Dear Deputy Prime-Minister,
Dear Heads of the General Directorate of the National Police,
Dear Heads of the Patrol Police Departments,
Pride demonstrations are peaceful tools for political advocacy and one way in which the universal right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is crystallised. They are a hallmark of the LGBTI activist
movement, a pillar for social visibility and they are equally political demonstrations during which the community voices its concerns, highlights its achievements and gives the opportunity to its members to demonstrate in favour of equality.
During the previous years, some Prides have gained increased visibility in Ukraine. This is the case of Kyiv Pride, which is now the largest in Eastern Europe and which is a cause for celebration among the LGBTI equality movement in Europe, and in particular its organisation in Ukraine. This is not without praise for the great work of law enforcement bodies such as police forces, which work towards making these events safe and prevent violence directed at protesters. As Members of the European Parliament committed to fighting for equality in all its forms, and in particular LGBTI equality through the work of the Intergroup on LGBTI rights, we deeply appreciate the leadership and political will that has played a role in national Prides in Ukraine, which ultimately contributes to the positive national image of Ukraine as a country invested in equality.
Nevertheless, the protection of demonstrators while participating in this exercise of peaceful assembly is not always ensured. It is in fact with the utmost concern that we refer you to the violent attacks by the far-right “Tradition and Order” group against peaceful protesters in the Odesa Pride on 31 August 2020. Despite the reported 16 arrests, civil society claims that police forces were slow to act and did not ensure the protection of protesters in due time and with sufficient capacity.
The situation of anti-LGBTI counter-protests which are often violent is unfortunately not new to Ukraine and therefore the police response should be swift, efficient and sufficient.
You can find the full letter here.
Heidi HAUTALA, EP Vice-President
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO, EP Vice-President & Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup
Alice KUHNKE, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance
Gwendoline DELBOS-CORFIELD, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance
Kira PETER-HANSEN, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance
Terry REINTKE, Vice-President, Greens/European Free Alliance & Co-Chair, LGBTI Intergroup
Marc ANGEL, Co-Chair, LGBTI Intergroup
Maria WALSH, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup
Sophie IN’T VELD, Vice-President, LGBTI Intergroup