The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [judgment, in French] Tuesday in X. v. Turkey that a gay man was detained in violation of Articles 3 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text]. A homosexual man filed a series of complaints during his detention in a Turkish prison alleging he was harassed and mistreated for his sexual orientation. The man argued that the treatment resulted in reduced mental and physical health, and that this treatment violated his rights under the ECHR. The human rights court agreed, holding that the inmate's treatment was based on his sexual orientation and amounted to a violation of the ECHR. In her dissenting opinion, Judge Jociene stated that, though she agreed the detention was in violation of Article 3, there was no evidence suggesting the plaintiff had been detained in solitary confinement, and therefore there could be no violation of Article 14. JURIST Guest Columnist Paul Johnson noted that the ruling is significant [JURIST comment] because it is "the first time in its history that the [ECHR] has upheld a complaint related to sexual orientation under Article III."
The ECHR has issued a number of rulings on various issues related to gay rights. In June the ECHR ruled that Moldova violated [JURIST report] the rights to peaceful assembly and to be free from discrimination by banning gay groups from protesting in front of the country's parliament. In March the ECHR found that the right of a person in a same-sex partnership to adopt his or her partner's child is not protected [JURIST report] by the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2010 the ECHR ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not mandate that member states recognize [JURIST report] same-sex marriages [JURIST backgrounder].