Kenya could ban a torture that involves ‘testing’ for homosexuality with the use of an anal sex probe.
Mombasa High Court will hear two petitions, both male adults, who were subjected to the torture by doctors at Mombasa’s Coast General Provincial Hospital in collaboration with law enforcement.
While they were in police custody, they were subject to the ‘anal probes’.
These ‘tests’ involve examining someone’s anus to see if they had been penetrated, check for traces of sperm and taking a picture to ‘study’ the shape of the hole. If it is wider, the more ‘likely’ the person has engaged in gay sex, according to the widely discredited 19th century test.
Forbidden under international law, they are widely known across Africa as the ‘tests of shame’.
‘Anal examinations prove nothing, and they accomplish nothing, other than humiliating and demeaning people who are considered moral “outcast”,’ said Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights at Human Rights Watch. ‘It’s frankly shocking to see such archaic methods used in Kenya in the 21st century.’
Kenya has signed the treaties on Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Convention on Human and People’s Rights. All three, as well as Kenya’s Sexual Offenses Act, ban any form of unwanted penetration as this is considered sexual assault and possibly rape.