Mounir Baatour

Mounir Baatour (Arabic: منير بعتور, born 1970) is a Tunisian lawyer and LGBT activist. He is the leader of the Tunisian Liberal Party, and was the first openly gay presidential candidate in the Arab world.[1]

Mounir Baatour
منير بعتور
Born1970 (age 51–52)
Known forLGBT advocacy, first openly gay presidential candidate in the Arab world

LGBT activism and presidential campaignEdit

Baatour was arrested in 2013 and jailed for 3 months for sodomy, for charges that he always denied.[2][3] According to,[4] the Sheraton hotel is suspected of collaborating with the authorities and may have informed the police of the presence of Baatour with another man in one of their hotel room.

In 2015 Baatour co-founded Association Shams, a LGBT rights association focused on the decriminalisation of homosexuality.[5] He is currently president of the association.[6] In 2018, together with Alice Nkom, Baatour received the Idaho France prize for freedom, for his fight against homophobia.[7]

On 8 August 2019, Baatour announced his participation to the Tunisian presidential election. Following this announcement, an estimated 650 articles from 120 different countries were written about him, and Baatour built a campaign team with 300 local activists.[8] His political program included the repeal of Article 23, which outlaws homosexuality, from the Tunisian criminal code, as well as gender equality and the protection of the rights of minorities.[9] However, despite collecting nearly double the 10,000 signatures required for his nomination eligibility, the election authority rejected his candidacy without providing serious reasons.[10]

After receiving death threats from Islamists, Baatour fled to France in January 2020, where he was accepted as a political refugee.[11]

Baatour lives in Marseille where he practices as a lawyer.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cordall, Simonn (2019-07-16). "Meet the man hoping to become the Muslim world's first openly gay president". The Independent. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  2. ^ "L'avocat Mounir Baatour, ouvertement homosexuel, se présente à la présidentielle tunisienne, une première dans le monde arabe". Le (in French). 2019-08-08. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  3. ^ "In first for Arab world, openly gay candidate runs for Tunisia's presidency". France 24. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  4. ^ Harit, Fouad (2013-06-21). "Tunisie : Sheraton Tunis Hotel, établissement homophobe ou de « mafia politique » ?". (in French). Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  5. ^ "Tout savoir sur Mounir Baatour, premier candidat gay à la présidentielle tunisienne". CNEWS (in French). 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  6. ^ Ahmado, Nisan (2019-08-14). "Tunisia's First Gay Presidential Candidate Faces Threats From Extremists | Voice of America - English". Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  7. ^ Olivier, Mathieu (2018-05-17). "Droits des LGBTI : la Camerounaise Alice Nkom et le Tunisien Mounir Baatour distingués à Paris – Jeune Afrique". (in French). Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  8. ^ Chivers, Aidan (2020-03-23). "Meet Mounir Baatour: Tunisia's Most Prominent LGBT Rights Advocate". The Advocate. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  9. ^ Kersten, Knipp (2019-07-07). "Tunisian LGBT rights advocate 'sticking with' bid for presidency | DW | 07.07.2019". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  10. ^ Colin, Dominique (2020). "La foi est-elle encore possible?". Études. Avril (4): 79. doi:10.3917/etu.4270.0079. ISSN 0014-1941.
  11. ^ Greenhalgh, Hugo (2020-01-09). "Prominent Tunisian LGBT+ activist flees death threats". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  12. ^ Tomas, Ludovic (2021-05-10). "Le combat de maître Baatour". Zibeline (in French). Retrieved 2021-10-12.