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25 January 2011
Gay detector stirs controversy
by George Atkinson

Immigration authorities in the Czech Republic have been using what they call an "erotic lie detector" to test whether asylum seekers are falsely claiming to be gay. But the practice has the EU's human rights agency fuming.

In Iran, gays and lesbians can be put to death by hanging. Since 1979, the mullah-controlled regime has already executed close to 4,000 of them, usually after convicting them on rape charges.

Fearing just such a fate, two Iranian men, Rahim and Karim (not their real names), fled to Europe in the spring of 2008. They wanted to escape the realm of the mullahs and their morality police as quickly as they could.

Their escape route took them to Prague and when they arrived at the city's Ruzyne Airport, they immediately applied for asylum. They claimed that the Iranian police had already been after them in their home city of Zahedan and had ordered them to appear for questioning on charges of "amoral behavior." The men had even brought along the police summons.

But for the Czech authorities, it would seem that the summons was not enough to prove that Rahim and Karim were genuinely gay and in danger. And in the back of their minds, they might have been thinking of the thousands of Czechs who had managed to get out of having to perform military service during the communist era by claiming to be homosexual.

So, the Czech Republic's Interior Ministry sent Rahim and Karim to Dr. Ondrej Trojan, a physician and sex therapist with a practice in Prague's historic city center, for an examination. After asking them a battery of questions, Trojan concluded that the only way to obtain hard evidence was to administer a test using a phallometric device. And faced with either having their erections measured or being deported, the two Iranians had little choice but to consent.

[Read More]
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