3 men arrested for ‘acts against nature’: Members of the European Parliament call for their immediate release
Last Thursday, police in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus arrested three men in their private home. After five days already spent under arrest, yesterday a court prolonged their arrest for two more days, claiming the police needed to complete its investigation for ‘conspiring to have a sexual intercourse against the order of nature’. The offence carries a penalty of up to 5 years’ imprisonment.
Former Cyprus Finance Minister Dr Michael Sarris and two other men above the age of consent may face charges under Article 171, Chapter 154 of the Criminal Code imposed on the northern part of Cyprus.
The northern part of Cyprus is the last territory in Europe where homosexuality is illegal. This is in breach of the binding European Convention on Human Rights, which applies to the territory.
Cypriot Members of the European Parliament Eleni Theocharous and Ioannis Kasoulides called for the immediate release of the three men. “These arrests are in full breach of international law and the human right to private life. Charging them is illegal under human rights law, denies their most basic rights, and is wholly unnecessary as no harm was done. Consenting adults have the right to engage in sexual intercourse with people of the same sex, these men must be freed now!”
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights in the European Parliament, also added: “These men must be released without delay, and the binding jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights must be implemented immediately in the whole island of Cyprus. The criminalisation of homosexuality has no place in the 21st century.”
The Intergroup on LGBT Rights urges Turkish authorities in Cyprus to release the three men and clear them of all charges without delay.