Response to the parliamentary question on phallometric testing

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström answered a written question on the phallometric testing of gay asylum seekers by Czech authorities. The Intergroup will closely monitor follow-up on this issue.

Commissioner Cecilia MalmströmAnswer given by the Commissioner for Home Affairs:

The Commission is seriously concerned about the information referred to by the Honourable Member regarding the practice of “phallometric testing” reported to be used in the Czech Republic. The Commission considers that, against the background of the implementation of Directives 2004/83/EC (Qualification Directive) and 2005/85/EC (Asylum Procedures Directive), the practice raises serious doubts as to its conformity with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 4 and 7, concerning the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment and respect for private and family life. The test constitutes a strong interference with the person’s private sphere and sense of dignity. It is especially inappropriate for asylum seekers who have been persecuted due to their sexual orientation. Taking into account its intrusive nature, the test does not appear to be in line with the principle of proportionality.

For these reasons, on 14 December 2010, the Commission sent a letter to the Czech authorities to express concern and request clarifications about the practice. Once it receives a reply to this letter, the Commission will consider whether any further action is required.

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