Ukraine: Kyiv Pride organisers condemn authorities for cancelling event
The organisers of Kyiv Pride have attacked the Ukrainian authorities for forcing the cancellation of the event.
Kyiv Pride was due to take place yesterday, but was cancelled at the last minute after authorities claimed they could not guarantee the security of participants.
The first ever Pride in Kyiv took place last year, attracting more than a hundred participants, despite efforts by a “very small” number of people to disrupt the event.
Cancelling yesterday’s event, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko claimed that this was not the time for “entertainment events” in Ukraine, following unrest in the country.
Olena Shevchenko, co-chair of the organizing committee of Kyiv 2014 Pride said: “Kyiv Mayor Klitschko’s statement that this is not the right time for a celebration is a huge disappointment. He should have a better understanding of what a demand for equality is. You can’t have a hierarchy of human rights.
“It seems like it’s never really the right time for LGBT rights… Our March of Equality is not a carnival. This is a human rights march.
“But we are forced to cancel the meeting, as we heard from the authorities that they would not guarantee the safety of people who come in March.”
Brian Dooley of Human Rights First said: “The country is confronted with many challenges – fighting a war in the east, organizing a new government, and responding to Russian aggression but peaceful freedom of assembly cannot be denied, even in times of crisis.”
“For all of its talk about sharing European values the new Ukrainian government has failed a major human rights test today.
“The U.S. Government should make clear publicly to the Ukrainian authorities that peaceful freedom of assembly should be respected for all.”