Ahmed Ben Amor, VP of Shams LGBT activist group, sits on the brink of life and death, after a second suicide attempt in the span of a week. On Saturday, at approximately 5:30 PM, Ahmed ingested a pill cocktail of Somnifere, Temesta, and Solian. His housemate arrived home at 6 PM and found Ahmed still conscious. “I want to die,” Ahmed said to his housemate, before losing consciousness.
Ahmed was then rushed to the hospital to begin the process of detoxification, but his body slipped into a deep coma. As of tonight, doctors determined that Ahmed’s coma qualifies as level 3 on the Glasgow Scale, which is the lowest possible score. This means that Ahmed’s coma scored the lowest possible number in all three categories: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response.
I asked a medical doctor about the severity of a level 3 coma and she told me, “The odds for survival are quite slim.”
Saturday’s suicide attempt came only one week after Ahmed attempted to take his own life by swallowing large quantities of Ativan. During that episode, Ahmed went into a coma, only to later come out of it emotionally damaged, but physically intact.
According to close companions of Ahmed, the reason for his first suicide attempt is because of the daily death threats and hate speech that he received in his Facebook inbox.
He began receiving these death threats on a daily basis after appearing on the popular Tunisian talk show Klam a Naas. On the program, he spoke about the need to abolish Article 230, the Tunisian penal code law which criminalizes sodomy. Many viewers were shocked at seeing the promotion of LGBT rights on national television and expressed their hate toward him.
Despite the tragic events that have unfolded this week, Ahmed has been a shining star for the LGBT movement in Tunisia. His bravery and courage in the face of often overwhelming amounts of vitriol has been inspirational for so many. Although the climate in Tunisia remains homophobic, Ahmed’s work in bringing the LGBT rights movement into the public eye has sparked debate about the topic, which was largely nonexistent before. In short, he has had a profoundly positive impact on his country.