Tunisia Vows to Ban Forced Exams of Suspected Gay Men

After facing years of criticism from human rights organizations, Tunisia has vowed to stop using forced anal examinations to test for homosexuality, according to Amnesty International.

"[We welcome] Tunisia’s acceptance of two recommendations to immediately cease the practice of forced anal examinations and ensure the protection of LGBTQI persons from all forms of stigmatization, discrimination and violence,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

The organization added, however, that it "deeply regrets Tunisia's rejection" of its other recommendations related to LGBTQ rights, including a request that the North African country repeal article 230 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes “sodomy” with up to three years in prison. 

Regarding the invasive examinations, Mehdi Ben Gharbia, Tunisia's minister for human rights, told international news agency Agence-Press France (AFP) they "can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned."

If a judge requests that an individual receive the exam, Ben Gharbia added, the person can still refuse it “without his refusal being held up as proof of homosexuality." However, Ben Gharbia did not give specifics on when this ban would take effect.

The international and domestic push back against these invasive tests has been mounting for years. Read more via NBC