A Conservative MEP who has been campaigning for the decriminalisation homosexuality in the northern part of Cyprus welcomed news that an amendment to repeal the ban has been approved by cabinet.

An article in Cyprus Today reported that the 13-page Penal Code (Amendment) Law will be sent to the north’s legislature where it would go before the legal and political affairs committee this week. The new law will also introduce measures to protect children and prevent human trafficking.

On a visit to the northern part of Cyprus in 2011, Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London, received assurances from Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Dervi&#351 Ero&#287lu that he was willing to sign a repeal of the ban on homosexuality into law.

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP said in reaction to the news:

“I am pleased that the Turkish Cypriots are backing up their words with deeds, but I shall continue to put pressure on the north until Dr. Ero&#287lu keeps his promise to me and puts his signature on a repeal of the law.

“The northern part of Cyprus is the last part of Europe where it is illegal to be gay. There have been too many miscarriages of justice and a hope that the members of the LGBT community in the north will soon be treated with respect they deserve.”

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP is a member of the European Parliament’s High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community.