Arrests and beatings at Ukraine gay human rights protest

A pro human rights event and against homophobia was brutally crushed by police and attacked by far-right groups in Kyiv, Ukraine

Arrests and beatings at Ukraine gay human rights protest
08 December 2012

Several participants were beaten up and six detained during an event to unite all human rights advocates against homophobia and censorship by police and anti-gay far right groups.

The event was held today (8 December) in the country’s captial Kyiv (also known as Kiev) in honor of

International Human Rights Day with title ‘Say NO to legislative violence against human rights!’

About 100 activists gathered in the city center and chanted slogans: ‘Down with the propaganda of homophobia’, ‘No DISCRIMINATION on sexual orientation’, ‘Down with dictatorship , homophobia, censorship ‘ and others.

Initially police arrested some members of a far-right counter demonstration but they were quickly released.

Instead police started to arrest the peaceful pro human rights and anti-homphobic campaigners.

Olena Shevchenko, the head of Ukraine’s main LGBT charity, Insight, has been arrested and awaits court appearance on 13 December.

City authorities and local police accused her in organizing an unauthorized action, dispite an application being filed with city hall well before the action was taken.

Speaking with GSN Shevchenko stated: ‘We believe that this situation proves once again that the legislative violence implemented by discriminatory laws actually leads to physical violence by right-radical groups.

‘The current government uses formal occasions to restrict the right to peaceful protest.

‘We believe that the decision of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv is one that is accepted in violation of substantive and procedural law.

‘The public is outraged about legislative initiatives of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are trying to limit the rights of citizens of Ukraine.

‘Today MPs vote for censorship and to silence about LGBT people.

‘Now they come for LGBT people, and tomorrow will come from others.

‘We cannot silently watch this.

‘We have the right to protection against discrimination!’

In October, the Ukraine Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new law which would ban ‘propaganda’ about homosexuality.

It introduces administrative and criminal liability for the importing, manufacturing and distributing products that ‘promote’ homosexuality.

Campaigners say that as the law does not define the concept of ‘propaganda’, it leaves room for arbitrary interpretation, abuse and sanctions against the media, civil society activists and human rights defenders.

Omar Kuddus, an LGBT rights advocated based in the UK commented to GSN: ‘It is unfortunate that Ukrainian activists have to be fearful for their safety.

‘It is unacceptable that the government and the authorities do not protect activists who dedicate themselves for the betterment of others situations.

‘Ukraine’s legislation anti-gay propaganda law clearly violates the most basic of human rights’.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Former Project Runway contestant launches social networking site for HIV positive men

Jack Mackenroth says Volttage.com is 'much more than a hookup site'
No thumbnail available

Kenya 'gay terrorist' bishop says he is against gay hate

Bishop Kalu of Mombasa denies he ever made homophobic remarks and says he is against anti-gay hate
Lance Bass to join The Meredith Vieira Show as regular panelist

Lance Bass to join The Meredith Vieira Show as regular panelist

Says Bass: 'I've seen her dance moves and our new girl/boy band is going to be awesome!'
No thumbnail available

Tunisia Liberal Party leader faces claims of gay hotel sex

Tunisian experts suggest reports of arrest of PLT opposition leader Mounir Baatour at the Sheraton Hotel in Tunis could be invented or exaggerated to discredit him
No thumbnail available

Malawi president refuses to commit to repeal anti-gay laws

Joyce Banda, Malawi’s president, said she has no power to repeal anti-gay law and the matter is best left for the people to decide
No thumbnail available

The history of a court case that ended anti-sodomy laws

Lawrence v. Texas:  the case that argued for the equality of LGBT citizens
No thumbnail available

Modern Family couple advocate for 'straight-gay marriage' in video spoof

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet want to let these 'brave men and women step out of the tabloids'
No thumbnail available

Lesbian arrested for seeking marriage in North Carolina

Nine couples protest against Amendment One in a US government building 
Tab Hunter recalls his very real fear of being outed as a closeted movie star in the 1950s
Russia cancels its only LGBTI film festival

Russia cancels its only LGBTI film festival

Event is replaced with 'positive, youth-oriented' alternative