A High Court in Mombasa issued a ruling on Thursday upholding the legality of anal tests on men suspected of being gay.
The judgment was made in response to a petition brought to the court by two men who argued that the forced anal tests they were subjected to in February 2015 violated their constitutional rights. The two men said doctors from the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa conspired with law enforcement officials to force them to be anally examined.
Judge Mathew Emukule ruled that Kenyan law allows such tests to be administered in order to gather evidence of a crime, including sodomy. He also claimed that the two men consented to the exam.
Amnesty International has condemned the ruling, describing it as “unacceptable” and “shocking in its disregard for international human rights obligations.”
“Forcible anal examinations of men suspected of same-sex relationships is abhorrent, and violates the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. They should not be allowed to continue,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“It is also absurd as the government has no business proving or disproving consensual homosexual activity. It’s a violation of the right to privacy,” he added.
According to the human rights group, forced anal exams violate multiple treaties that Kenya has ratified, including the Convention Against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil ad Political Rights, and the African Convention on Human and Peoples’ Rights.