22/01/2021 | Writer: Gözde Demirbilek
İzmir Regional Administrative Court ruled the ban on the 7th İzmir Pride Parade (2019) as unlawful and annulled it definitively.
The 7th İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week events planned to be held on June 16-23 in 2019 were banned by the Governorate of İzmir 3 days before the week. The court decided to suspend the execution of the activity ban excluding the bans on the "Bondage Workshop" and "Sexual Toy Workshop" activities planned to be held on June 22nd. In addition, the court asked the Governorate of İzmir of their defense regarding two activities and the Pride March.
Examining the application of the Young LGBTI+ Association and the defense of the Governorate of İzmir, the 1st Administrative Court of İzmir last year ruled not to annul the ban on the 7th LGBTI+ Pride Parade, cancel the ban of two events, citing "no danger of crime" for not annulling the ban on the Pride March.
The ban found unlawful in the appeal
The association insisted on its request by taking the case to the upper court upon the verdict of the 1st Administrative Court of İzmir. İzmir Regional Administrative Court found the ban decision unlawful with a justification compatible with current human rights standards and unanimously annulled the ban.
The court stated that the Pride March is a fundamental right and freedom that should be protected in a democratic society since it will contribute to pluralism and peaceful coexistence:
“It is indisputable that the right to assembly and demonstration is one of the indispensable rights that should be protected as one of the methods of expression in a democratic society. However, while exercising this right, the State must strike a balance between the security of the public and the freedom of assembly and demonstration.
“'The Pride Parade', which raises public awareness on hatred, discrimination and violence against a segment of the society differentiated in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation, is a fundamental right and freedom that should be protected in a democratic society as it will contribute to pluralism and peaceful coexistence.
"The obligation imposed on the State by the right to protect the material and spiritual of individuals is the positive obligation to protect the right to life of all individuals within its jurisdiction against interference that may arise from the acts of public authorities and other individuals, as well as the persons themselves."
“A very important decision that expands the field of rights”
Kaos GL Association Legal Coordinator Att. Kerem Dikmen pointed out that the usual heteronormative language was left out in the decision, and underlined that this decision of the Izmir Regional Court is in line with the international human rights authorities:
"This decision is very important for the legal world, human rights and the LGBTI+'s. It should be noted that it is a decision regarding the banned Pride March of 2019. Therefore, although the organizers of the Pride March have been acquitted, the Pride March of 2019 is still undone. However, this decision showed us again how the Governorate of İzmir and Provincial Police Department made an unlawful intervention. The first stage of this was the acquittal of 3 children and 13 adults in the trials on the grounds that they participated in the march and "violated the prohibitions". Then, with this decision of the Regional Administrative Court, it was noted that the Governorate of İzmir was carrying out an illegal action.
“There are few important points that make this decision important: First of all, this decision was written with expressions such as 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity', leaving out the heteronormative language. The decision of the District Court has included many decisions of the European Court of Human Rights that expand the current field of rights.
"The right of LGBTI+'s to express themselves, preconditions of democratic society, the unlawfulness of the 'A segment of society could be provoked by this so we are not letting you to hold this activity' justification that we have heard from the state authorities frequently, and even if there is such a provacation, the state is obliged to take necessary measures to ensure the enjoyment of the right of demonstrations and expression, were stated in the verdict. It was also pointed out that when necessary, the state should take positive action regarding these rights.
"We have seen the standards of the international human rights authorities and the European Court of Human Rights in this decision of the İzmir Regional Administrative Court. A very important decision that expands the field of rights.”
Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: human rights