ILGA-Europe urges Ukraine to uphold freedom of assembly and ensure safety of LGBTI people
Today, the Kyiv’s Administrative Court banned all events planned for 25 May with the exception of those envisaged by the official programme of the celebration of the Kyiv City Day. The ban applies to Kyiv Pride scheduled for 25 May and all counter-demonstrations.
According to information received, the Kyiv City Hall received numerous letters from religious and other groups opposing the LGBTI event and requesting the court to ban the demonstration arguing they will disturb public order and morality.
ILGA-Europe calls on the authorities in Ukraine to respect their international and European human rights obligations and to ensure that LGBTI people are guaranteed their right to freedom of assembly and fulfil their positive duty to protect the participants even if others oppose human rights for LGBTI people.
Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said: “We are very concerned that Ukraine is using public order and morality arguments to limit the freedom of assembly. As the European Court of Human Rights stated, even ideas that shock, offend and disturb the State or any section of society can never be used to violate the freedom of expression.
We call on the Ukrainian authorities to uphold their duties to ensure all citizens have right to assemble and express their ideas and concerns however they are perceived by the majority. Moreover, the Ukrainian state has a duty to ensure LGBTI activists are properly protected from other citizens who do not share their views and intend to attack or otherwise harm LGBTI activists.”
In 2012 Kyiv Pride had to be cancelled when the police stated they would not be able ensure adequate protection.