17/07/2014 10:41 BST | Updated 17/07/2014 10:59 BST

Banned Anal Exam To Test For Homosexuality Is Still Being Used In Lebanon

JOSEPH EID via Getty Images
A gay pride flag bearing the cedar tree in the middle of it is carried by a human rights activists during an anti-homophobia rally in Beirut on April 30, 2013. Lebanese homosexuals, human rights activists and members from the NGO Helem (the Arabic acronym of 'Lebanese Protection for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders') rallied to condemn the arrest on the weekend of three gay men and one transgender civilian in the town of Dekwaneh east of Beirut at a nightclub who were allegedly verbally and sexually harassed at the municipality headquarters. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

An invasive and banned “test” for homosexuality is reportedly still being used in Lebanon.

The examination, which involves the insertion of a metal egg-shaped metal object into the rectum, was carried out on five men accused of being gay, Lebanon’s Daily Star writes.

Being gay is a criminal offence in Lebanon. The men were not suspected of any other offences.

The newspaper writes the doctor who performed the tests was hired by the judicial police’s Moral Protection Bureau.

Nizar Saghieh, the lawyer and editor of the Legal Agenda journal, said he has asked the Lebanese Order of Physicians to sue the doctor for professional misconduct.

The group had earlier forbidden doctors from conducting the examination deeming it to constitute “torture”, Al Bawaba writes.

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It said: “Such techniques do not give the desired result and constitute a gross violation of the rights of persons who are subject to it without their consent. ... The practice is humiliating and is torture in violation of the [United Nations] Convention Against Torture.”

It is believed to be the first use of the test since a well-publicised case involving 35 men detained in a raid at an adult cinema in Burj Hammoud in July 2012, The Independent reports.

The raid sparked fierce criticism, with Lebanese Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi describing the tests as “totally unacceptable” from a “humanitarian point of view”.

Lebanon does not explicitly outlaw homosexuality, but Article 534 of the penal code states that "sexual intercourse contrary to nature" is punishable by up to one year in prison, according to Helem, the first openly gay rights group operating in the region. The organisation says that Article 534 is used by the Lebanese ruling classes to criminalise homosexuality.

In August 2012, Human Rights Watch appealed to the government to repeal article 534.

A spokesman said: “Forensic anal examinations of men suspected of homosexual contact, conducted in detention, constitute degrading and humiliating treatment

“These ‘tests of shame,’ as Lebanese rights organization the Legal Agenda has dubbed them, should stop immediately – the state has no business punishing and degrading its citizens for consensual sexual conduct.”