The new rule will appear in the 2017 edition of the AP Stylebook, which will be available May 31. Poynter interviewed Tiffany Stevens, a reporter at The Roanake Times who identifies as non-binary, about the change. “The fact that it’s being accepted by The Associated Press, that’s super exciting,” said Stevens. “Non-binary people as an identity aren’t recognized in general in America.”
The entry in the stylebook now reads:
“They, them, their In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave them.They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers. We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze.”
The entry also includes the following:
“In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Commerce for communications related to the Trump Administration’s exclusion of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” recommendations regarding data collection in the American Community Survey. Materials produced from this request will help determine how this shameful decision was made.
HRC President Chad Griffin said, “The Trump Administration has launched a deliberate campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal data used to inform budgets and policies across the government. Their intent is clear: by denying we exist, the Trump Administration hopes to deny us equality. It won’t work. Today, we’re resolved to be louder and fight even harder, because Donald Trump and Mike Pence #CantEraseUs.”
The Census Bureau issued a statement correcting an earlier version of a report to Congress in which they stated, “inadvertently listed sexual orientation and gender identity as a proposed topic in the appendix.” The correction suggests that the draft report included LGBTQ data collection recommendations or plans. Many federal agencies, including the Census Bureau, have been collecting and/or planning to collect similar data.
This is the Trump Administration’s latest move in a larger campaign to erase LGBTQ people from federal surveys and disrupt programs that provide direct assistance to the LGBTQ community. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services removed a question about sexual orientation from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants. Earlier this month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development withdrew two notices impacting data collection and implementation guidelines for a homelessness prevention initiative targeting LGBTQ youth.
Today, as the United Nations begins its annual gathering on women’s rights, a coalition of international women’s, LGBTQ, and immigrant justice organizations have launched a joint initiative called: No Borders on Gender Justice.
This coalition, participating in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), highlights that this year’s session takes place under the shadow of escalated anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim policies of the United States. The organizers point to the new executive order by the Trump Administration, set to take effect this Thursday, as the latest in an exclusionary trend that prevents women from exercising their rights to political participation at UN Headquarters.
Yanar Mohammed, President of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, spoke out in solidarity with women’s rights activists excluded by these policies. “This is not the time to keep us out of the meeting rooms, out of the decision-making spaces and away from our sisters at CSW,” she said.
An Indigenous Ixil women’s rights activist from Guatemala, who requested not to be named, said, “I was denied a visa to travel to the US for CSW. Coming from Guatemala or from Central America, we know the obstacles and discrimination that have stood in the way of us accessing international spaces in the US, like the UN in New York. This is a barrier to our work for human rights, worsening in this political climate of fear and exclusion.”
Organizers of this initiative have emphasized that the risk extends not only to access to CSW. Also at risk is rights advocates’ access to UN and international advocacy spaces year round. Moreover, those most affected are women and their families, far from UN spaces, who face hate crimes, criminalization, detention and deportation due to xenophobic policies.
The No Borders on Gender Justice initiative seeks to renew strategies to reclaim space to defend the full range of women’s human rights, protest racist and Islamophobic policies that bar access, amplify the demands of those who have been excluded, and deepen collaboration with women most at risk from authoritarianism.
Organizers have also released a platform of principles, available here. The organizations co-sponsoring this initiative are: MADRE, Just Associates (JASS), Center for Women’s Global Leadership, AWID, Urgent Action Fund, Women in Migration Network and OutRight Action International.
Leaders and activists from all over the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico will be coming to San Diego this coming weekend for a meeting of the International Imperial Court Council, the governing body of the International Imperial Court System, which has chapters in over 69 cities in these three countries. The organization was founded in 1965 by World War II veteran Jose Julio Sarria who in 1961 became the first openly-gay candidate to run for public office in North America.
There will be a special announcement coming out of the San Diego meeting, the launching of a civil rights arm of the Imperial Court System: The National GLBT Network U.S.A. The recent national Women’s March drew Court members participating, not only in Washington, D.C., but in cities all across the nation.
“The next four years will be an especially critical time for the LGBT rights movement and our allies,” stated San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, the new national chair and the executive director of the National GLBT Network U.S.A.
The Imperial Court System within the United States has a long history of civil rights activism. During the 1970s when Anita Bryant launched her homophobic “Save Our Children” crusade in Dade County Fla., the Imperial Courts raised funds and sent them to the Anti-Bryant campaign in Florida. Imperial Court members were very active and involved in anti-homosexual ballot initiatives in Colorado, Oregon and California. In California, the Imperial Courts raised funds and were active against the Sen. John Briggs initiative to ban all homosexual teachers from teaching in public schools.
“We will be working with the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Human Rights Fund, the Victory Fund and other civil rights organizations” stated Scott Seibert, national vice-chair and deputy director from Portland Ore. “The next four years now more than ever all LGBT organizations, clubs and churches must get more involved in our continuing fight for equality.”
Membership in the National GLBT Network U.S.A. is open to all. For further information, please contact:
Sir Elton John said: “This work is badly needed. In a short space of time, the fund received more than 235 applications. Each request makes horribly clear just how much LGBT human rights abuses serve as a barrier to ending AIDS. Now more than ever it’s time for government leaders and philanthropists to join efforts to overcome the anti-LGBT stigma, discrimination and violence that is making the HIV epidemic worse.”
Shaun Mellors, Director Knowledge and Influence at the International HIV AIDS Alliance, said: “Stigma, discrimination and violence mean HIV services for LGBT people and men who have sex with men are regularly prevented from operating.
“Today’s report highlights what’s been achieved in the fund’s first few weeks alone. It has helped re-house people living with HIV targeted after police raids in Uganda; supported homeless people from the LGBT community left without HIV medication after a natural disaster in Jamaica; and supported LGBT groups that have come under threat as a result of state-sponsored crackdowns in East Africa.”
A report that the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas released on Tuesday indicates Uruguay and Argentina are Latin America’s most LGBT-friendly countries.
The 2016 Social Inclusion Index notes Uruguay “has been a leader” in the LGBT rights movement that has gained traction throughout the region over the last decade.
The report notes Uruguay in 2009 became the first country in Latin America to extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.
Gays and lesbians have been able to legally marry in Argentina and Uruguay since 2010 and 2013 respectively. Both countries also allow transgender people to legally change their gender without undergoing surgery.
Argentina and Uruguay are among the countries that contribute to the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership to promote LGBT rights around the world that the State Department manages with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Uruguay in July hosted the first global LGBT rights conference to have taken place in Latin America. Uruguayan Minister of Exterior Relations Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Special U.S. Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry and more than 150 activists from around the world were among those who attended the gathering in the country’s capital of Montevideo.
“The laws that the LGBTI social movements of Argentina and Uruguay have achieved over the last few years have allowed for an opening and social inclusion that has contributed to a climate of respect for sexual diversity,” LGBT Federation of Argentina Vice President Esteban Paulón told the Washington Blade in response to the report.
“Public policies that have broken down barriers and extended equality to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans people have also been implemented in both countries,” he added. “The report reflects that this combination of legal framework and public policies has, without a doubt, improved the conditions in which the LGBTI community lives and they are the correct path forward for effectively fighting discrimination.”
Marcela Romero of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People, which is known by the Spanish acronym REDLACTRANS, also welcomed the report.
“We consider the inclusion of Uruguay and Argentina in the Council of the Americas’ 2016 Social Inclusion Index as the most LGBT-friendly Latin American countries as very positive,” she told the Blade.
Romero — who is also the president of the LGBT Federation of Argentina and the Crossdressers, Transsexuals and Transgender (People) Association of Argentina — told the Blade that hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity remain problems in both countries.
Diana Sacayán, a prominent Argentine trans rights advocate, was stabbed to death in her Buenos Aires apartment in Oct. 2015. She was the third trans person reported killed in Argentina in the span of two months.
“A lot has been achieved under both countries’ gender identity laws, but trans women still continue to suffer violence and are victims of hate crimes,” Romero told the Blade, referring to Argentina and Uruguay and the report. “We have still not achieved the full recognition of rights, such as access to health and employment opportunities.”
“There is still much work to be done to achieve real equality,” she added. “The policies of these countries should be a model for other Caribbean and Central American countries in which our community faces constant violence, stigma and discrimination and do not have access to their social, economic and cultural rights.”
Index ranks countries on women’s rights, racial equality
The report also ranked countries based on women’s rights, their policies towards ethnic and racial minorities and other factors.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mari Carmen Aponte speaks at the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in D.C. on Oct. 24, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mari Carmen Aponte on Tuesday noted U.S. embassies and consulates around the world “regularly advocate for the human rights of LGBTI persons.” She conceded there is “considerable work that still needs to be done” to address social exclusion across the region.“Creating more inclusive societies means addressing the multiple forms of discrimination and violence,” said Aponte.
Aponte was the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from 2012 until late last year.
The Central American country that borders Guatemala and Honduras has one of Latin America’s highest murder rates.
Francela Méndez Rodríguez of Colectivo Alejandría, a local trans advocacy group, was murdered in May 2015 while visiting a friend’s home near the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador. Espacio de Mujeres Lesbianas por la Diversidad Sexual, an advocacy group known by the Spanish acronym ESMULES, said their offices were broken into a few weeks later after its executive director publicly denounced the four police officers who attacked a trans activist after he attended a Pride celebration.
Gay and bisexual men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences in England and Wales are to receive posthumous pardons, the government has announced.
Thousands of living men convicted over consensual same-sex relationships will also be eligible for the pardon.
Lib Dem peer Lord Sharkey, who proposed the amendment to the Policing and Crimes Bill, said it was “momentous”.
It follows the pardoning of World War Two code-breaker Alan Turing for gross indecency in 2013.
Under the amendment – dubbed “Turing law” – deceased people who were convicted of sexual acts that are no longer deemed criminal will receive an automatic pardon.
Anyone living who has been convicted of such offences could already apply through the Home Office to have the offence wiped from their criminal records.
But now, if the Home Office agrees that the offence is no longer an offence under current law, they will automatically be pardoned.
Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said it was “hugely important that we pardon people convicted of historical sexual offences who would be innocent of any crime today”.
Lord Sharkey said he understood why some people may not want a pardon, or may “feel that it’s wrong”.
But, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “a pardon is probably the best way of acknowledging the real harm done by the unjust and cruel homophobic laws, which thankfully we’ve now repealed. And I do hope that a lot of people will feel exactly the same way”.
He said of the 65,000 men convicted under the laws, 15,000 are still alive.
‘I will not accept a pardon’
George Montague was convicted in 1974 of gross indecency with a man. He says he wants an apology – not a pardon.
“To accept a pardon means you accept that you were guilty. I was not guilty of anything. I was only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he told BBC Newsnight.
“I think it was wrong to give Alan Turing – one of the heroes of my life – a pardon.
“What was he guilty of? He was guilty of the same as what they called me guilty of – being born only able to fall in love with another man.”
He added: “If I get an apology, I will not need a pardon.”
He added that there “never should have been an offence of gross indecency”.
“It didn’t apply to heterosexuals. Heterosexuals could do what they liked, in the doorways, in passageways, the back of their car.
“It only applied to gay men. That’s not right, surely?”
The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised private homosexual acts between men aged over 21 in England and Wales, in 1967.
The law was not changed in Scotland until 1980, or in Northern Ireland until 1982.
Announcing the new plan, Mr Gyimah said the government would support Lord Sharkey’s amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill – which would apply to England and Wales, but not Scotland and Northern Ireland as the Justice Department does not cover devolved administrations.
The petition gathered almost 640,000 signatories, including the actors Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Turing in the film about the enigma code, The Imitation Game.
The charity Stonewall, which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said it has begun discussions with the Scottish government to allow similar procedures to be introduced in Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, the Rainbow Project, also a charity and campaign group, met with the justice minister in August to discuss the law around historical convictions.
Turing, the Bletchley Park code-breaker, was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency with a 19-year-old man.
He was later chemically castrated and died in 1954 after poisoning himself with cyanide.
His pardon, almost 60 years later, followed a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Lord Sharkey.
The Lib Dem peer said it was “a momentous day for thousands of families up and down the UK”.
He said: “It is a wonderful thing that we have been able to build on the pardon granted to Alan Turing during the coalition.”
Turing’s great niece Rachel Barnes said the moment Turing’s family heard he was to receive a pardon was “absolutely tremendous”.
She told the Today programme: “Alan Turing just so, so deserves this. To think that this is the man who cracked the enigma code and saved countless of millions of lives during World War Two and to think of the treatments that he went through at the hands of the government in 1952 is still unbelievable to us.”
She said that the family has always highlighted his achievements rather than the fact he was a gay man.
She added: “Because we shouldn’t be thinking about his sexuality, we should really be focusing on the successes of this incredible man in history who has done so much for the country and for the world”.
Private Member’s Bill
The government has said it will not be supporting a separate Private Member’s Bill on the subject – introduced by SNP MP John Nicolson – which is set to be debated on Friday.
Mr Nicolson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, has proposed a blanket pardon for those still living, without the need to apply for their criminal records to be cleared by the Home Office.
Mr Gyimah said such a move could see people claiming pardons for acts that are still illegal.
“This would cause an extraordinary and unnecessary amount of distress to victims,” he added.
Paul Twocock from Stonewall welcomed the announcement but said it supported Mr Nicolson’s Private Member’s Bill.
Mr Twocock said the bill “explicitly” excluded pardoning anyone convicted of offences that would still be illegal today, including non-consensual sex and sex with someone under 16.
Canada is exploring the use of gender-neutral options on identity cards, Justin Trudeau told a television station on Sunday as he became the first Canadian prime minister to march in a gay pride parade.
Trudeau, who participated in the downtown Toronto parade along with other politicians, did not give details, saying only the government was exploring the “best way” and studying other jurisdictions.
“That’s part of the great arc of history sweeping towards justice,” he told CP24.
Last week, the Canadian province of Ontario said it would allow the use of a third gender indicator, X, for driver’s licenses, which are commonly used in North America to provide identification.
Countries including Australia, New Zealand and Nepal already allow the use of the X gender indicator.
Trudeau also said last month’s relaxation of Canadian blood-donation restrictions on men who have sex with other men was “not good enough,” saying the government was going to work toward easing it further.
According to Canadian Blood Services, men who have sex with other men can now donate after one year of abstinence, down from five years previously.
Trudeau said Toronto’s annual parade was made more poignant this year by the shooting rampage that killed 49 people last month at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“We have to remember the importance of safe spaces and safe communities, like the Pulse was, is something to uphold,” he said.
The Israeli Government has been accused of ‘pinkwashing’ to attract tourists, while neglecting LGBT groups.
Tel Aviv held its pride parade last week and spent $2.86m on advertising to attract tourists from around Europe to attend the event.
LGBT campaigners criticised this move stating that the sum was 10 times the annual amount spent on LGBT associations.
Imri Kalman, co-chair of Aguda, Israel’s largest campaign organisation for LGBT rights said: “Spending 1.5 million shekels to paint a rainbow on a plane full of tourists, that’s ridiculous.
“We finally understood the hypocrisy of this Government and this Prime Minister, who boasts in English abroad about the freedom enjoyed by homosexuals in Israel but never utter the words in Hebrew when he gets home.”
After campaigners threatened to cancel the annual parade, the finance ministry agreed it would give 11 million shekels (the amount spent on publicity to tourists) to LGBT groups over the next three years.
Although, same-sex marriage can not be performed in the country, but Israel does recognise civil unions and same-sex marriages if couples are married in a different country.
The army also allow gay and transgender soldiers to serve openly.
Canada’s Jason Kenny was accused of ‘pinkwashing’ in 2012. The Citizenship and Immigration Officer sent out an email to thousands of Canadians about LGBT refugees in Iran. The move was criticised for trying to paint an LGBT picture over war with Iran that Conservative ministers were encouraging.
Celebrities such as Lea Delaria attended the LGBT celebration in the capital.
A recent poll in Israel revealed the 76% of Israeli’s support same sex marriage in the country.
Abdelbraki Mezin asked me over coffee last week if homophobia was dead in the United States.
“I mean, you’ve had marriage equality for almost a year, surely that’s enough time,” the Tunisian human rights defender said. His partner, Bouhdid Belhedi, laughed, adding, “Yes, much like winning the Nobel Peace Prize solved all of Tunisia’s human rights issues.”
Mezin and Belhedi are LGBT rights defenders in Tunisia. As members of Tunisia’s first organization working openly for LGBT rights, they have suffered attacks, death threats, and lost family relationships.
Homosexuality is illegal in Tunisia, punishable by up to three years in prison under Article 230 of the penal code. Introduced by the French during colonial rule, Article 230 criminalizes “sodomy” in the original French text, and “homosexual acts” in Arabic. It’s a wider net that applies to men and women.
In 2010, protests in Tunisia marked the start of revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa, and the country’s new democracy has been dubbed the “Arab Spring’s sole success story.” Its civil society is so revered that the country’s National Dialogue Quartet won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for their contribution to building a “pluralistic” democracy post-revolution.
Tunisia also made headlines in 2015 when authorities legally registered Shams, the country’s first organization openly working for LGBT rights. Yet, despite the seemingly positive step, the government did nothing to amend the criminalization of homosexuality in the penal code. This means that human rights defenders (HRDs) promoting sexual rights and protecting LGBT survivors of attack, discrimination, and rape are working for the rights of people who — according to the law — have committed a crime.
Mariam Manai, a Tunisian LGBT rights defender, met with me during a break in the packed program of Chouftouhonna, a feminist art festival put on by Chouf Minorities in Tunis. Manai said that repealing Article 230 is “not just the most important step for protecting the community, but a critical step for HRDs.”
“If homosexuality is a crime, there’s no legal framework for the rights we defend,” she said. “If someone is attacked, we can’t report it. If someone needs medical care, they’re too scared to go to the hospital because they might be arrested. We are defending people who, according to the government, deserve no defense.”
HRDs in Tunisia say that Article 230 makes seeking justice for survivors of assault nearly impossible, and that police are often complicit in crimes against LGBT people. Mezin said that because homosexuality is a crime, survivors are treated as criminals and subjected to violent physical examinations to prove their “guilt.”
“The police are performing anal exams on male victims of homophobic attacks,” he said. “In front of other police officers, someone claiming to be a doctor puts on a glove and ‘proves’ the victim is guilty of sodomy. The police then ask for a confession and usually put the man in jail. Some victims have confidentially reported to us that in order to ensure he ‘failed’ the anal exam, police raped him in the van after his arrest and before the exam. This is torture, and a violation of international human rights and our own constitution. But because Article 230 exists, the police act with impunity against LGBT victims.”
HRDs are quick to point out that the penal code — and the police violence it seems to allow — is only one element of the problem. Belhedi said that local religious leaders are also contributing to a climate in which “normal Tunisians think homophobic violence is acceptable, and even deserved.”
Two weeks ago, three men attacked Belhedi on a busy street at nine in the morning.
“When the men insulted me and grabbed me, people just watched. When they started to beat me, people just watched. When the beating got brutal enough someone stepped in and the men ran away. Violence against LGBT people has been normalized, even called for, in our laws and in our mosques.”
He told ThinkProgress that in his home region of Hammamet, imams leading local prayers have called on followers to attack Tunisians “who act gay.” At least two mentioned Belhedi by name. He said that last year “Islamic extremists” came to his house and threatened his mother, telling her that her son’s LGBT advocacy was “against Islam.”
Yet, despite the strong social prejudices that put Bouhdid and other LGBT defenders at risk, he remains adamant that a legal change — repealing Article 230 — is the critical first step towards protection.
“We have proof in Tunisia that if you change a law, society changes with it — even if it contradicts Islamic tradition,” he said. “When polygamy, which is permissible in Islam, was criminalized, people said it was haram [forbidden] to contradict the Prophet. When [former President Habib] Bourguiba made adoption legal, which is haram in Islam, of course people fought it. But the law affects how people think about social issues. Today, adoption is socially acceptable, and polygamy is barely talked about.”
Woman spray paints a column during the Chouftohounna Feminist Art Festival in Tunis, 15 May 2016.
CREDIT: Erin Kilbride
Raising Tunisian Consciousness
“Individual protection — keeping our community alive — is the most effective thing we can do today,” said Manai, whose organization Without Restrictions helps survivors access legal assistance, medical care, and housing following a violent attack or family dispute. “But in the long run we need education. That’s the only way the attacks will end. We have such a problem with — a fear of — sexuality in Tunisian society. If you use words like gender, binary, or queer, people stare blankly. Even in LGBT spaces, people confuse trans, cross-dressing, and queer identities. Outside of those spaces, sexuality as a concept, as an identity, is missing from most Tunisians’ consciousness.”
Senda ben Jebara, an HRD working with the human rights group Mawjoudin (“We Exist”), believes sexual and gender education — “slowly, and using our own language” — is the only way to end homophobia. “How can we expect people to understand homosexuality if they don’t understand heterosexuality as a sexuality? If the very word terrifies them?”
Artists and HRDs at Fanni Raghman Anni (“Artist Without Choice”) are similarly working to raise consciousness. FRA is a human rights organisation born out of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution that uses performance art to push discussions about individual, cultural, and sexual rights into public spaces.
Asma Kaouch and Seif Eddine Jlassi, two of the group’s leaders, told ThinkProgress that their performances are a strategy to defend human rights. They introduce gender, sexuality, and personal freedoms as concepts, without explicitly using words that will turn away some parts of Tunisian society.
“We stage events where normal people will see them — not tucked away in an elite theatre,” said Kaouch. “We want to draw people from the street and the grocery store. Our performances are about the relationship between an individual, a body, and society — concepts that most Tunisians don’t have the opportunity to think about critically. We don’t want to entertain, we want to shock.”
Fanni Rahman Anni is linking up youth in remote, conservative areas who want to perform. They have also built art centres in poor villages, said Kaouch, “where we know Islamic extremists are very active. We provide an alternative, and we introduce concepts that lay the groundwork for human rights.”
Their strategies are as varied as their own identities, but Tunisian LGBT rights defenders are in near universal agreement about at least two things: that “solving” the country’s violent homophobia requires abolishing Article 230 and that providing public education in gender, sexuality, and human rights.
Many are also clear on the international community’s role in this struggle. They say Tunisia’s allies need to take a stronger line on the penal code article that criminalizes LGBT rights defenders and the communities they protect.
“Visiting diplomats and representatives need to be called on to bring up Article 230 at every opportunity. The decriminalization of homosexuality should be linked to trade and foreign investment,” said Belhedi. Others add that international employers must ensure Tunisian workers have the same rights as their international colleagues and can’t be prosecuted for their sexuality.
In the meantime, the work of deconstructing oppressive notions about gender and sexual rights — the work that will end and not just outlaw homophobic attacks – will be done by the Tunisian defenders themselves.
“Before the revolution, none of this was possible, there was no room for expression,” said Kaouch. “Now, Tunisian civil society is one of the most powerful in the world. The influence we have is real. And we have to take advantage of the space we fought to create.”