The Czech Republic has fought back after the European Commission once again alleged the government was continuing to implement a bizarre method of determining whether homosexual asylum seekers are legitimately gay.
As the Czech News Agency is reporting, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom slammed the nation for continuing to use "phallometric testing," which measures the flow of blood to a man's penis to determine the physical reaction to pornography, as part of local screening procedures for men who apply for asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation. If the device determines that the applicant became aroused while viewing heterosexual pornography, he will be denied asylum.
"This is a pure medieval method and a huge violation of the individual’s right to privacy," Malmstrom wrote on her blog, before noting the commission had tried to contact Czech authorities in regard to the practice but had yet to receive a sufficient response. "There is no question that this is politically unacceptable."
Meanwhile, Czech Interior Ministry spokesman Vladimir Repka told Czech Position that the controversial practice -- which has been nicknamed "peter meters" -- had not been employed since 2009. “They were previously used to supplement other sexual diagnostic tests, and in the future we count on just using these,” he is quoted as saying.
The Czech Republic previously came under fire from the Austrian-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights late last year. The agency said in a report that "phallometric testing" potentially violates the European Convention on Human Rights as it "touches upon a most intimate part of an individual's private life," according to the Associated Press. Furthermore, the reliability of the test is questionable because "it is dubious whether it reaches sufficiently clear conclusions," and noted bisexual people were unlikely to pass.
The Czech Interior Ministry then claimed the testing has been carried out in fewer than 10 cases and always in the presence of a medical specialist, and all those who passed the test had been granted asylum. In addition, the ministry also argued the practice was voluntary, according to the Telegraph.