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23.05.2013

On attempts by the Kyiv authorities to ban the March for Equality on 25 May

   

The Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine has issued a statement regarding attempts by the Kyiv City State Administration [KCSA] to secure a court ban on any events in the centre of Kyiv on 25 May 2013

A March for Equality is planned for 25 May as a public human rights act demanding equal rights and opportunities for members of Ukraine’s LGBT community.

The Coalition registers its protest over the attempt to ban peaceful gatherings on 25 May.  It points out that the KCSA’s actions are in breach of Article 39;of the Constitution which guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly.  The KCSA’s position also demonstrates the inability of the police and the Kyiv Administration to carry out their duty in ensuring peaceful gatherings and safeguarding public order.  

The Coalition stresses that neither KCSA nor opponents of the LGBT community are entitled to seek a ban on the Equality March just because they don’t like the views or sexual orientation of its organizers.  The Law on Countering and Preventing Discrimination bans all forms of discrimination.

When discrimination of vulnerable groups is an everyday occurrence in Ukrainian society and efforts to counter them and protect individuals are insufficient and ineffective, this event in support of equality and the principle of non-discrimination is extremely important and should be supported.

The holding of the Equality March in a safe and transparent manner is part of the dialogue about human rights for each of us irrespective of features like age, social status; skin colour; religious convictions; gender or sexual orientation.

Safety depends in the first instance on the organizers and transparent actions of the authorities, and chiefly the police.

The Coalition believes that the March must be an open event.  Its openness and the awareness of people concerned about human rights and defending diversity when and where the March is to take place help ensure that it passes successfully and safely.

The authorities should take all measures to safeguard public order and the safety of participants, and not use their inability in order to ban the March.

The Coalition stresses that the authorities are responsible for the safety of participants and welcomes the statement from the police that they would be ensuring public order during the Equality March.

The Coalition therefore calls on KCSA to withdraw its application for a court ban and to work together with the police in ensuring public order during the March for Equality on 25 May. 

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