A legal challenge has been lodged at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to decriminalize homosexuality in Northern Cyprus – the last place in the Council of Europe where being gay is a criminal offense.
Cyprus was required by the ECHR to decriminalize consensual sex between consenting adults in 1993, but Cyprus’ division has meant many of the island’s inherited British criminal laws – including the ban on homosexuality – remain in force in the North. This is despite repeated assurances by government authorities that these laws that violate human rights law would be repealed.
International human rights law protects identity which includes the right to a sexual identity. Therefore sexual activity in private between consensual adults is protected by human rights law.
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