“We call on the international community, the European Union and also the Cypriot Republic to immediately exert pressure to ensure that the legal statues of the Cypriot Republic, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, is applied and the charges, thereby dropped.“
Accept LGBTI Cyprus
17 Oct. 2011
Full statement is below:
Accept LGBT Cyprus condemns the ‘arrest’ of three persons in the occupied North of Cyprus, for so called charge of ‘indecent sexual acts’, which took place on October 14th 2011. We call on the international community, the European Union and also the Cypriot Republic to immediately exert pressure to ensure that the legal statues of the Cypriot Republic, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, is applied and the charges, thereby dropped.
The fundamental right to freedom, equality and respect to basic human rights, as set out by the charter on Human Rights, is directly challenged by this action in the occupied North. We call upon the ‘authorities’ there to immediately drop the charges against these three persons, relating to their sexual orientation, and to cease abusing the constitution of Human rights based on sexual orientation, and to respect the right to freedom of sexual expression whilst coming in line with international charters on basic Human Rights, as well as the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. We call on the international community, the European Union and the Cypriot Republic to pressurise for the dropping of charges against these three men, as well as to condemn all procedures which criminalize and punish relations between men – something that constitutes blatant violation of fundamental human rights. We would remind you that the occupied North of Cyprus is European territory which is currently not in our control due to the Turkish invasion of 1974. The ‘law’ used to charge the three men is an outdated remnant of the colonialist era which had criminalised ‘sodomy’ and was repealed in the Republic of Cyprus in 2000, after pressure from the European Union similar bodies.
According the KYPE (Cypriot Press Agency), the ‘police’ arrested three persons, amongst them a Greek-Cypriot male, and presented them to the said ‘court’ which handed down a 3-day sentence pending further investigation. This was confirmed by the Press officer of the Republic of Cyprus Police, Mr. Michalis Katsounotos. Importantly, it should be noted that the said ‘police’ did not possess a warrant for the arrests prior to their actions and that the invasion of private space is in essence an invasion of the right to a private life.
The media in the Republic of Cyprus, as well as in the occupied areas, have been reporting that the ‘arrests’ took place based on the involvement of an underage person. Based on the information at hand to date, the youngest of the three person is stated as being 17years of age. In accordance with the law in the Republic of Cyprus, the age of consent for men and women is 17, and hence this would negate the underage issue alluded to, since all three involved are classed as adults.
Using this platform we would urge all media reporters to adhere to journalist ideologies and ensure that information that has not be crossed checked and from trusted sources is not published. Also, it is duty-bound to protect the names, identities and professions of those charged until such a time as they are proved guilty and the law provides. This was not adhered to in this case, resulting in the possible maligning of innocent victims, including a defamation of character in the public eye.
The organisation accept LGBT Cyprus reiterates its intention to fight for the defence of basic human rights, whilst fighting against all forms of discrimination that have as a basis the sexual orientation of the person, in Cyprus, as well as globally, using either direct or/and indirect support and solidarity of other initiatives in this field.