Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tanzanian Officials Force Men Into Anal Examination To Test For Evidence Of Gay Sex

Men in Tanzania have been forced into humiliating anal tests to check for evidence of gay sex, according to Daily Mail news. The report by Human Rights Watch says the tests are a ‘medical travesty’ which can in some cases ‘rise to the level of torture’.

One gay man who tested positive for HIV was even told at a government-run hospital that ‘you got AIDS because these acts angered God’. This has been stated to be a ‘systematic attack’ on LGBT people under president John Magufuli’s rule since 2015.

It further describes how government officials have closed down HIV testing centres and banned the distribution of lubricant which would allow safer sex.

In addition, police raids on meetings and training sessions that educate people about HIV, have ‘instilled fear within activist communities’.

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When police have arrested people for homosexuality they have sometimes ordered medics to carry out the humiliating tests to collect ‘evidence’ of gay sex.

Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania under a colonial-era law which was later amended to allow for a life sentence as punishment.

‘These exams have no scientific basis and are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that can amount to torture,’ Human Rights Watch said.

There are different cases when men have been subjected to humiliation such as the one where nine men were taken to Zanzibar’s largest public hospital and subjected to the bogus examinations after they were arrested in a series of raids.

The men were detained for about five days before being released on bail and the case against them has never been closed, it is believed. They were also never allowed to see the results of the anal examinations, which doctors handed over to the police.

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Describing the tests, one Tanzanian person, Kim, said ‘police officers were there with guns’ while the examinations were carried out ‘by force’.

‘We went to the maternal ward where the women go and give birth. They took this metal instrument and they stick it’ inside him, they said.

Going into graphic detail, they said: ‘It was very brutal and painful. Everything about that testing was very brutal.’

Officials are also accused of denying services to transgender people, accusing them of trying to ‘recruit’ others.

On Friday, the US State Department slapped a travel ban on Makonda, the outspoken anti-gay commissioner of Dar es Salaam, for ‘his involvement in gross violations of human rights.’

signaturetv.org/guardian/IJM

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