Tunisia: Medics Call For an End to Forced Anal and Genital Tests For Homosexuality
The National Council of the Medical Order in Tunisia has issued a statement calling for doctors to cease conducting forced anal and genital examinations.
Forced anal exams violate the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The statement from Tunisia’s medical council said that doctors must henceforth inform people that they have the right to refuse the exam.
These invasive and humiliating exams, based on discredited 19th century science, usually involve doctors or other medical personnel forcibly inserting their fingers, and sometimes other objects, into the anus of the accused. The law enforcement officials who order the exams claim that, based on the tone of the anal sphincter or the shape of the anus, one can draw conclusions as to whether the accused person has engaged in homosexual conduct. Forensic experts reject such a claim.
Neela Ghoshal, senior lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights researcher at HRW, said:
“Tunisian doctors have taken a courageous step in opposing the use of these torturous exams.
“To ensure that forced anal testing in Tunisia ends once and for all, police should stop ordering the exams, and courts should refuse to admit the results into evidence.”
The United Nations Committee Against Torture has emphasized that forced anal examinations “have no medical justification and cannot be performed with the free and informed consent of the persons subjected to them, who consequently will then be prosecuted.”
In July 2016, HRW documented and condemned the use of forced anal exams in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia.