Further details are emerging about the European man found apparently strangled on Friday in his home on the island of Djerba.
A dual citizen of the UK and France, the victim’s family is originally said to be from Nice, France and have been informed of the man’s death, the British Embassy have confirmed.
The unnamed 66-year old man, who had been residing on the popular tourist island of Djerba was killed during an apparent confrontation with two men, aged 18 and 21, who had been engaged in a sexual relationship with the man, according to the spokesperson for the trial court in Mednine, Abdelmajid Lachib.
The two men, who have reportedly confessed to the man’s murder, have been arrested pending charges in Djerba, police sources have said.
While the suspects’ motives currently remain unclear, some groups have speculated that the crime may have homophobic motivations.
According to human rights advocacy group Damj, there have been 15 reported murders motivated by homophobia since 2011, 9 of which involved foreigners. Foreigners living on their own who are known to be gay have been targeted in the past for theft, according to Mounir Baatour, a lawyer representing gay rights pressure group Shams.
“Homophobic crimes are abhorrent… and are known to target homosexual residents in Tunisia who are often wealthy, living alone, and vulnerable,” said a representative of gay rights advocacy group Shams, “Because of Article 230 (in the Tunisian penal code), which condemns homosexuality, these men are afraid to report acts of aggression or theft to the police.”
A representative for the French embassy, which has reportedly taken the lead in handling the case, was not immediately available to comment.