Northern Cyprus shames Europe by keeping laws against homosexuality

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The arrest of three men in Northern Cyprus under laws prohibiting ‘sexual intercourse against the order of nature’ has been condemned by the Kaleidoscope Trust, which supports gay men and lesbians around the world in the face of prejudice and discrimination.

Northern Cyprus is the only area within Europe that retains laws against homosexuality, in breach of its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The three men were arrested last week and have been held in custody under laws that date from Britain’s colonial administration of Cyprus that ended in 1960. One of those arrested is a former Finance Minister from the Greek-Cypriot Republic of Cyprus where homosexuality was decriminalised in 1998.

Lance Price, Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said:

“The arrest and detention of these three men is a clear breach of their human rights. They should be released immediately. By retaining a legal prohibition on homosexuality, Northern Cyprus shames the continent of Europe. That gay men can still face imprisonment for up to five years within Europe is a salutary reminder than the struggle against discrimination and prejudice continues on every continent and we cannot afford to lower our guard.”