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Amnesty Int'l slams 'absurd' ruling in Kenya's gay anal examination case

Amnesty Int'l slams 'absurd' ruling in Kenya's gay anal examination case

Kenya

International Rights group, Amnesty International have sharply criticised a Kenyan court for ruling that police could conduct anal tests on gays to establish their orientation.

According to Muthoni Wanyeki, regional director of Amnesty for East Africa, the judgment is “not only unacceptable, but also shocking by its defiance of international obligations of human rights.”

“The forced anal examinations of men suspected of homosexual relations is abhorrent and violates international laws on the prohibition of torture and other mistreatment,” he said

It is also absurd because it is not the role of government to prove or disprove that there was a consenting homosexual activity. It is a violation of the right to privacy.

“It is also absurd because it is not the role of government to prove or disprove that there was a consenting homosexual activity. It is a violation of the right to privacy,” Muthoni added.

“This judgment violates several treaties ratified by Kenya, such as the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights and Peoples,” Amnesty International said.

A Kenyan court on Thursday rejected a petition challenging the legality of the anal examination to confirm the alleged homosexuality of a man, a practice condemned by gay rights organizations.

The issue was raised by two men who rejected the police right to conduct such reviews after being forced to undergo anal tests in order to establish their homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by 14 years in prison.

“There was no other way that anal analysis for evidence of homosexuality can be obtained,” said the judge of the high court of Mombasa, Mathew Emukule.

The two men are expected to appeal the ruling.

Before the ruling, the head of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights of gays and lesbians, Eric Gitari, had described such tests as “humiliating” in an interview with the Newsweek magazine.

The prohibition of homosexuality “flooded the Kenyan society with the waters of prejudice, hatred and shame,” Gitari said.

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