Two men convicted of gay sex in Zambia after forced anal examinations

Two men were subjected to anal examinations in Zambia and later found guilty by a court for engaging in gay sex with each other.

Anal examinations involve medical staff forcibly inserting their fingers, or sometimes other objects, into a person’s anus as a way of determining if they have participated in anal sex.

The United Nations have called the practice a form of torture, and the General Assembly of the World Medical Association and Human Rights Watch have both repeatedly called for it to be stopped.

Following a trial at the Kapiri Mposhi District Court, the men – aged 30 and 38 – were found guilty of having had “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” under section 155 (a) of the penal code.

Four out of the five witnesses who testified against the men claimed they saw them both having anal sex with each other at a lodge last year, reports the Lusaka Times.

The two men did not plead guilty during the trial, but their lawyers also didn’t provide any arguments or witnesses in their defence.

Magistrate Ackson Mumba convicted the two men after delivering a 90-minute judgement.

“The law is what it is and not what it ought to be,” Mumba said, referring to Zambia’s anti-gay laws.

The two men will be sentenced at a later date and could face up to 14 years in jail.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal for both men and women in the African nation, and social attitudes towards people are wholly negative.

Zambia still enforce colonial era anti-gay laws, with public opinion coloured by perceptions that homosexuality is immoral and a form of insanity.

Earlier this year, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission won a landmark case that saw Kenya’s Court of Appeal rule it illegal to force people to undergo anal examination in order to determine if they are homosexual.

The organisation also hopes to bring forward a challenge against a British colonial-era Penal Code which makes gay sex illegal.

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