Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network •
Freedom of Expression, LGBT Rights, Women's Rights: Women's Human Rights Defenders •
Europe and Central Asia, Ukraine •
Urgent Action Victory! Police Protects Women’s Day Rally (Ukraine: UA 31.19)
March 15, 2019
The International Women’s Day rally organised by human rights defender Vitalina Koval in Uzhgorod, western Ukraine, on 8 March was a success. Participants were well protected by the police and able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly safely.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
The International Women’s Day rally organised by Vitalina Koval, a defender of women’s rights and LGBTI rights, in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod successfully took place on 8 March and was well protected by the police.
This was a highly significant change, as Women’s day events organised by Vitalina Koval in 2017 and 2018 had been targeted by far-right groups and the police failed to protect participants. Vitalina Koval is still seeking justice for the attack she suffered during the 2018 event, when six members of a far-right group threw red paint at her and other participants, causing chemical burns on her eyes.
There were reports that far-right groups were present in Uzhgorod on 8 March and they had openly stated their intention to disrupt the event. However, thanks to national and international pressure, including extensive campaigning by Amnesty International as part of and as a continuation to the global Write for Rights 2018 campaign, the authorities put in place the necessary measures and ensured safety of the 2019 rally.