Just two days before the gay pride demonstration was planned to go ahead, Ukrainian courts upheld a city ban
Ukraine Pride in Kyiv was banned from happening today (23 May).
Just two days before the weekend was planned to go ahead, the city’s district court upheld a suit by city authorities.
In a petition signed by 61 lawmakers, they argued the rally would disturb annual Kyiv Day celebrations and spark violence.
Kyiv Pride 2013 organizers will appeal the judgment.
Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said he was very concerned Ukraine is using public order and morality arguments to limit the freedom of assembly.
He said: ‘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.’
Last year’s Kyiv Pride parade was cancelled also at the last minute before of threats of violence and the failure of police to put in place adequate security measures.
Immediately after the cancellation, and in the months that followed, some of the organizers were attacked with tear gas.
According to a Human Rights Watch report, no arrests have been made.