Strasbourg to rule on sexual torture case

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The Independent Online
The right of consenting adults to inflict pain for sexual pleasure will be decided by human rights judges in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The case has been brought by three British men who were jailed after the notorious "Operation Spanner" case in which a group of consenting sado-masochists inflicted sexual torture on each other.

The campaigning group Liberty has backed their case, arguing that their convictions are contrary to the Human Rights Convention which safeguards against interference in the right to private life. John Wadham, a lawyer and director of Liberty, said: "Consent is not a crime. All of the defendants consented to and enjoyed what they did and no one involved ever needed hospital treatment. Consent forms a defence to assault in sports, medical operations, ear piercing, religious flagellation and many other practices which are not to everyone's taste. The police should be out catching real criminals, not worrying about what other people get up to in bed."