European Court finds Turkey guilty of violating rights of gay prisoner

Turkish government ordered to pay compensation to gay prisoner kept in solitary confinement after he complained of bullying from inmates

European Court finds Turkey guilty of violating rights of gay prisoner
31 October 2012

A gay Turkish prisoner who was put in solitary confinement after complaining about bullying from inmates has won his case against the Turkish government in the European Court of Human Rights.

The prisoner, named X in court papers, turned himself in for fraud-related offences in Izmir in October 2008. He was kept in pre-trial detention until February 2009 when he complained that he was being threatened and harassed by fellow detainees because of his sexuality.

X was moved to another cell that he says was dirty, poorly lit and usually used for solitary confinement for criminals who had committed severely violent crimes. He was denied exercise and social contact apart from with his lawyer and during court hearings.

In April 2009 X complained about his treatment but the judge declined to consider his case, and an appeal against the judge’s decision was rejected in May. In July X was transferred to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with depression.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of X earlier this month saying that the conditions in which he was held constituted ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’ in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

The court also said that Article 14 of the ECHR, which protects people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, was violated.

The Turkish government was ordered to pay the prisoner €18,000 ($23,300) in compensation and €4,000 ($5,200) in expenses.

ILGA (International Gay and Lesbian Association) Europe said the case is ‘a very important reaffirmation of principle’ because it stressed ‘the duty of the state to investigate homophobic motivation’.

ILGA Europe said in a statement:

‘Not only is it no longer possible for authorities across Europe to ignore the fact that they have an obligation to explore homophobic motivation, but also lawyers and activists working on such cases now have a very persuasive judgment from the Court to support their arguments.

Maltreatment of LGBTI prisoners – although poorly documented – is a serious problem in a number of Council of Europe member states. This case puts the spotlight on this problem, and warns those responsible for prisons that they cannot assume that they will get away with being complicit in, or ignoring, such behaviour.’ 



No thumbnail available

Are you ready for the new Fire Island?

Lower prices and more entertainment options are being promised in the Pines as the Pavilion gets a face lift for the summer and additional venues are constructed to cater to a new generation of LGBTI travelers
No thumbnail available

Young gay men 15 times more likely to get genital cancers

UK doctors are urging for the NHS to provide the HPV vaccine to gay men, saying it will lead to greater awareness of sexual health
No thumbnail available

Tyler Clementi's parents blame Dharun Ravi for their son's suicide

While he suffered from depression, his Rutger's roommate web cam spying 'was the straw that broke the camel's back'
Make cable mess a thing of the past with IKEA's new furniture range

Make cable mess a thing of the past with IKEA's new furniture range

Designer range incorporating wireless charging technology means chargers are nearly invisible
No thumbnail available

Watch pairs of skeletons make an incredible point about how love has no labels

Touching video, which features a pair of kissing skeletons, has gone viral with millions of views
No thumbnail available

Four couples sue to have Wyoming live up to 'Equality State' nickname and drop gay marriage ban

Says one plaintiff: 'As much as I love this state, it is frustrating to be treated differently by the government because of who I love'
No thumbnail available

Utah book publisher pulls novel because author is gay

Author who insisted on being open about his sexuality on his book biography has his upcoming book release canceled
No thumbnail available

Female-to-male porn star Buck Angel launches transmen dating site

'While it may come as a surprise to the general public, there are plenty of men and women of all kinds who have an interest in dating transmen'
Straight man moved to tears as he learns why being gay is not a choice

Straight man moved to tears as he learns why being gay is not a choice

A Californian vlogger welled up after reading messages that had been sent to him from LGBTI people when he asked if being gay was a choice
No thumbnail available

York Football Club aims to kick off city’s second gay pride parade

Players from the city's soccer club and the UK's rugby league will join the city's parade to kick homophobia out of all sport