Kenya: Court of Appeal declares unconstitutional exams for homosexuals

This is a step forward for gay people in Kenya and respect for their dignity.

On Thursday, March 22, a court of appeal in Mombasa declared forced anal examinations unconstitutional. Degrading treatment, inflicted on people suspected of homosexuality. This verdict follows the arrest of two men in February 2015.

“This is a historic and unique decision in the world,” said Neela Ghoshal of Human Rights Watch. The verdict of the Mombasa Court of Appeal is experienced as a victory for LGBT supporters.

The two defendants were arrested in 2015, while a case of homosexual pornography on the Internet is scandalous.

Anal examinations are not practiced in Kenya, but the people clamoured for it and demanded arrests.

Police were under pressure to find evidence, says Neela Ghoshal. Both men have therefore undergone these tests, supposedly intended to prove homosexual behavior.

It is for doctors to examine the anus of the suspects with their hands or by introducing objects. Its cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment, which is akin to torture, says Human Rights Watch.

The activists had lodged a complaint. In 2016, the High Court had authorized the use of these examinations, based on an inaccurate law of 2006. The decision of the appeal court has therefore broken this first judgment. It reaffirms the dignity of these men who are victims of horrible practices, explains by Neela Ghoshal.

Anal examinations are used in some countries of the world like Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Egypt or even Turkmenistan.

Neela Ghoshal hopes that this verdict will serve as an example and that in Kenya he will facilitate in the future a decriminalization of homosexuality, which is still punished by fourteen years in prison.

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