Statement by Initiative Against Homophobia

Gender identity is among the fundamental human rights and liberties that are inviolable, inalienable and essential and it is important to note that each should have the right to disposition and use such liberties. The existing laws in the northern part of Cyprus ([1]), the unfair treatment and discrimination experienced by homosexuals in everyday life and the lack of legal regulations protecting the rights of such people result in anxiety and pressure for these individuals similarly to other minority group members.
A recent incident (July 2007) has once again shown us that it is a necessity to urgently change the existing, outdated laws. Following the sexual relations between two consensual adults, one of the individuals began to blackmail the other. The individual who was being threatened decided to place a complaint with the police to seek justice. After explaining the incident, the individual was handcuffed and sent to be examined by a doctor in a discriminatory manner for being involved in “unnatural sexual relations” due to the existing laws (article 171 of the Penal Code). The medical examination had a damaging and degrading impact on the person’s dignity.
Rather than criminalizing blackmail and penalizing the offenders, the individual who placed a complaint to seek justice has been judged unfairly. This showcases the severity of the situation. The abovementioned incident and similar occurrences force LGBT individuals to keep silent instead of seeking their own rights like any other citizen in the northern part of Cyprus.
The fact that some articles in the existing penal code in the northern part of Cyprus do not comply with anti-discrimination laws in Europe and other countries around the world should be reconsidered, and the existing laws should be updated according to today’s present circumstances.
Initiative Against Homophobia – Nicosia
 29 July 2007


[1] Relevant articles in the “Offenses Against Morality” chapter:
“Unnatural offences

  1. Any person who—
    (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature ; or
    (b) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.
    Unnatural offenses with violence
  2. Any person who with violence commits either of the offences specified in the last preceding section is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
  3. Any person who attempts to commit either of the offences specified in section 171 is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years, and if the attempt is accompanied with violence he is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
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