Czech gay asylum 'phallometric test' criticised by EU
- 8 December 2010
- From the section Europe
The EU's leading human rights agency has sharply criticised the Czech authorities for using a controversial method of testing whether homosexual asylum seekers are genuinely gay.
The Fundamental Rights Agency said the Czech Republic was the only EU country still using a "sexual arousal" test.
Gay asylum seekers are hooked up to a machine that monitors blood-flow to the penis and are then shown straight porn.
Those applicants who become aroused are denied asylum.
The agency said in a report that "it is dubious whether [the test] reaches sufficiently clear conclusions".
It said the practice could violate the European Convention on Human Rights "since this procedure touches upon a most intimate part of an individual's private life".
The interior ministry reacted angrily to the claims, saying that the "phallometric tests" had been used in fewer than 10 asylum cases.
The tests were always conducted under the supervision of experts, said the officials, and always with the asylum seeker's full written consent.
The case first came to light after a German court refused to deport an Iranian asylum seeker to the Czech Republic, saying as a homosexual he would be subjected to the test.
The Czech government's human right's commissioner, meanwhile, has described the phallometric tests as "undignified".