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Sex ruling 'breaches rights'

CIVIL liberties campaigners have reported the United Kingdom to the European Commission of Human Rights for allegedly interfering in the privacy of sado- masochists.

Liberty, the campaign group, has made an application to the Strasbourg-based commission on behalf of five unnamed individuals who claim that they could be imprisoned for activities which harm only themselves.

The complaint follows a ruling by the Law Lords last March that those who inflict injuries on each other for sexual pleasure are guilty of criminal assault, even when they consent to what happens.

Liberty claims that the ruling - given after an appeal by members of a sado-masochism circle against their conviction for various offences, including assault - breaches rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination.

The commission has said it will ask the British government for its comments on the case.