comscore Kenya: Judge upholds use of anal probes to define sexuality | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Kenya: Judge upholds use of anal probes to define sexuality

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Kenyan gays and lesbians and others supporting their cause wore masks to preserve their anonymity, and one held out a wrapped condom, as they staged a rare protest, against Uganda’s increasingly tough stance against homosexuality and in solidarity with their counterparts there, outside the Uganda High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya in Feb. 2014.

MOMBASA, Kenya » A Kenyan court today upheld the use of anal examinations to determine a suspect’s sexual orientation, dismissing the argument that the procedure amounts to torture and degrading treatment.

There was no violation of rights or the law, Mombasa High Court Judge Mathew Emukule said.

“I find no violation of human dignity, right to privacy and right to freedom of the petitioners,” he said.

Two men had sought a court ruling to stop enforced anal examinations and HIV tests of men accused of being gay after they were subjected to the procedures.

The two were arrested in a bar near Ukunda along Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast in February 2015 on suspicion of engaging in gay sex, which is a criminal offense in Kenya. They still face the charges and, if convicted, could face 14 years in jail.

In their petition, the men said the anal examinations and HIV and hepatitis B tests they were forced to have amounted to being subjected to torture and degrading treatment.

The judge said the petitioners should have used their lawyers to seek injunction orders to avoid undergoing the tests.

“I sat in court holding my chin in disbelief,” said Eric Gitari, the executive director of the Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which has supported the petition. He said the men will appeal.

“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,” Gitari said.

The court judgment means that someone can be arrested on a rumor that they are gay and subjected to these tests, he said. “Do we want to use the nation’s scarce resources on this?”

Comments (3)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up