South African former army ‘gay cure’ psychiatrist starts jail sentence

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A former army psychiatrist accused of torturing gay South Africans and dissidents in the apartheid military has started a five-year jail term in Canada.

South Africa’s apartheid army forced white gay soldiers to undergo gender reassignment operations in the 1970s and the 1980s, and submitted many to chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical practices.

Although the exact number is not known, former apartheid army surgeons estimate that as many as 900 forced “sexual reassignment” operations may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals, as part of a top-secret program to root out homosexuality from the service.

Aubrey “Dr Shock” Levin was arrested in March 2010 and convicted of the sexual molestation of patients.

The 74-year-old rose to notoriety for his work on South Africa’s aversion therapy medical program which attempted to ‘cure’ gay troops of their sexual orientation.

After the end of apartheid, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard testimony regarding the barbaric nature of the program.

Levin left South Africa for Canada in the 1990s. 

In March 2010, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta suspended Levin’s licence over accusations of abuse after a male patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances.

When the first charge was laid, 20 former Canadian patients came forward to complain and 10 provided evidence at his trial.

Levin still refuses to admit that he did anything wrong, either in South Africa or Canada.

He has now started a five-year jail term having last week exhausted the appeals process.