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Kenyan court to hear anal probe case

Bobby Rae May 3, 2016

A court in Kenya will hear a challenge to the use of forced anal examinations for men accused of homosexuality, it was revealed today.

The Human Rights Watch has said that the case is to be called on May 4 and examine whether the practise violates international law.

The case, which is being called at Mombasa High Court, will consider the claims of two men that doctors, with the support of police officers, forced them to have anal examinations, HIV and other blood tests at Mombasa Coast General Hospital in February 2015.

Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher on LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch, said: “Anal examinations prove nothing, and they accomplish nothing, other than humiliating and demeaning people who are considered moral ‘outcasts.”

“It’s frankly shocking to see such archaic methods used in Kenya in the 21st century.”

The charity has said that forced anal examinations have taken place in eight countries since 2010. They were: Cameroon, Egypt,Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan,Uganda, and Zambia.

Anal probing is an invasive procedure that involves doctors insert their fingers or other objects into the anus of the accused, to determine whether they have had anal sex. It is an outdated 19th century practice that has been proven to be ineffective and has been condemned as torture by the United Nations.

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment stated in a January report: “In States where homosexuality is criminalized, men suspected of same-sex conduct are subject to non-consensual anal examinations intended to obtain physical evidence of homosexuality, a practice that is medically worthless and amounts to torture or ill-treatment.”

In Lebanon, a circular in 2012 prohibited medical personnel from conducting anal examinations, which they described as a clear violation of medical ethics. The justice minister followed suit, calling on prosecutors to stop ordering anal exams on men accused of homosexuality.

More: Africa, anal probe, court, Kenya, Kenya, torture

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