Lebanese Police Use Banned Anal Exam to 'Test' Homosexuality

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Jul 16, 2014

The Lebanese police are reportedly still using a "test" for homosexuality banned in 2012 that involves an anal exam deemed to be "torture" by the nation's Order of Physicians.

The Daily Star Lebanon reports on five new cases in which a forensic doctor identified only by the initials A.M. was hired by the judicial police's Moral Protection Bureau to determine the sexuality of five Lebanese and Syrian men accused only of being gay -- a crime in Lebanon.

The test involves inserting an egg-shaped metal object into the rectum. It has been called useless, and described as a torture akin to rape.

"We are asking the Order of Physicians to sue him [the doctor] for professional misconduct," attorney Legal Agenda Editor Nizar Saghieh told The Daily Star. "There are many sanctions available, so it is up to the people who are hearing this case to decide on what is adequate."

Gay Star News reports the test was banned by Lebanon's Order of Physicians in August 2012, a month after it was used on 35 men arrested in a porn cinema in Burj Hammoud in July 2012. The LGBT rights group Helem protested the incident, and Lebanon's Justice Minister spoke out against it, but legal experts say it is now being used.

"Such techniques do not give the desired result and constitute a gross violation of the rights of persons who are subject to it without their consent. The practice is humiliating and is torture in violation of the [United Nations] Convention Against Torture," read a report by the Legal Agenda.

Saghieh said he suspects that there are other unreported cases of this "test" being implemented, and has reportedly called for the doctor to be punished for his actions, saying, "We are asking the Order of Physicians to sue him for professional misconduct."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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