Showing posts with label Gay Tests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Tests. Show all posts

January 26, 2018

EU Court Rules Asylum Seekers Must Not Be Made to Take Gay Tests

Asylum seekers must not be subjected to psychological tests to determine whether they are homosexual, EU's top court has ruled. 
Tests to determine sexual orientation are controversial but are sometimes used when assessing asylum claims.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling is binding in all 28 EU states.
The Nigerian's claim was rejected after a psychologist's report failed to confirm his homosexuality.
A court in Szeged, Hungary, must now reconsider his case in light of the ECJ ruling. 
In December 2014 the ECJ ruled on a similar case in the Netherlands and found that sexuality tests violated asylum seekers' human rights. 
In the new ruling, the ECJ said "certain forms of expert reports may prove useful" in such cases, but added that such reports interfered with a person's privacy. Authorities must also determine the reliability of a claimant's statements, the judges said.
In 2013 the ECJ ruled that asylum could be granted in cases where people were actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country.
Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Botswana.

What happens next in this case?

The Hungarian court cannot appeal against the ECJ ruling, so the Nigerian man - identified only as "F" - now has a stronger claim for asylum.
The ruling means that EU countries now have no legal right to impose psychological tests to determine an asylum seeker's sexuality.

What did Hungary originally decide?

The ECJ says Hungarian officials had not found F's statements to be fundamentally contradictory but had still concluded that F lacked credibility. 
Their decision was based on a psychologist's report, which included:
  • An exploratory examination
  • An examination of personality
  • Personality tests (Draw-A-Person-In-The-Rain, Rorschach and Szondi tests)
The report "concluded that it was not possible to confirm F's assertion relating to his sexual orientation".

What sort of tests was at issue here?

They were quite general psychological tests, aimed at identifying F's personality type and emotional characteristics.
F said the tests had violated his fundamental rights and they had not provided any assessment of "the plausibility of his sexual orientation", the ECJ said.
It also said any indication of sexual orientation provided by such tests could only be "approximate in nature". They were "of only limited interest for the purpose of assessing the statements of an applicant for international protection".
In 2010 the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency condemned the Czech authorities for using "phallometric" sexual arousal tests on some asylum seekers to determine whether they were gay. Czech officials said the tests had been used in fewer than 10 cases, with the individuals' consent.
Hungarian border fence, Sept 2015
In 2015 Hungarian police (R) guarded a new razor-wire fence to keep migrants out
The Hungarian court handling F's case quoted him as saying that he had not undergone any physical examination and had not been required to view pornographic photographs or  Is Hungary a special case?
No - other EU countries also conduct psychological tests on asylum seekers, to assess whether their statements can be believed.
In F's case tests were imposed on him - unlike the Dutch asylum case of 2014, when several Africans offered evidence of their homosexuality. 
In the Dutch case, the ECJ ruled that it was wrong to conduct "detailed questioning as to the sexual practices of an applicant for asylum".
F's asylum claim in 2015 came during a migrant crisis in Hungary. The country faced a huge influx of migrants - many of them Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans fleeing war. Most of them moved to Germany, via Austria, and Hungary then built a formidable border fence to keep migrants out.

April 12, 2017

Tunisia Doctors Refuse to Do the Anal Test for Homosexuals

(Tunis) – The National Council of the Medical Order in Tunisia issued a statement on April 3, 2017, calling for doctors to cease conducting forced anal and genital examinations. The move is an important step toward ending degrading, discriminatory, and unscientific “testing” for evidence of homosexual conduct.

Tunisia is among several countries in which Human Rights Watch has documented the use of forced anal examinations in the last six years. These invasive and humiliating exams, based on discredited 19th century science, usually involve doctors or other medical personnel forcibly inserting their fingers, and sometimes other objects, into the anus of the accused. The law enforcement officials who order the exams claim that, based on the tone of the anal sphincter or the shape of the anus, one can draw conclusions as to whether the accused person has engaged in homosexual conduct. Forensic experts reject such a claim.

Tunisian doctors have taken a courageous step in opposing the use of these torturous exams. To ensure that forced anal testing in Tunisia ends once and for all, police should stop ordering the exams, and courts should refuse to admit the results into evidence.” 
Neela Ghoshal
Senior lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights researcher
“Tunisian doctors have taken a courageous step in opposing the use of these torturous exams,” said Neela Ghoshal, senior lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “To ensure that forced anal testing in Tunisia ends once and for all, police should stop ordering the exams, and courts should refuse to admit the results into evidence.”

Forced anal exams violate the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. As the United Nations Committee Against Torture has emphasized, they “have no medical justification and cannot be performed with the free and informed consent of the persons subjected to them, who consequently will then be prosecuted.” For medical practitioners to conduct such exams is a violation of medical ethics, Human Rights Watch said.

The statement from Tunisia’s medical council said that doctors must henceforth inform peoples that they have the right to refuse the exam. Prohibiting doctors from carrying out anal exams without consent is a step in the right direction, but because of their unscientific nature, the use of anal exams to test for consensual homosexual conduct should cease altogether, regardless of consent, Human Rights Watch said. In that sense, the medical council’s statement does not go far enough: it leaves open the possibility that someone accused of same-sex conduct might “consent” to an anal exam under pressure from police, because they believe their refusal will be held against them, or because they believe it will prove their innocence.

Doctors in the Tunisian towns of Sousse and Kairouan subjected at least seven men accused of sodomy under article 230 of the penal code to forced anal exams in 2015, sparking a civil society movement against the practice. Human Rights Watch interviewed the men, some of whom described the forced anal exams as akin to rape. A 22-year-old student subjected to an anal exam in Kairouan told Human Rights Watch: “I felt like I was an animal, because I felt like I didn’t have any respect. I felt like they were violating me. I feel that up to now.”

The UN Committee Against Torture condemned the use of anal exams in Tunisia in May 2016, and the European External Action Service asked Tunisia to immediately stop conducting these examinations at an EU-Tunisia human rights dialogue in January 2017.

The statement by the medical council follows a more recent case in which two young men were arrested on sodomy charges in December 2016. They were subjected to forced anal exams, and though the results were “negative,” were sentenced in March 2017 to eight months in prison.

In a July 2016 report, Human Rights Watch documented and condemned the use of forced anal exams in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Zambia. Tanzania also carried out forced anal exams on suspected gay men in Zanzibar in December, during an ongoing anti-LGBT crackdown. 

In Lebanon, the use of forced anal exams declined significantly in 2012 when, in response to a campaign by activists against the “tests of shame,” the Beirut Medical Syndicate issued a circular calling on doctors to cease carrying out the exams. But isolated cases occurred as recently as 2015, indicating that action by a medical council is unlikely to be enough to fully stem the practice.

Heads of states and heads of governments should take steps that are legally within their powers to end forced anal examinations in prosecutions for consensual same-sex conduct, such as issuing executive orders prohibiting their use; introducing and advancing legislation banning forced anal examinations; or instructing relevant ministries to take steps to ban the exams, Human Rights Watch said.

Judicial authorities should prohibit judges and magistrates from admitting the results of anal examinations into evidence in cases involving criminal charges of consensual same-sex conduct, and law enforcement officials should refrain from ordering the exams.

Health ministries and national medical councils or similar regulatory bodies should prohibit medical personnel from conducting anal examinations on people accused of consensual same-sex conduct. National human rights institutions should investigate the use of forced anal examinations and call on relevant authorities to put a stop to the practice.

The World Health Organization should issue a clear statement condemning the use of forced anal exams in homosexuality prosecutions, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch calls on all countries to revoke laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct, which violate international recognized rights to privacy and nondiscrimination.

“It is time for the world to say a resounding no to the use of forced anal exams everywhere,” Ghoshal said. “It is encouraging to see Tunisia’s doctors leading the way. Medical councils around the world, as well as law enforcement agencies and other government bodies, should take their cue from this example.”

December 3, 2014

EU Court Rules No More “gay tests” for Gay for Asylum Seekers


The EU's top court has ruled that refugees who claim asylum on the grounds that they are homosexual should not have to undergo tests to prove it.
Three men, including a Ugandan and one from a Muslim country, failed in their bids for asylum when a Dutch court said they had not proved their sexuality.
EU states including the UK have been criticised for their handling of gay asylum requests.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says they must respect human dignity.
Its rulings apply to all EU member states. 
The case is significant across the EU because of a surge in the numbers of sub-Saharan Africans seeking asylum in Europe this year. Most African countries treat homosexuality as a crime.
The Czech authorities were criticised by the UN, EU and human rights activists in 2011 for using an erection or "phallometric" test - a practice dating back to communist times - to determine whether certain asylum seekers were gay.
Respecting dignity
In its latest ruling, the Luxembourg-based court said that determining a refugee's sexuality had to be consistent with EU law and respect their private and family life.
In particular, it said that evidence of homosexual acts submitted from tests or on film infringed human dignity, even if it was proposed by the asylum applicant. Allowing such evidence could result in it becoming a requirement, the court said.
While authorities could interview an asylum seeker to find out about their sexual orientation, questions could not be asked about their sexual practices.

An asylum seeker's failure to answer questions about their personal circumstances was not sufficient reason to reject their credibility. Nor was an applicant's failure to declare his homosexuality from the start, the judges said.
Treatment of gay, lesbian or bisexual refugees has become a key issue in the UK in recent months, after revelations that one asylum seeker was asked what one lawyer described as "shockingly degrading" questions.
A report by the UK independent chief inspector of borders and immigration in October found that more than one in 10 interviews involved questions of an "unsatisfactory nature".
The ECJ ruled last year that gay asylum seekers who had a genuine fear of imprisonment in African countries could claim refugee status, in response to another Dutch case.

In 2005 26 year old gay Iranian Hussein Nasseri shot himself in his car at a children's playground in Eastbourne days after hearing his second appeal against a Home Office decision to refuse him asylum had failed and that he was to be removed.

Three years ago 27 year old gay Iranian Shahin Portofeh was reduced to sewing his lips and eyes together in desperation to avoid once more being deported. Previously returned to Tehran, he was jailed, lashed, tortured and ultimately faced execution. He somehow managed to escape from custody and return to the UK. Eventually Shahin was allowed to stay.

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