Human rights agency condemns Czech Republic’s arousal testing of gay asylum seekers


The European Union’s leading human rights agency has sharply criticized the Czech Republic for using a controversial method of testing the credibility of gay asylum seekers.

At issue is the use of “phallometric testing,” in which gay asylum seekers are hooked up to a machine that monitors blood-flow to the penis and are then shown straight porn.

Applicants who become aroused by the pornographic images are denied asylum.

The Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights says that it believes the practice could be in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits torture and human or degrading treatment, and of Article 8, (respect of one’s private life), “since this procedure touches upon ‘a most intimate part of an individual’s private life.’”

The agency added that the use of such tests was particularly inappropriate for asylum seekers because “many of them might have suffered abuse due to their sexual orientation and are thus specifically constrained by this kind of exposure”.

The Czech Interior Ministry defended the practice and said in a statement that the testing is conducted only after written consent has been obtained.

The procedure came to light when a German court refused to deport an Iranian man seeking asylum in the Czech Republic.

The Fundamental Rights agency said the Czech Republic is the only known EU country to use phallometric testing.

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