Gov’t sued for forced anal examination

Men holding hands
Men holding hands

The Kenyan Government has been sued by two Kenyan men for forced HIV/AIDS testing and anal examination.

The two petitioners were allegedly subjected to forced blood testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and other blood works as well as forced to undergo an anal exam at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa while in police custody.

The two were undergoing police investigations under the directions of the 1st and 2nd Respondents; the Chief Magistrate at Kwale Law Courts and the DCIO, Msambweni Police Station.

According to a statement sent to newsrooms and signed by Eric Gitari of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission – Kenya (NGLHRC), the forced blood testing and anal testing sought to establish whether the two male adults might have engaged in consensual adult carnal knowledge against the order of nature at the privacy of their residences in Ukunda in dates not before the court.

The petitioners allege that they were arrested on suspicion of being gay, that they were remanded by police at Msambweni for four days and later taken to court where anal examination orders were issued by the Chief Magistrate of Ukunda Law Courts.

They were then escorted by police to Coast general Hospital where they were forced to strip naked, lay down facing upwards, lift legs into the air and cough while doctors inserted metallic objects up their rectum.

Blood was also drawn from them.

The medical reports were inconclusive as to whether they had had consensual adult anal sex.

The NGLHRC argues the manner in which the procedures took place was non-consensual, degrading and therefore unconstitutional and a violation of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as inscribed in the bill of rights.

Through petition 51 of 2015 filed in the Mombasa High Court the petitioners are asking the High Court to declare: That the act of forced medical exam of the petitioners by way of anal examinations, HIV testing and Hepatitis B testing amounted to a violation of the human and constitutional rights of the petitioners as outlined in the petition; That forced anal examination amounts to degrading treatment as it violates human dignity and the violation has a disparate impact on sexual minorities; That non-consensual medical examination of the nature herein or any form are a violation of the right to privacy and of the rights to the highest attainable standard of health as provided under article 43 of the constitution.

The Chief Magistrate of Kwale Law Courts and the DCIO, Msambweni Police Station have been sued on their own behalf ‘so that they can serve as an example to other state officers who are not upholding the constitution.’

The matter will be heard on November 17, 2015 at the Mombasa High Court.

The gay debate has been exhausted in recent months, with some leaders saying Kenya has no room for homosexuals.

In July, President Uhuru Kenyatta termed homosexuality as a “non-issue” saying Kenya has more serious issues that need to be addressed.

The President’s remarks come amidst protests by a section of political and religious leaders, including his deputy William Ruto, opposed to gay and lesbian rights.

In his address at AIC Ziwani Church in Nairobi early this month, Ruto said; “homosexuality is against the plan of God and should not be tolerated.”

“We have heard that in the U.S. they have allowed gay relations and such things. I want to say as a Christian leader that we will defend our country Kenya, we will stand for our faith and our country,” he added.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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