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Rare win for gays in Kenya

Africa is not the most hospitable place on the planet to be openly gay. Persecution is commonplace enough and can include "medical exams." In a win for the LGBTQ community, a Kenyan court ruled that forced anal exams are illegal.

Gay Kenya

 

The judges said “subjecting the petitioners to anal examinations violated the Petitioners’ rights under Articles 25, 27, 28 and 29 of the constitution” and “the use of evidence obtained through anal examinations of the petitioners in criminal proceedings against them violates their rights under article 50 of the constitution.”

 

“The ruling is a tremendous step not only in upholding the dignity of homosexuals who’d been subjected to the indignities of anal examinations but also to the rule of law in Kenya,” said Eric Gitari, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) .

 

The NGLHRC brought the case to the courts. Two men were arrested in 2015 on suspicion of having gay sex, which is illegal in Kenya. The men were forcibly examined by security officials in a hospital in Mombasa. They were also forced to take an HIV test.

 

HIV in Africa is an epidemic. 91 percent of the world's HIV positive children live in Africa and 23.8 million people there are infected with the disease.

 

The case was an appeal as the NGLHRC lost in 2016 when the Mombasa High Court ruled such exams are legal. The Court of Appeal overturned that.

 

The <A HREF= "https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_other/statement-on-anal-examinations-in-cases-of-alleged-homosexuality.pdf">Independent Forensic Experts Group</a> found these exams are a holdover from years ago and have no medical basis. The report says, "for the validity of forcibly conducted anal examinations in the detection of consensual anal intercourse. In medicine, the validity of any test depends on its sensitivity (ability of the test to correctly identify those with the disease/condition of interest) and specificity (the ability of the test to correctly identify those without the disease/condition of interest). There are no studies that demonstrate the sensitivity or specificity of digital rectal examinations to detect consensual anal intercourse."

 

The NGLHRC is also challenging the Kenyan law stating homosexual sex is illegal. The Appeal Court ruling is expected in late April.

 

Africa is not the most hospitable place on the planet to be openly gay. Persecution is commonplace enough and can include "medical exams." In a win for the LGBTQ community, a Kenyan court ruled that forced anal exams are illegal.

Gay Kenya

 

The judges said “subjecting the petitioners to anal examinations violated the Petitioners’ rights under Articles 25, 27, 28 and 29 of the constitution” and “the use of evidence obtained through anal examinations of the petitioners in criminal proceedings against them violates their rights under article 50 of the constitution.”

 

“The ruling is a tremendous step not only in upholding the dignity of homosexuals who’d been subjected to the indignities of anal examinations but also to the rule of law in Kenya,” said Eric Gitari, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) .

 

The NGLHRC brought the case to the courts. Two men were arrested in 2015 on suspicion of having gay sex, which is illegal in Kenya. The men were forcibly examined by security officials in a hospital in Mombasa. They were also forced to take an HIV test.

 

HIV in Africa is an epidemic. 91 percent of the world's HIV positive children live in Africa and 23.8 million people there are infected with the disease.

 

The case was an appeal as the NGLHRC lost in 2016 when the Mombasa High Court ruled such exams are legal. The Court of Appeal overturned that.

 

The <A HREF= "https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_other/statement-on-anal-examinations-in-cases-of-alleged-homosexuality.pdf">Independent Forensic Experts Group</a> found these exams are a holdover from years ago and have no medical basis. The report says, "for the validity of forcibly conducted anal examinations in the detection of consensual anal intercourse. In medicine, the validity of any test depends on its sensitivity (ability of the test to correctly identify those with the disease/condition of interest) and specificity (the ability of the test to correctly identify those without the disease/condition of interest). There are no studies that demonstrate the sensitivity or specificity of digital rectal examinations to detect consensual anal intercourse."

 

The NGLHRC is also challenging the Kenyan law stating homosexual sex is illegal. The Appeal Court ruling is expected in late April.

 

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