The practice of examining a man’s anus to determine if he is gay has finally been banned in Lebanon, reports the Daily Star. The Order of Physicians, Lebanon’s answer to the American Medical Association, has stated that any physician caught engaging in rectal dilation surveys will face disciplinary action.
Sharaf abu Sharaf, head of The Order, didn’t mince word: “Such techniques do not give the desired result and constitute a gross violation of the rights of persons who are subject to it without their consent. The practice is humiliating and is torture in violation of the [United Nations] Convention Against Torture.”
The practice gained international attention recently when nearly three dozen men were caught by Lebanese authorities at a gay porn theater. The men were subjected to police harassment, detainment and criminal prosecution.
Human-rights activist Nizar Saghieh admitted he was surprised the directive was adopted by both the Order of Physicians and the nation’s Judicial Ministry: “I am really thankful that [our] demands were accepted.”
There are concerns, however, that despite assurances from Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi, the examinations will continue and that those who refuse them will be seen as admitting their guilt. “[I want Qortbawi] “to clarify this position—to say in a very clear way that he is for or against these tests,” said Saghieh.