Following a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights the Northern Cypriot Parliament has voted to abolish provisions of the criminal code applicable in Northern Cyprus which criminalise sexual conduct between consenting, adult men. This law made homosexual acts between males punishable by up to five years in prison.
The Human Dignity Trust launched this challenge in January 2012 on the grounds that it breached international human rights law as well as Northern Cyprus’ own constitution. The challenge was made on the basis of incompatibility with the rights to privacy, family life and the protection from discrimination embodied in the European Convention of Human Rights.
Today lawmakers abolished this provision subject to the President’s assent, which is expected to be given within 15 days.
The Human Dignity Trust’s case has been supported by the Northern Cypriot LGBT organisation Queer Cyprus (formerly ‘Initiative Against Homophobia’). The legal team, led by Nigel Pleming QC, includes Northern Cypriot lawyer Oncel Polili and Tom Mountford. Instructing solicitors are international law firm and member of the Human Dignity Trust’s legal panel, Taylor Wessing LLP.
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