A Kenyan court in Mombasa ruled anal examinations are legal under the law. Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya and can be punished by 14 years imprisonment. Photo by sebra/Shutterstock
MOMBASA, Kenya, June 16 (UPI) -- A judge in Kenya upheld the legality of anal exams to prove homosexual acts that are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Two gay men launched the case, calling for the test to be declared unconstitutional. The pair said Kenyan police forced them to undergo the examination to prove they had gay sex in February 2015.
A judge in the coastal city of Mombasa said there were grounds for the examination under Kenyan law, dismissing claims that the men were sexually discriminated against.
The plaintiffs say they will appeal the decision.
Human Rights Watch recently released a report on the case, writing that the practice violates international law.
"Anal examinations prove nothing, and they accomplish nothing, other than humiliating and demeaning people who are considered moral 'outcasts,'" Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher on LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "It's frankly shocking to see such archaic methods used in Kenya in the 21st century."
Human Rights Watch has documented cases of forced anal examinations in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia since 2010.
"These examinations usually involve doctors or other medical personnel inserting their fingers, and sometimes other objects, into the anus of the accused," Human Rights Watch writes, "In other cases, men are ordered to strip naked and bend over or lie down with their feet in stirrups while doctors 'visually' examine their anal regions."
The Lebanese Order of Physicians in 2012 prohibited medical personnel from carrying out anal examinations, describing the practice as a clear violation of medical ethics. The Lebanese minister of justice then told prosecutors to stop ordering anal exams, though Human Rights Watch said the exams are still sometimes ordered.
"Governments in Kenya and around the world should take immediate steps to ban forced anal exams," Ghoshal said. "The men in the Mombasa case, and dozens of others around the world, should never have had to undergo such a humiliating and demeaning procedure, and governments should prevent this from happening to others in the future."