February 5, 2016

Government to pay Thika man Sh200,000 in stripping case

button print grnw20 Government to pay Thika man Sh200,000 in stripping case

A Thika farmer has been awarded Sh200,000 by the High Court after he was publicly stripped naked by police two years ago to confirm his gender.

Alexander Nthungi, who suffers from Gender Identity Disorder, successfully argued that his rights were violated when he was stripped by police officers at Makongeni in Thika in January 12, 2011.

Nthungi told the court that he was arrested over allegations of assaulting a woman, an incident that allegedly occurred in 2010. Because of his condition, Nthungi was dressed like a woman.

Instead of sending him to a medical expert to confirm his gender, the police officers stripped him naked, in the full glare of cameras.

A woman police officer is alleged to have conducted a search on him before her male colleagues took over. The incident, he said, was aired by local TV stations.

Through his lawyer Daniel Wokabi, Nthungi said the police violated his rights and freedoms as enshrined under Articles 28 and 29 of the constitution and the act of stripping him was degrading. The complainant said he was humiliated.

Wokabi told the court that after the mistreatment, the petitioner suffered psychological stress and was treated at Thika District Hospital.

He said that the police teased, pulled his hair and touched him all over the body, with a view to humiliating him.A report from his doctor, which was attached in the case, said that Nthungi suffers the GID, a condition associated with significant discomfort with biological sex/gender assignment at birth. Such people allegedly, desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress so as to be associated with the opposite gender.

The Attorney General was of the view that since he was suffering from mental disorder, Nthungi should not have filed the case but a guardian should have brought it on his behalf. But this was rejected by Justice Mumbi Ngugi who said there is nothing before her to show that persons suffering from GID, suffer mentally.-The Star