The two men in court
Two men, who apparently claim to be married, have been arrested in Kenya, with prosecutors turning to the courts to force them to undergo humiliating medical exams.
According to News 24 Kenya, George Maina Njeri and Caleb Omar Idris were arrested last week in Kwale county for “having canal knowledge of themselves against the order of nature”.
State prosecutor George Mungai asked Magistrate Christine Njagi to order the two men to have medical exams at a local hospital to assess if they had anal sex.
“They have refused to comply to have medical examination and we want the court to help,” said Mungai.
Magistrate Njagi agreed to the request and ordered that the results be submitted to the court.
The men’s lawyer, David Omuya, said his clients had refused the tests because they had been harassed by the police. “They are ready to comply but police were harassing them which is against their constitutional rights,” he said.
Omuya also claimed that the police had arrested the men while in plain clothes and that his clients had no confirmation at the time that they were officers.
According the Tambaa site, the men told police officers that they are “a married couple.”
Mungai said that more suspects could be arrested. It is believed that police are also searching for four foreigners in connection with making and circulating gay pornography.
The African Human Rights Coalition reports that activists have alerted the local LGBTI community “to exercise extreme caution and discretion and if possible to move out temporarily as police (possibly with vigilantes) are conducting a house to house search for (perceived) gay people.”
Anal exams have been discredited by experts as being medically and scientifically useless and have been equated to torture by human rights groups. The practice is also in violation of international professional medical principles.
Njeri and Idris will remain in jail at least until 24 January when they will be allowed to enter a plea.
Last month, Kenya’s Attorney-General, Githu Muigai, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that his government is not enforcing its gay sex ban and that there is not a single individual in jail because of his or her sexual orientation.
Under Kenya’s penal code, same-sex consensual sex among adults is punishable with between five to 14 years imprisonment.