new constitution said to guarantee all basic human rights to all Tunisians; a dream still far from being true as Human Right advocates are still pushing for preserving existent women rights and where Minister of Human Rights refuses to bring amendment to the law for advance LGBT rights.
The country is going through a dramatic crisis; infringement of the laws, corruption, crimes and slow reactions are the major complaints against the governmental coalition led by Ennahda Islamist party.
The economic situation is not improving and that is just fueling more and more hate and disgust of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
If any lesson to be learnt from Angelo’s homophobic barbaric and atrocious murder is the vulnerable situation gay people are at in Tunisia.