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Ukraine

    May 23, 2013

    Just days before the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was due to host its first-ever Pride march, a city court has banned the event in what Amnesty International called a shameful about-face that tramples on human rights.

    Thursday’s court hearing cited this weekend’s Kyiv Day celebrations in the city centre – which coincide with the planned Pride march on 25 May – as a reason for banning the event. For the first time ever, the Kyiv city council applied to the courts for a ban of all public events not organized by them during Kyiv Day.

    In their application to the court, city authorities raised the spectre of a threat of violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists organizing the march, despite earlier police assurances that they can guarantee the protection of Pride march demonstrators.

    Last year, a planned Kyiv Pride march had to be cancelled in the face of a violent threat posed by groups of extreme-right youth.

    May 16, 2013

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people in Ukraine continue to face discrimination, and many are targeted for violence and abuse by public officials and members of the public.

    Amnesty International has documented several violent attacks against LGBTI people, some carried out by public officials, and some by members of the public. In some cases such attacks have resulted in death. Yet the authorities fail to investigate these crimes promptly, thoroughly, effectively and impartially, and, moreover, fuel the pervasive negative stereotypes about LGBTI people in Ukrainian society which underpin the attacks.

    Amnesty International therefore recommends that the Ukrainian government take negative stereotypes and hatred against LGBTI people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity into account in the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of hate crimes.

    May 16, 2013

    The Ukrainian government must introduce legislation to address discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity following a number of attacks on individuals, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    Lawmakers should also vote down proposed legislation to criminalize the “propaganda of homosexuality”, something that is being debated in Parliament at the moment.

    “People have been beaten and in one case murdered because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of these crimes have not been properly investigated and have gone unpunished,” said Max Tucker, an Amnesty International expert on Ukraine.

    “To add insult to injury, the possibility of attack is now routinely used as an excuse to deprive gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people of their rights to express themselves and to hold public events in a peaceful manner.”

    April 11, 2013

    The Ukrainian authorities must seize the current political opportunity to stop the high level of torture and other ill treatment being carried out by its police force by creating a genuinely independent, impartial and effective institution to investigate complaints against the police, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    “Beatings and torture continue unabated in the Ukraine in spite of the new Criminal Procedure Code adopted by the government late last year. No concrete steps have been taken to set up an independent police accountability mechanism, allowing the police to get away with shocking levels of mistreatment of detainees,” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Program Director.

    In a new report, Ukraine: Don’t stop halfway: Government must use new Criminal Procedure Code to end torture, Amnesty International examines new cases of torture and other ill-treatment and calls on the government to seize the opportunity created by the new Criminal Procedure Code to establish a State Investigation Bureau as an effective deterrent to would-be torturers among the police.

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