The case launched by two men who were, according to them, forced by the Kenyan police force to undergo gay anal tests to ascertain if they had had sex was dismissed by a Kenyan High Court yesterday.
The decision means that gay tests or gay anal tests are still very much legal in the country.
The two men had been challenging the constitutionality of the gay tests on the basis that, as their lawyer argued; gay anal tests infringed on the citizens right to privacy.
The Kenyan High Court dismissed the legality challenge with the Mombasa judge, Matthew Emukule ruling that; “There was no other way evidence could have been obtained”.
Judge Matthew Emukule dismissed the claims brought by the two men that the gay tests were practically equal to torture, stating;
“I find no violation of human dignity, right to privacy and right to freedom of the petitioners,”
Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya and carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years if convicted of the act. The trial against the two men with the charge of having gay sex is still ongoing. Their lawyer confirmed that they would be appealing the High Court’s decision.
Meanwhile, Eric Gitari, executive director of the Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which supported the petition, voiced his disbelief at the ruling; “I sat in court holding my chin in disbelief”.
Investigations and a subsequent report by the rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Kenya have “daily safety concerns”. They also stand against the subjection of gay men to these gay tests, going so far as to describe them as torture;
“Under international law, forced anal examinations are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that may amount to torture.”
Whatever the case may be, as it stands currently, homosexual acts in Kenya are still illegal and gay anal tests are still legal.