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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2002/76, December 27, 2001

Torture and Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities

For some years, I have received information regarding victims of torture and other forms of ill-treatment belonging to sexual minorities, who are said to have been subjected to violence of a sexual nature, such as rape or sexual assault, and other abuse relating to their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

I believe that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity may contribute to the process of the dehumanization of the victim, which is often a necessary condition for torture and ill-treatment to take place. Furthermore, discriminatory attitudes towards members of sexual minorities can mean that they are perceived as less credible by law enforcement agencies or not fully entitled to an equal standard of protection, including protection against violence carried out by non- State agents. Members of sexual minorities, when arrested for other alleged offences or when lodging a complaint of harassment by third parties, have reportedly been subjected to further victimization by the police, including verbal, physical and sexual assault, including rape. Silencing through shame or the threat by law enforcement officials to publicly disclose the birth sex of the victim or his or her sexual orientation (to family members, among others) may keep a considerable number of victims from reporting abuses.

link to the full text of the Report: