Human Rights

İstanbul Criminal Court: Insulting Homosexuals is NOT Freedom of Expression

Monday, July 15, 2013
İstanbul Criminal Court (Assize Court) accepted Kaos GL’s appeal to the Prosecutor’s Office non-prosecution decision to “calling out homosexuals as deviants” within the scope of freedom of expression. Criminal Court stated that “Within the scope of the news that is complained, a group with different sexual orientation is clearly humiliated and insulted. Public action must be taken.”  
The Court accepted Kaos GL’s appeal to the decision of Prosecutor’s Office decision as “not to prosecute the news regarding seeing it within the limits of freedom of expression”. In 2012, Court of Appeals has ruled on a very similar basis that calling homosexuals as “perverts” is not freedom of expression.
 
“Humiliation of a Social Group”
Criminal Court, evaluating Kaos GL’s objection to the prosecutors’ decision, ruled that the news qualifying homosexuals as “deviants” published on 23 October 2012, cannot be seen within the scope of freedom expression. In the Court ruling, it has been stated that “In the news, a group with different sexual orientation is clearly humiliated and insulted. Non-prosecution decision is not valid as public action should be taken.” According to the decision, the makers of the news will be prosected under Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code, which prohibits insulting social groups.  
Prosecutor Office had called it “freedom of expression”!  
According to the Bakırköy Prosecutor Office decision, the complaint of Kaos GL was found “non-prosecutable”, referring to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which describes freedom of expression. Kaos GL, who prepared the booklet, appealed to the decision and took it to the Criminal Court, stating that the news of Yeni Akit about the booklet describes all homosexuals as perverts and shows them as targets. (Kemal Göktaş)
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