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 Seri problemi per "The Naked Rambler" - Stephen Gough 
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Iscritto il: lunedì 3 luglio 2006, 9:32
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il Guardian ha messo un sondaggio per sapere se il naked rambling puo' essere considerato un diritto umano

il sondaggio chiude fra 16 ore

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... phen-gough

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giovedì 30 ottobre 2014, 9:44
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Per ora i "no" sono in vantaggio, anche se di stretta misura...

ma forse tutto sommato il fatto che quasi la metà dei votanti lo considerino un diritto può essere considerato positivo..

anche se secondo me questi sondaggi hanno così tanti limiti da non poter essere considerati più attendibili dell'oroscopo...:

ad esempio il sondaggio potrebbe aver attratto in prevalenza quelli che sono interessati a questa pratica oppure, all'opposto, potrebbero essersi mobilitati alcuni gruppi di moralisti-integralisti... e questo sempre che non si possa votare più di una volta!

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giovedì 30 ottobre 2014, 11:47
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Iscritto il: lunedì 3 luglio 2006, 9:32
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lungo ed interessante articolo in inglese di Catherine Baksi in cui si illustra la sua vita e la lotta solitaria sia in Inghilterra che in Scozia

Gough avrebbe deciso di sospendere la sua campagna di lotta civile per asssistere la madre affetta da demenza senile

veramente molto interessanti le riflessioni che vengono fatte

Legal Hackette

Legal Hackette Lunches with the ‘Naked Rambler’
SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2016 ~ CATHERINE BAKSI
Over a picnic of roasted potatoes and mixed nuts on top of Winchester’s St Catherine’s Hill, the man dubbed the ‘Naked Rambler’ shares his thoughts on the burkini ban and the ‘mixed up’ nature of the law, and explains why he chose to spend years in jail to defend his right to go about in the buff.

I meet Stephen Gough at the top of a hill overlooking Winchester prison, one of the jails in which he was incarcerated due to his desire not to wear clothes in public.

Gough has cycled to the meeting point, which he selected. He is clothed in black lycra cycling shorts and an orange T-shirt — the latter of which quickly comes off due to the heat.

After spending more than 10 years in prison because of his wish not to wear clothes, the 57-year-old former Marine has taken to dressing in order to be able to be a fulltime carer for his mother, who suffers from dementia.

As debate rages about whether Muslim women should be permitted to cover their entire bodies when on the beach – a right which our hero ardently supports — Gough has found himself in trouble with the law for wearing too little.

Having left the marines, started a family and lived for while on a commune in Canada, he began going about naked, he explains, after he ‘started to question things’.

‘If your mind is a bit curious you start questioning things. Why do people shake hands — what do we do that for? Why do we use phrases like “raining cats and dogs” or “what are you up to”? When you start to take a more objective look at life, you start questioning things’.

Out of curiosity he went to a nudist beach. ‘All the people with different shaped bodies – they didn’t seem particularly self-conscious. I thought this is great – why aren’t we like this all the time?’

Pushing the boundaries, he went nude on a beach that was not for naturists. ‘No one seemed to say anything, but when I went into the water, a guy came up to me and growled “pervert” under his breath.’

But, he stresses, there is nothing perverted, or even sexual, in his wish to wear only his birthday suit.

‘It’s a deep thing. It’s not really about nakedness. It’s about the innocence that we are. It’s a celebration of what I am and what we are.

‘It’s not really about the body. It’s an expression of what I am as a human being – it’s innocent and good. If what I am in a deep sense is good then what I am externally is good too’.

People in general, he suggests are confused about the portrayal of the human body. A healthy relationship with your body, he suggests, is ‘indifference’.

‘People who strut their bodies about have a twisted mentality – they’re identifying their body as being who they are. A long time ago a girl said to me “I like you cos of your body”. I was insulted by that – that’s not who I am. She missed who I was. I’m not about my body.’

Those who suggest that wearing clothes has something to do with preserving modesty or decency, he says, have missed the point and misunderstand the meaning of the terms.

‘The context in which people use the term immodesty has got mixed up. It’s not related to what I’m doing, but the attitude in which they are doing it. I wasn’t trying to express how great I was — the “I” meaning Steve Gough — but how great I am, we all are as part of the greater expression of nature.’

Wearing clothes, he says, is just ‘conditioning’. ‘When someone does things differently, it challenges opinions — often ones we have never really thought about.

‘When I walk naked from A to B in this country, I’m breaking culture, because you don’t see people doing it. It’s like if I started shaking hands with people with my left hand instead of my right hand.’

He doesn’t find it embarrassing being naked in an environment where others are clothed. ‘You get used to it,’ he says.

His choice to be naked cost him the relationship with a former partner. ‘She couldn’t give me a good reason why I shouldn’t be naked, because there is no good reason. It’s just convention’.

On his right to dress or rather not to dress, as he sees fit, Gough insists: ‘It’s not a right I need to really fight for; it’s a right you’ve got. Nothing says you can’t be naked, so you can be naked. There’s no law that bans you from being naked; it is not a crime’.

As a ‘celebration of being human’ in 2003 Gough walked naked from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He was arrested several times for causing harassment, distress or alarm, under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. Then the police upped the ante and slapped him with an anti-social behaviour order, or ASBO, which banned him from appearing in public without his genitals being covered. For breaching that, which he repeatedly did, he found himself jailed – sometimes being re-arrested as he left prison naked.

Gough has spent almost 10 years in jail – naked – and much of which has been in solitary confinement, and in Scotland, which he says, was pretty chilly. ‘I had to do exercises to keep warm – step ups on the bed’.

To imagine what it’s like, he says is ‘quite simple – just lock yourself in a room for a day.’

His time in prison, he reflects, had no real impact on him mentally, though he finds the length of time he has been jailed – longer than some rapists – ‘very bizarre’.

He sees himself, as others described him — a ‘prisoner of conscience’.

‘I’ve been jailed for doing nothing and really for doing a good thing – just expressing myself as a human being. That’s what I’ve been imprisoned for in a supposedly free country – something as innocent as that – it’s like, wow, it (society) can’t be that free then, can it?’

The law, reckons Gough, is ‘pretty flexible’. ‘I heard something once – a judge said what I do is make the right decision and fit the law around it.’

And he agrees with that approach. ‘A good judge will do the right thing and then say a lot of things to make it sound right.’

He has come across a range of responses from the benches he has appeared before. ‘Some judges said it was a contempt of court when I was in court naked and sent me out. Three or four judges in Scotland let me cross examine witnesses naked’.

The law and legal practice, he concludes, is ‘all over the place.’ ‘The police have let me go and cheered me on, when they can do it without getting into trouble,’ he notes.

His most recent conviction was in October 2014, when he was not allowed to appear unclothed in the court. He subsequently appealed the conviction and 30-month sentence and made legal history in 2015 appearing naked, albeit via video-link, at the Court of Appeal, which dismissed his appeals.

The previous year, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed his case alleging that his repeated arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for being in the buff in public, infringed his rights to private and family life and freedom of expression.

Gough has lodged a second challenge to the Strasbourg Court on the basis that the indefinite ASBO is an unjustified and disproportionate infringement of his right to freedom of expression.

Despite the length of time he has been imprisoned and missing out on much of the childhoods of his two children, Gough insists he has no regrets. He is not angry at the way he has been treated; more baffled.

His barrister, Matthew Scott, too has written copiously about the lunacy and cost of imprisoning his client.

Times columnist Danny Finkelstein wrote a piece last December suggesting that in his wish to be naked, Gough is perhaps ahead of the curve, but he insists that he must act within the law to change the law.

The Fink penned: ‘Mr Gough is not being jailed to squash his liberty and personal freedom, he is being jailed because we are committed to liberty and personal freedom and believe that only the rule of law can secure it’.

Gough’s response: ‘The rule of law – what does that mean? I’ve read books on it and some judges don’t understand it’.

His definition of the rule of law is simple: ‘The rule of law is your truth. So I am following the rule of law – that truth in all of us. It’s that deep thing of how I know what’s right – a gut instinct.

‘I reckon you could take anyone from any culture, if they can get in touch with their innocence and rule of law gut instinct, we’d all be the same. All humans have got it. What gets in the way is when we get attached to ideas and beliefs — that’s called being closed-minded.’.

Will you carry on with his naked crusade?

‘I really don’t know. I’m not into planning things. At the moment I am complying with the ABSO, so that I don’t get arrested because I want to look after my mum’.

He continues: ‘I often think about it. Why am I sitting here in the heat with these sweaty bottoms on? But, I know if I acted sensibly and stripped off now and got myself a bit aired, someone might come across and call the police and I wouldn’t be able to look after my mum’.

‘Right now, what is important in life is to be alive,’ he says, adding that his goal in life is ‘to achieve freedom’. But then he corrects himself: ‘Actually, what I just said is rubbish. You can’t achieve freedom, you can only be it.’

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giovedì 15 settembre 2016, 12:18
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Iscritto il: lunedì 3 luglio 2006, 9:32
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intervento di Matthew Scott del 10 giugno 2015 sul Daily Telegraph ; Scott e' l'avvocato difensore di Gough

Naked rambler: why have we spent £300,000 imprisoning this harmless eccentric?
Stephen Gough has spent nine years in prison for refusing to wear clothes. But nobody else in the country is subject to the same conditions as him


My client Stephen Gough, a former Royal Marine better known as the Naked Rambler, has now been in prison, largely in a segregation unit, for the best part of nine years.
Once the remission rules are taken into account, that is the equivalent of a sentence of nearly 18 years. It is about what you would expect to get if you committed a rape of an eight year old child. By my very rough calculations the cost of imprisoning him, ignoring altogether legal and police costs, has been about £330,000. His offence has been that he won't wear clothes in public.
Who is being the most ridiculous here: Mr Gough, or the Crown Prosecution Service?

It is seldom advisable for barristers to make any public comment on the rightness of a client's cause. If it were done regularly it would become expected, and a barrister's failure to voice an opinion in support of his client would then be taken as a lack of enthusiasm. Only because we are not expected to reveal our opinions can we represent the bad just as strongly as the good.
So it is with considerable hesitation that I am moved to comment on the Court of Appeal's decision yesterday. The Court rejected Gough's appeal against his latest conviction - a two and a half year sentence for breaching an anti-social behaviour order, or Asbo, which required him to wear at least a loincloth whenever he is in a public place. His crime was committed when he emerged from prison naked, whereupon he was immediately greeted by two police officers charged with the faintly absurd task of either making him wear trousers or arresting him.
Of the judgment itself there is little to be said. There was an irony in the fact that even as Lady Justice Rafferty ruled that the Crown Court judge had been correct to exclude a naked man from participation in a Crown Court trial, a live video of that same naked man sitting behind a desk in Winchester Prison was being prominently displayed in the Court of Appeal. At one point he even leant back in his chair, unwittingly displaying for an illicit moment a flash of the organs that the law has expended so much money, court room time, prison space and legal brainpower in keeping concealed.

The problem is not with the court that upheld his conviction and sentence yesterday. It is with an Asbo that turns an eccentric into a criminal, and a prosecution system that could easily turn a blind eye, but which prefers instead to try to break the will of a harmless and astonishingly courageous man.
Remember: it is not, in itself, unlawful to go naked in public. It is an offence under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to expose one's genitals with intent that someone should thereby be caused “alarm or distress" – but nobody has ever suggested that Mr Gough had such an intent.
It can be an offence to cause a public nuisance and to “harm the morals of the public or their comfort, or obstruct the public in the enjoyment of their rights”. But as an earlier and more successful nudist, Vincent Bethell, showed in 2001, juries are reluctant to find that merely being naked in the street does anything of the sort.
Mr Gough could have been charged with the same offence but, as Hampshire prosecutors no doubt realised, that would have required them to persuade a jury that his nakedness had “harmed the morals of the public.” Since there was no evidence that it had done so – although some people objected to the sight of him wandering around the streets of Eastleigh – a jury would have been likely to acquit. They could have achieved and did secure a few convictions in the Magistrates' Courts for minor public order offences, but these were too trivial in themselves to put him behind bars.
2010: "A brazen affront to the great undressed"
2012: Naked rambler ordered to see psychiatrist
So the only way that Mr Gough could be reliably jugged was to tailor him a bespoke Asbo, making it a criminal offence for him to display his genitals or buttocks in public. As far as I am aware, nobody else in the country is subject to a similar order.
The result is that one of the very few people in the country who actually wants to wander naked around the highways and byways of Hampshire is also the only man in the country who commits a crime by doing so.
It is extremely hard to come up with a defence to breaching an Asbo. In the past, Mr Gough has been represented by very able counsel who have struggled, with no success, to persuade judges that it breaches his human rights. In the latest prosecution he was representing himself in the Crown Court and so, once the judge forbade him to come into court undressed, he made literally no arguments at all. It was that ruling that he was challenging, unsuccessfully, on appeal. But even if he had been present to argue his case in court, the jury would not have been allowed to decide whether his nakedness should be treated as criminal; their only job was to say whether or not the Asbo had been breached.
He has now been in prison for the best part of 9 years. And for what?

He is emphatically not a sexual predator. He does not open up his grubby raincoat to terrify schoolgirls. He does not even possess a grubby raincoat, or indeed any other clothing apart from footwear (which he wears because walking barefoot becomes painful).
He is not violent, he is not dangerous and he is not dishonest. He is not a murderer or or a terrorist. He is not a drug dealer and he has never turned his house into a cannabis farm. He is not a computer or a phone hacker and does not download indecent images of children. He has never tried to live off immoral earnings or run a brothel. He has never tried to smuggle drugs, guns or antiquities. He does not pervert the course of justice or commit perjury. He does not commit bribery or blackmail. He has never attempted to intimidate witnesses or pervert the course of justice.
He does not ask anyone to look at him but nor does he hide menacingly in bushes. Although he draws attention to himself in the most effective way imaginable, he does so only because he wants to be ignored.
So what on earth is the justification for making him live his life behind bars?

It is quite true that opinions differ. There are those who quite sincerely take the view that imprisoning Mr Gough indefinitely is a price worth paying to keep his private parts private.
Others think that if ever there was a case in which the law makes itself look like an ass, or perhaps a stubborn and biting mule, this is it.
So here is my solution. It might actually help both the CPS and Mr Gough out of the hole that they have dug for themselves.
Next time Mr Gough is released from prison, he may well continue to flout the Asbo.
Of course I would prefer it if he were allowed to go free.

But if he is arrested, instead of trying him for the technical offence of breaching the Asbo, which allows of no real argument, charge him with creating a public nuisance.
If there are witnesses who are upset, offended or fearful for their children's welfare, let them come to court and say so. If such people exist, they have a right to be heard.
But vary the Asbo to let Mr Gough explain, in the witness box, dressed or undressed as he wishes, why he should be left to live his life as he wishes.
That would allow a jury of Hampshire men and women to decide once and for all whether he should be treated as a criminal who must stay in prison until he dies or conforms, or as a harmless eccentric who poses no threat to anyone.

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lunedì 23 ottobre 2017, 11:43
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Benché il mio Inglese sia quasi passabile, articolo così lunghi non ho la pazienza di leggerli nemmeno in Italiano! :ghgh:

Ma vi immaginate un caso simile in Italia?
Nemmeno l'eroico Fidenzio (di cui non condivido quasi mai gli interventi, a mio avviso "personalistici" su questo forum, ma che ammiro e rispetto per il suo impegno "per la causa") ha mai osato tanto!

Se qualcuno avesse osato, probabilmente in galera non ci sarebbe mai finito, ma, ironia della sorte, decenni di cause e contro cause gli avrebbero sicuramente tolto anche....le mutande! 8)
Sapere in modo chiaro e definitivo se vivere nudi sia un diritto, comunque, da noi sarebbe impossibile!
E' completamente fuori dal nostro modo di pensare! La parola "chiarezza" ci fa venire l'orticaria!
Mica si vorrà che finiamo per metterci disciplinatamente in coda come gli Inglesi!
Come si fa a dire se il nudo è lecito o non è lecito? Dipende da come uno la pensa, specie se si tratta di un giudice o un carabiniere! :ghgh:

Comunque, tra il diritto di circolare nudi e l'essere condannati a 10 anni di galera, ci sono pure delle vie di mezzo!: noi Italiani lo sappiamo bene (forse anche troppo....), mentre gli Inglesi (nel senso di Britannici...), a quanto pare, no!
In questo caso non me la sento di invidiarli, comunque!

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lunedì 23 ottobre 2017, 17:53
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