Lebanon gays tortured, beaten and forced to undergo 'anal probes' by police

Published: June 26, 2013

Lebanese Internal Security Forces threaten, ill-treat, and torture LGBT people in their custody says report released today (26 June).

In just one example of many interviewees, Nadim was arrested in 2010 because his brother was suspected of drug dealing. He was repeatedly beaten, threatened, and subjected to an ‘anal probe’ examination.

Such tests, nicknamed the ‘tests of shame’, involve a forensic medical doctor examining the anus of a suspect for ‘proof’ that he engaged in anal sex.

The doctor checks for traces of sperm, and takes a picture to ‘study’ the shape of the hole; the larger the width the more ‘likely’ the person is gay, according to this discredited test which is classified as torture by human rights organizations.

Nadim recounted: ‘The intimidation and the beatings never stopped…
‘[An officer] asked me why I had messages and names of gay men on my phone, I asked him whether it was illegal to speak to gay men.

‘He hit me again so hard my eye split and I began bleeding. I begged him to stop hitting my face but this egged him on further and he hit me even harder.

‘He forced me to sign a confession that I have sex with men, all the while hurling punches and abuse at me. He then made me take off all my clothes and looked at me, told me I’m a faggot, insulted me, threatened me.??

‘The next day, two more men came in and interrogated me again. By this time the drug issue was dropped, the case was now about homosexuality…

‘When I told the interrogating officer that I was forced to confess to having sex under duress, he got a thick electricity cable and whipped my palms.

‘He then said that he would get a forensic doctor to check me [with an anal ‘probe’ test]…

‘He kept intimidating me, trying to get me to confess again…The exam turned out negative, and so they had no choice but to release me without charge.’

Such torture, abuse and ill-treatment is common to Lebanon’s Internal Security Forced (ISF), says a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), that was released today on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.??

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