Tuesday

26th Mar 2019

Focus

Czech sexuality tests not legal, EU commission says

  • Phallometry is a controversial practice (Photo: Cult Gigolo)

The practice by Czech authorities of checking via 'phallometric tests' if an asylum seeker is really homosexual and thus a potential victim in his home country is not in line with EU asylum laws and fundamental rights, EU home affairs chief Cecilia Malmstrom has said.

"The practice of phallometric tests constitutes a strong interference with the person's private life and human dignity. This kind of degrading treatment should not be accepted in the European Union, nor elsewhere," Malmstrom said Tuesday (17 May).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"Equal rights have been the guiding principle for my political commitment and I have the firm intention to make sure that member states comply with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights when they implement EU legislation relevant to asylum and immigration," she stressed.

Her services also sent a letter to Czech authorities announcing they would open a formal investigation into the practice of "phallometric tests" for those refugees who claim to be persecuted for their homosexuality at home.

The sinister practice, involving rubber rings or tubes measuring the blood circulation in a man's penis when shown heterosexual or homosexual pornographic materials, was developed in the early years of Communist Czechoslovakia when homosexual interaction was a criminal offence.

"The commission considers that the use of phallometric tests (...) constitutes degrading treatment [which] is humiliating, and creates feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority," the letter sent to the Czech authorities reads.

The Czech Republic has already been flagged up by the EU's fundamental rights agency based in Vienna (FRA) in a report last year.

"Phallometric testing is difficult to reconcile with existing human rights standards," the report notes, giving details about an Iranian man who was granted asylum in Germany after he appealed his transfer to the Czech Republic, where he was supposed to undergo this test.

EU court bars tests for gay asylum seekers

Authorities in EU countries can no longer impose controversial psychological tests to determine whether an aslyum seeker is telling the truth about their homosexuality.

LGBTI protection still lacking in EU

Despite some welcome advances, some legal rights for the LGBTI community are lacking in EU member states, and the rise of the populist right is making things worse, conference in Warsaw is told.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Opinion

The dangers of resurgent nationalism in Greece

Virulent nationalism in Greece has been stirred up in the context of austerity and renewed negotiations with Macedonia. Recent attempts by the government to address the inequalities suffered by LGBT persons have also been met with a reactionary backlash.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us