Queer Cyprus Association Press Release

As Queer Cyprus Association, we believe that the manner used by multiple media organs in their reporting on recent violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape cases is unacceptable and against journalism principles. If the press members desire to fulfil their promises of reporting in line with journalism principles and supporting LGBTI rights, they should evaluate the news articles on recent events since the news reporting of these recent events reflect the opposite. While providing a rape victim’s information about their sexual orientation, birth place or private life is irrelevant, publishing such information is also considered as an attack against the individual’s privacy. Headlines describing the victim as “homosexual” not only discriminate gay people but can also be seen as a justification which legitimizes rape.

While reporting on such issues, the violence, assault and/or rape based on sexual orientation and gender identity should not be justified and a language which sensationalizes and trivializes the act should be avoided to prevent further harm to the victim. The victim’s identity and any other identifying information should be kept confidential. For instance the victim’s name, photograph, address, birth place and/or any other information regarding their private life should not be shared. Discourses which degrade the victim or legitimize rape should be avoided. Attention should be paid to the language used while reporting news on sexual violence such as assault and rape. Information obtained from the police or judicial process should be published after being filtered in accordance with journalism principles. It should be kept in mind that the information provided could possibly harm the victim or the victim’s family. The narrative and visual images used in news should not have a pornographic nature and should not understate the offense. In crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex individuals, the media should not reveal the victim. The violence and discrimination experienced by the victim should be stated by clearly making the offender’s acts visible rather than presenting the victim as a passive subject. For example, statements such as “the offender raped”, “the offender inflicted violence” and “the offender stabbed” should be used in the place of statements such as “the victim was raped”, “the victim was beaten” and “the victim was stabbed”. In the published news, opinion or comment, it should not be implied that the offender’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or other characteristic is the reason for the crime or act committed, unless it is directly linked to the event which made news. Additionally, the media institution is obliged to correct any mistake in any published news report within the shortest time.

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