European Court of Human Rights to decide if prisoners have a right to porn

By Jonathon Van Maren

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear a complaint lodged by a double murderer serving a life prison sentence that his human rights had been violated because his pornography was confiscated by prison authorities. According to the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), the convicted murderer is asserting that his privacy has been violated, as well as his freedom of expression.

The ECHR will now rule as to whether the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees prisoners the right to porn.

The ECLJ has been authorized to intervene and has submitted arguments opposing the recognition of porn as a human right. In addition to making the case that pornography is inherently immoral (arguments contained in the first three pages of their submission), they also laid out evidence that pornography is often violent and can increase sexual aggression in users:

An analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos revealed that 88% of the scenes contain physical violence, 49% contain at least one verbal aggression; 87% of the aggressive acts perpetrated are against women, and in 95% of the cases, their responses are either neutral or expressions of pleasure. As a result, pornography contributes to the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes such as sexism, machismo, sadism, or masochism. These hormonal stimuli and examples of violent behaviour are what will lead to a significant proportion of users to decrease empathy for victims of violence and increase aggressive and dominating behaviours. This consequence must be particularly taken into account for a prisoner in a prison environment.

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