Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Times: EU chides Czechs for gay tests

Monday, 13th December 2010; AFP

The European Commission scolded Czech authorities for subjecting gay asylum seekers to tests that include verifying if they get aroused by viewing heterosexual porn.

Czech authorities use so-called “phallometric testing” to determine if men seeking asylum because of persecution against homosexuals in their home country are really gay, the ­European Union’s executive arm said.

The practice is “degrading” and refusing to be subjected to such a test should not be used as grounds to reject an asylum request, the commission said.

Citing a report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the commission said it was “difficult to reconcile” the test with “existing human rights standards.”

The “phallometric” test is performed by a professional sexologist and, in principle, with the person’s written consent after he is informed about the exam, the agency said.

“This raises serious questions regarding the compliance of this practice with existing human rights standards,” the agency said on its website.

The test may be proposed to a gay man in order to assess the credibility of his claim when “inconsistencies appear in his interview,” it said, citing information provided by the Czech interior ministry.

Refusing the test “may result in questioning the claim” made by the asylum seekers about his homosexuality.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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