The failure of the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee protection for those taking part in the planned Pride march on 5 July sends all the wrong signals, said Amnesty International.
This year’s march has been cancelled after the police told the Organizing Committee that they could not secure the safety of participants in the face of expected far-right counter-demonstrators.
“The importance of the right to freedom of assembly was dramatically evidenced in the EuroMaydan protests. It’s hugely disappointing that only five months later, the peaceful enjoyment of this right is being selectively denied by the very authorities who profited from it. Only last week in a meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs we were assured that the event would be properly policed,” said John Dalhuisen, Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International.
“They must ensure, without fail, that next year’s march is adequately policed to ensure the protection of all those wishing to take part.”
Kyiv’s Mayor, Vitali Klichko, succinctly summarised the official approach to the Pride when on 4 July he said this was not the time for such “entertainment events” in Ukraine.