Kenya: Anal Probes To Determine If Someone Is Gay Are Perfectly Legal

"I find no violation of human dignity, right to privacy, or right to freedom," said a Mombasa High Court justice.

A judge in Kenya has ruled that the use of anal examinations to determine if a suspect is gay are legal, despite victims’ complaints that they amount to torture.

“I find no violation of human dignity, right to privacy, or right to freedom of the petitioners,” declared Mombasa High Court Judge Mathew Emukule.

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Two men who had been arrested on suspicion of engaging in gay sex last February and subjected to rectal exams had petitioned the court, stating that such treatment was unconstitutional.

Members of African gay and lesbian commu

Homosexuality is illegal in the East African country, punishable by up to 21 years in prison. The two men still face charges.

“I sat in court holding my chin in disbelief,” said Eric Gitari, director of the Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

“It’s so painful when we are trying to encourage the gay community to go to court to affirm their rights. The courts are instead affirming violation of their rights.”

The men, who were also forcibly tested for HIV and hepatitis B, are expected to appeal the decision.
 

 
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Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery