Ukrainian Eurovision winner urges Kyiv to embrace LGBT Pride
The Ukrainian winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has urged the country’s capital to accept this week’s Kyiv Pride.
Jamala surprisingly took the trophy last month at Eurovision with her song ‘1944’ – meaning the contest is set to head to Ukraine next year.
At present, the choice of host city is thought to be a two-horse race between Lviv in Western Ukraine and the country’s capital Kyiv.
Kyiv Pride, which takes place this Sunday, has been repeatedly marred by violent anti-LGBT clashes in the past.
A violent far-right mob disrupted the parade last year – pelting marchers and police alike with stones and smoke bombs, wounding two people.
Ahead of this weekend’s march, Jamala has written to the Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko, urging him to ensure the safety of LGBT people.
According to fansite Wiwibloggs, the letter – shared by Amnesty Ukraine – urges the Mayor to cooperate with the organisers to ensure the Pride march passes safely.
It also urges him to condemn the hate speech spread by the anti-LGBT lobby ahead of the event, and calls on Klitschko to publicly affirm the marchers’ right to free expression.
Amnesty thanked Jamala and Ukrainian singer Karpa Irena for both signing the letter.
A video stunt went awry in Kyiv last year when two men attempting to hold hands in public were set upon by a group of violent goons.