Association ACCEPT and Others v. Romania (Application no. 19237/16)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgment.


110. That said, the Court observes that although eighteen police officers and gendarmes were present on the premise, they remained outside the cinema auditorium, where the incident was developing, and, to a large extent, refrained from intervening to de-escalate the situation, despite being prompted to do so by theorganisers (see paragraphs 7 and 10 above). 

111. Furthermore, the police officers and gendarmes who were present on the premises did not intervene effectively, despite them being aware of the views and opinions being manifested by the intruders and having heard the contents of the slurs uttered by them (see paragraphs 13 and 15 above). They thus did not prevent the individual applicants from being bullied and insulted by the intruders (see,mutatis mutandisIdentoba and Others, cited above, § 73). 

112. More than a failure to intervene, the authorities’ attitude and decision to remain aside despite being aware of the content of the slurs being uttered against the applicants seems to indicate a certain bias against homosexuals, which also permeated their subsequent reporting on the incident at the cinema. In this respect, the Court notes that the reports drafted by the police and gendarmes contained no reference to the homophobic insults suffered by the individual applicants and describe the incident in terms that completely disregard any such manifestations of homophobia (see paragraphs 13 and 15 above).

113. In view of the above, the Court concludes that the authorities failed to correctly assess the risk incurred by the individual applicants at the hands of the intruders and to respond adequately in order to protect the individual applicants’ dignity against homophobic attacks by a third party.

127. In the light of the findings contained in paragraphs 113 and 126 above, the Court considers it established that the authorities have failed to offer adequate protection in respect of the individual applicants’ dignity (and more broadly, their private life), and to effectively investigate the real nature of the homophobic abuse directed against them. It thus considers it established that the individual applicants suffered discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation. It furthermore considers that the Government did not provide any justification indicating that the authorities’ attitude was compatible with the standards of the Convention.

128. There has thus been a violation of Article 14, taken in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention.


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