It is 2011 and there are still people being arrested in Europe for ‘crimes against nature’. Three men were today arrested in their own homes under the criminal offence of ‘conspiring to have sexual intercourse against the order of nature’, an offence that holds a punishment of up to 5 years in prison in Northern Cyprus.
Where did Northern Cyprus dream up such a horrific law? Well on this one, we (the Brits) are a bit to blame. The law that they have been arrested under is a hangover from British colonial law. Opps!
This arrest is an outrageous move from Northern Cyprus (half of the Republic of Cyprus to everyone apart from the Turks) that ignores international law and basic human rights standards. Equally it is going to be (quite rightly) a point of contention for all future negotiations with the EU. Turkey is held by the European Court of Human Rights responsible for all human rights abuses occurring within Northern Cyprus. As such, this is serious backwards step for enlargement negotiations.
Turkey needs to show it is serious not only about the ongoing Cyprus issue but also upholding and promoting basic human rights standards.