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Lebanon tortures gay men with ‘anal probe’ despite ban

Lebanese security forces use ‘anal probe’ exams to test for ‘proof’ of men being gay, reported a local legal organization
Lebanese security forces use ‘anal probe’ exams to test for ‘proof’ of men being gay, reported Sarah Wansa, from the local legal organization, Legal Agenda

Anal probes are still being used in Lebanon by security forces in order to ‘determine’ ‘proof’ of men being ‘gay’, revealed Legal Agenda (Al Mufakkira Al Qanuniyya), a local legal organization.

These tests, which Human Rights Watch has previously discredited, saying they amount to torture and humiliation, are still being carried out despite being banned by the Lebanese justice ministry and the country’s medical association.

During such procedures, nicknamed the ‘tests of shame’, a forensic medical doctor examines the anus of a suspect for ‘proof’ that he engaged in anal sex.

The doctor checks for traces of sperm, and takes a picture to ‘study’ the shape of the hole; the larger the width the more ‘likely’ the person is gay, according to this discredited theory.

The tests were banned last year by both the Lebanese medical association and the ministry of justice following a case, revealed by GSN, where 36 men were subjected to the tests - and were even forced to pay for them - after being arrested in a police raid on a porn cinema where men allegedly meet for gay sex.

However, Sarah Wansa, a legal researcher for Legal Agenda (LA), told Gay Star News that the tests are still being carried out despite the ban.

During a round table meeting of LA with the European Union and the Lebanese internal security forces (ISF), an ISF high-ranking officer said the tests were still being carried out.

LA also spoke with a forensic doctor who confirmed he personally conducted such a test on an 'exceptional case' after the ban was issued, without giving further clarification.

Wansa said: ‘Now detainees suspected of “gay sex offences” are given a “choice” – the person can either take the test to try and prove his innocence, or refuse to, but told: “this will be used as evidence that you are gay and you’ll go to jail”’.

The previous arrests of the 36 men were sparked when Lebanese TV celebrity Joe Maalouf ran on his Enta Hor program an exposé outing them visiting a porn cinema allegedly for having gay sex.

Maalouf has been meanwhile reported by daily Al-Akhbar as having been spotted by a Beirut parking attendant spending over an hour with a male friend, late at night, in parked car.

The attendant said: ‘When I approached the car, I was surprised to notice that the car was moving back and forth in a rhythmic motion as if some one was jumping in the back seat.

‘There were also funny movements inside, from what little I could see, as the car windows were all fogged up.

‘I quickly knocked on the window not sure what was happening inside, it took 5 minutes before Joe's friend came out of the car asking angrily why I was knocking on the door then he suddenly realized how late the time was, got back in the car and they quickly drove away’.  

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