The Court of Appeals in Mombasa has ruled that the use of forced anal examinations by the Kenyan state is unlawful.
On Thursday 22nd March 2018, a three judge bench handed down a ruling in a case brought forward by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) appealing the state’s cruel and degrading treatment of two Kenyan men while under arrest in 2015. The men were arrested in Kwale county, on suspicion that they were gay. They were then subjected to forced anal examinations and HIV testing under a magistrate’s order to determine if they had engaged in consensual sexual acts in private—a crime punishable with up to 14 years imprisonment in Kenya.
The violating examinations, which include being made to lie with legs up in a humiliating position and having instruments forced into your rectum, are widely accepted to have no medical merit. NGLHRC has long argued that the tests are a violation of rights to privacy and dignity and amount to torture.
After a three year legal and public advocacy campaign to end the practice in Kenya, the Court of Appeals ruled in our favor, stating that our clients rights had been violated. We cannot underscore the significance of this win.