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Tunisian LGBT activist’s suicide attempt sparks outpouring of love and support

By Will Stroude

The vice president of a Tunisian LGBT rights group, Ahmed Ben Amor, is recovering after attempting to take his life over the weekend.

The group, called Shams, issued the following statement on their Facebook page: “Shams – Tunisia announces with regret that its vice-president, Ahmed Ben Amor, attempted suicide at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9, by consuming a huge amount of drugs.

“He was hospitalized in a coma. Shams believes this happened because of the homophobia of his family and the society and because of death threats that Ahmed has regularly received”.

Ahmed has since woken from his coma, according to reports.

Shams aims to change anti-LGBT laws in Tunisia, which are blamed for the persecution of LGBT people in the country. A public face of the group, Amor has made a number of television appearances in the country calling for equal rights. A survey mentioned in an article from Tunisia Live suggested that over 60% of Tunisians still support laws that forbid consensual sex acts between adults.

Since Amor’s suicide attempt came to light, messages of support have poured in from around the world, using the hashtag #WeLoveYouAhmed.