The United Nations Committee Against Torture, in its most recent evaluation of Tunisia, condemned the use of forced anal examinations as an attempt to find “proof” against people accused of homosexual conduct. Tunisia should uphold its commitments as a state party to the Convention Against Torture and ban the use of forced anal examinations.
The committee released its “Concluding Observations,” based on an assessment of the Tunisian government’s report on its efforts to combat torture and the reports of non-governmental organizations that work on issues related to torture in Tunisia, including Human Rights Watch. They call on Tunisia to revoke article 230 of its penal code, which criminalizes sodomy, and to prohibit the invasive medical examinations, “which have no medical justification and cannot be consented to freely.”
The UN committee voiced concern that “persons suspected of being homosexual are forced to undergo an anal examination, ordered by a judge and carried out by a forensic doctor, intended to prove their homosexuality.” The committee noted that while suspects can in theory refuse to undergo the exams, many consent only “under threat from the police, who argue…that refusing consent will be interpreted as a sign of guilt.” Read more via HRW