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Colombo Chief Magistrate dismisses case against three gay men for homosexuality

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10 December 2021 09:50 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Colombo Chief Magistrate has dismissed a case filed against three gay men for homosexuality. The dismissal of Case No. 34131/3/20, was based on a letter by the Attorney General informing the Police that the Attorney General will not pursue the case.   


In June last year, Narahenpita Police raided a private hotel room in Colombo and arrested three men for homosexuality. The men were beaten with batons and wires until they bled by the police and subject to forced anal examinations by Judicial Medical Officers (JMOs). 

  The men, all who identify as gay, were not participating in any sexual activity at the time of the raid but were merely having drinks and eating in the room. The men allege that the police had used an unopened packet of condoms in the hotel bathroom as grounds to arrest them. It is not unusual for hotels to provide complimentary condoms in hotel sanitary kits. The police then proceeded to prosecute the men under section 365A of the Penal Code.   
Section 365A criminalises “gross indecency” between any persons and does not specifically mention or criminalise homosexuality. However, police enforce these provisions almost exclusively against LGBT people, leading to a practical criminalisation of LGBT people in Sri Lanka.   
Following an investigation last year, the Daily Mirror exposed how the Sri Lanka police were using sections 365 and 365A of the Penal Code to routinely arrest and torture LGBT people for consensual relationships. Evidence also shows that while police harass and arrest LGBT people for consensual relationships, there is considerable police inaction on sexual crimes against women by men.   
Investigation also produced evidence of forced anal and vaginal examinations of LGBT people by JMOs on the instructions of the police. One of the victims of the police prosecution, a Swedish national, has filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. In a petition detailing his harrowing experience at the hands of Sri Lanka Police, the victim states that he was “subjected to torture, cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment” and that police officers tied him“with wires, and forced him to undergo anal examinations in attempt to prove homosexuality.”   
Attorney General has consistently repeated since 2014 that discrimination against LGBT people is unconstitutional and violated the right to equality and freedom from discrimination under Article 12 of the Constitution. Despite these repeated assertions by the AG, the police have continued to harass arrest and prosecute LGBT people.
The request for dismissal by the AG is the first such known instance of dismissal of a case against LGBT people.   
Recently, several LGBT rights activists, led by Equal Ground, filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal against Sri Lanka Police for conducting homophobic training sessions. This is the first such case in the Senior Courts of Sri Lanka requesting to enforce the rights of LGBT people.   


In the last year, both the President and Justice Minister of Sri Lanka have publicly committed to ending all forms of discrimination against LGBT people. Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that he “strongly believe that no person should be discriminated against or made to suffer any form of abuse, indignity or injustice on the basis of their gender, sexual preference or identity”.   

 


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  Comments - 12

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  • Don Friday, 10 December 2021 11:24 AM

    Sri Lanka is such a backward country. Majority people don’t know homosexuality is a medical condition one is born with due to certain level of hormone generation. This is why decent developed countries do not discriminate against people with own sexual preferences. Get out of your well and try to be humane.

    Citizen Kane Friday, 10 December 2021 11:35 AM

    Predictable consequences of having an asinine Minister

    Dilshan Perera Friday, 10 December 2021 11:42 AM

    JMOs never do any examinations on police requests.. police can never give an order.. These are all just gay superiority fabrications.. how about also fighting for Paedophile, Rapist and Zoophile rights??

    Lasantha de Silva Friday, 10 December 2021 12:34 PM

    So you compare LGBTIQ to pedophiles, rapists and animals? Shame on you!

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 10 December 2021 02:41 PM

    Typical yakko idiot with limited knowledge. Definitely one the 69%.

    suranga Friday, 10 December 2021 12:38 PM

    Hey Dilshan Perera-Homosexulaity cannot be compared with paedophile, rapist or zoophile as this is not a criminal act like the ones you have listed

    samson de silva Friday, 10 December 2021 01:23 PM

    Greatly admire the verdict by the Chief Magistrate. Now, the victims in this case must sue the Police and whoever else responsible for this heinous crime of violating their fundamental human rights. These police bastards must be taught a good lesson.

    Ram Friday, 10 December 2021 01:42 PM

    IG, Consider paying compensation to these victims without wasting the time of civil court

    Dee Friday, 10 December 2021 02:14 PM

    Haaneeey!

    Marcian Christopher Friday, 10 December 2021 04:20 PM

    What action will be taken against the relevant policemen who tortured, beat up, harassed these people and trumped up false charges against these victims? Over to you Minister of Justice and the Attorney General.

    Neville Jayakody Friday, 10 December 2021 04:39 PM

    It is good to know at least few progressive developments are are taking place on human rights issues! Instead of always winging for political gains, we should learn to acknowledge the good as well! Bravo Justice Minister!

    R Forster Friday, 10 December 2021 05:04 PM

    With the level of narrow minded idiotic thinking as shown by Dilshan Perera Esq above, may God, the Lord Buddha or whoever else sufficient enlightenment help Ceylon. And we all try to work out why this country is going to the DOGS?


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