Middle East

Lebanese Activists Rally Against Forensic Rape

Protesting anal probes of prisoners

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The movement for gay rights—and, more broadly, against subjecting prisoners to officially sanctioned anal probes—has arrived in Lebanon:

Dozens of people demonstrated outside the law courts in the Lebanese capital on Saturday to protest the use of anal "tests" on men suspected of homosexuality, which is a criminal offence in the Arab country.

The rally followed a July 28 police raid on a gay venue in a working class district of Beirut when 36 men were taken into custody and forced to undergo the examinations, reportedly to determine their sexual orientation….

Men and women—ranging from gay and lesbian young adults to a father and daughter—chanted in unison and held banners that read: "United to abolish the tests of shame."

Other homemade signs struck a more sarcastic tone: "Honorable minister, before you test my anus, at least take me out to dinner," read one.