Amnesty International welcomes Indonesian army’s wish to end virginity tests

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Jakarta, Aug 6 (EFE) .- Controversial virginity tests demanded of women wishing to enter the Indonesian military could end, after the chief of staff questioned the practice, which aid agencies are calling into question. are congratulated on Friday.

Amnesty International said it applauded this declaration of intent, adding that it should be formalized in a written law and warned of the difficulty of ensuring compliance across the country.

“We salute the good faith of the army to eliminate the practice of virginity tests which violate the human rights of future soldiers. Of course, we hope that this will be formalized in a written document and the military must also ensure that it is implemented throughout Indonesia, ”Wirya Adiwena, deputy director of Amnesty in the press, told EFE. country.

The test, denounced for years by associations defending human rights, is known as the “two-finger test”, in reference to the vaginal examination performed by doctors during the health check-up to check if the hymen is intact.

This long-standing denunciation by feminist and humanitarian groups became apparent on July 18 when the Indonesian Chief of Staff, General Andika Perkasa, said in a video conference with other soldiers that the practice would no longer be. practiced. He added that women should be selected according to the same criteria as men.

“The goal is health. There are no more inspections outside of this objective. (…) There are things that are irrelevant, unrelated to that. And this will not be verified further. This is what is relevant in this change. We have to be consistent. They should select women in the same way as men, based on their ability to undergo basic military training, ”he said.

“There are things there is no longer to do. They are not necessary, ”the general said at the conference.

The statements, however, have not yet been translated into an official standard and have not been taken up by the police, where this practice is also common when selecting female officers, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. in 2017.

The organization then called on the country’s president Joko Widodo to intervene to abolish this practice, because it violates article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 16 of the Convention against Torture, both signed by the country.

The international organization has also documented cases of virginity tests in the security forces of other countries such as Egypt, India or Afghanistan. EFE

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