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Two men challenge anal medical tests on homosexuals in Mombasa

COAST
By Willis Oketch | May 5th 2016

Two men have challenged the practice of forcible anal examination of suspects at the Mombasa High Court.

The men, who are charged with engaging in homosexuality in Mombasa, want the practice declared unconstitutional and a form of rape that violates the Sexual Offences Act.

The petitioners have filed their case under pseudonyms COI and GMN, apparently for their own security. Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has been working on this and other similar matters, said in a statement that “forced anal examinations are a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” under international law.

HRW also termed forced anal examinations to prove homosexual conduct an “archaic nineteenth century tactic”.

The petitioners claim they were forcibly examined by policemen and hospital staff at the Coast General Hospital in February last year after they were arrested for allegedly engaging in same sex relation.

They argue that their rights were violated and want the High Court to declare the examinations unconstitutional.

FORCIBLY TESTED

Quoting the petitioners, HRW claims the two were forcibly tested for HIV.

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“Anal examinations prove nothing, and they accomplish nothing, other than humiliating and demeaning people who are considered moral ‘outcasts’,” said Neela Ghoshal, a senior researcher on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights at HRW.

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

According to HRW, forced anal examinations have been documented in eight countries since 2010 including Kenya, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia.

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