Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Justice redefined: Forced anal examinations conducted to ’prove’ homosexual conduct

Rather staggering information unravelled from the side of human rights defenders that at least seven people were subjected to forced medical examinations since 2017 to prove ‘homosexual conduct’ by Sri Lankan authorities.

The story goes on public record as the Human Rights Watch shares this story in their official website, denoting that these medical examinations cater to forced anal examinations and forced vaginal examinations which are ‘supposedly’ revealing whether a homosexual conduct is committed, thereby forming brutal and inhuman sexual violence behind the curtains of medical professionals. 

According to Equal Ground, a leading human rights organisation working for the rights of Sri Lankan LGBTIQ people, the Sri Lankan government continues to commit abusive physical examinations in the prosecution of people for consensual same sex conduct, which should immediately be stopped. 

These medical treatments are extremely rigorous, inhuman and degrading human rights and take the form of sexual violence, they pointed out. 

A leading human rights defender on the condition of anonymity told LNW, that the Justice Ministry is holding discussions with stakeholders on the punitive laws criminalising sexual minorities deprived of their human rights, in a hopeful move to decriminalise homosexual conduct.

The Sri Lankan government should immediately act on barring all medical procedures catering to forced examinations i.e. anal and vaginal, which violate fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people, he said.

The Attorney General in 2014 confirmed that LGBTIQ people shall not be treated unevenly on the basis of their identity, whilst the existing law cannot be enforced to discriminate against them. 

Obsolete laws in the Penal Code, sections 365 and 365A, criminalising sexual minorities in Sri Lanka are vague and do not necessarily define that homosexuality is illegal, and therefore, a strong case can be built over arbitrary police arrests targeting LGBTIQ people on the basis, Aritha Wickramasinghe, a solicitor and human rights activist told LNW. 

A police performance report indicates that in 2018, nine men were arrested in five raids for allegedly committing homosexual conduct.

The World Health Organisation declared that medical examinations conducted on the basis of ‘confirming’ same sex conduct are a form of violence and torture. The World Medical Association has called on all medical professionals to stop conducting such exams, emphasising that it is deeply disturbed by the complicity of medical personnel in these non-voluntary and unscientific examinations, including the preparation of medical reports that are used in trials to convict people who identify themselves as gay, or transgender, for same sex conduct.

Editor (LGBTIQ) 

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