31/05/2008 | Writer: KAOS GL

May 30, 2008

A Turkish gay rights group has promised to fight a court ruling that ordered its closure after prosecutors accused it of breaching morality.

Lambda, which has been vocal in calling for gay and lesbian rights in Turkey, says it will appeal against the decision.

Acting on an application from the Istanbul governor's office, the prosecutor said that Lambda had breached a constitutional provision on the protection of the family and an article banning bodies "with objectives that violate law and morality."

But Lambda said the ruling from an Istanbul court on Thursday, was an affront to human rights and vowing to appeal the decision in a higher court.

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Lluis Maria de Puig, on Friday expressed his profound concern at the court's decision to ban Turkey's only gay rights association.

"The arguments put forward by the prosecutor, reportedly leading to the closure of the association Lambda Istanbul whose activities were held to infringe the laws on public morality, are puzzling to me," said de Puig in a statement.

"Freedom of expression and freedom of association are enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has ratified as a member of the Council of Europe.

"Any person, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, has the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, without discrimination," the president said.

"It rests with the authorities to ensure that everyone can exercise these rights."

Lambda was founded in 1993 and officially registered itself as an association in 2006.

Link: http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Politics/?id=1.0.2211691573
Tags: human rights