Czechs defend arousal testing of gay refugees

- The Czech government rejected Wednesday EU criticism of its use of a test of the credibility of gay asylum seekers.

The Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights said the Czech Republic is the only known EU country to use so-called "phallometric testing." The method tests whether men seeking asylum on the grounds of homosexuality are sexually aroused by heterosexual pornographic material.

The Czech Interior Ministry said in a statement that the testing is conducted only after written consent had been obtained, and when it was not possible to use a different method of verification.

Ministry spokesman Pavel Novak said the testing has been carried out in fewer than 10 cases, always by a medical specialist, and was used on unreliable applicants from countries such as Iran, where homosexuality is grounds for harsh punishment.

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