Indonesian Army Stops “Virginity Test” for Female Recruits

Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) — Human rights groups welcome Indonesia’s decision to end abusive “virginity testing” of female troop recruits seven years after the World Health Organization declares it unscientific did.

Army Chief of Staff Andika Perkasa said that inspectors would no longer submit women to invasive examinations using their fingers to assess whether the hymen was intact.

He said applicants should only be evaluated for their ability to participate in physical training, and the military should ensure that they do not encounter healthy and life-threatening medical problems with color blindness and spine and heart. He said he would emphasize whether he had the condition of.

“These improvements allow us to focus, be effective and accurate, and ensure direction,” Percasa said on Tuesday in the annual US-Indonesia joint military exercise in the Minahasan district of North Sulawesi. I told reporters.

He said Army hospital directors and medical officers had been informed about the new procedure since May.

The WHO states in its 2014 clinical guidelines on the health care of sexually abused women that the so-called “virginity test” lacks scientific evidence.

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono has also called on Indonesian Navy and Air Force commanders to put pressure on the end of this practice.

“Army Command is doing the right thing,” Harsono said in a statement received by the Associated Press Thursday. “Currently, territorial and battalion commanders are responsible for following orders and recognizing the unscientific and rights-abusing nature of this practice.”

Human Rights Watch previously found that applicants who were considered “failed” in the test were not necessarily punished, but everyone who took the test was traumatized because it was painful and embarrassing. I said that.

Human Rights Watch also documented the use of such tests by security forces in Egypt, India and Afghanistan, and criticized Indonesia’s demand for virginity tests on school girls.

Indonesian troops and police said they had imposed tests for decades, sometimes testing the fiancée of military officers. Indonesian police ended this practice in 2018.