“The progress and modernisation of legal codes since the late 19th century, and the universality of the “Declaration of Human Rights” needs no further elaboration in this respect.“
`The urgent need to amend the penal code which has remained in effect since theperiod of colonial rule by the British in the northern part of Cyprus has once more been highlighted in view of the recent arrest of three men with accusations of “relations against nature” on the 14th October, 2011. The progress and modernisation of legal codes since the late 19th century, and the universality of the “Declaration of Human Rights” needs no further elaboration in this respect.
We have been informed that two of those arrested have been subjected to police violence – an unacceptable behaviour under any circumstance, and which we shall staunchly pursue . This kind of behaviour is undoubtedly a violation of the most basic human rights. In the meantime, the media continues to share the shame for normalising such an attitude of hatred and taking part in this violation. Not only have they shared the names, professions and photographs of the people involved, but they have also insisted on overlooking universally accepted guidelines for ethical journalism, feeding homophobic reports and comments to the public.
Although the information that one of those involved in the recent incident is of 17 years of age has been flaunted by the media, trying to stir the public, we are very much aware that the age of consent for females is 16, whereas no such age is referred to in the law for males. This clearly indicates that the present legal code does not intend to protect the corporal integrity of the person but merely serves to protect the “morality” of the community. The focus should not solely rest on the age of the person(s) involved but on a variety of factors including consent in all sexual relations. We strongly believe that those standing trial concerning sexual misconduct should be judged within the framework of human rights and mutual consent and that those who are aggrieved or victims of such conduct should not be exposed as criminals or culprits.
As the Initiative Against Homophobia, we defend the necessity of urgently amending Clause 171, Chapter 154 of the penal code. We call upon the state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as well as the political parties to take the necessary steps within the framework of the “Amendment to Penal Code” that we have previously proposed and which has been delegated to the Constitutional Court, to legislate according to our proposals (and in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and to ensure that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus be eliminated from the list of countries practicing state sponsored homophobia. We also strongly believe that every citizen of this country should be protected by the government and under the aegis of human rights. We invite all concerned citizens, avtivists and human rights supporters not to remain silent and join us in voicing out concern in front of the State Courts in Nicosia.`
Initiative Against Homophobia
Source: Initiative Against Homophobia