Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Homophobes of Lebanon

In another case involving doctors and power, Human Rights Watch calls on Lebanon to stop "tests of shame" - anal exams of men charged with homosexuality:*

Lebanese public prosecutors often order invasive and abusive, anal examination procedures for men suspected of homosexual sex, Human Rights Watch said. The head of the Lebanese Doctor’s Syndicate, Dr. Sharaf Abu Sharaf, issued a directive on August 8 calling for an end to anal examinations, stating that they are medically and scientifically useless in determining whether consensual anal sex has taken place and that they constitute a form of torture. He added that they also violate article 30 of the Lebanese law on medical ethics, which prohibits doctors from engaging in harmful practices.

The tests also violate international standards against torture, including the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Lebanon has ratified. The U.N. Committee Against Torture, in its 2002 review of Egypt, investigated the issue of forensic anal examinations and called on the government “to prevent all degrading treatment on the occasion of body searches.”

The tests are also carried out in violation of professional medical principles, including those of the World Medical Association and the UN Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, Particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

...As part of its obligation to respect the private lives and personal liberties of individuals, the Lebanese government should end these tests of shame and repeal laws criminalizing consensual sex between adults, including article 534, Human Rights Watch said.

*This is one of those reports that make it impossible for me to say honestly that nothing surprises me any more. I see it and think, "Really? That's a thing people do? That's a policy?"

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