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Press release Equality March: every citizen’s rights are violated!

Press release  Equality March: every citizen’s rights are violated!

[Опис : Опис : лого ЦГС - копия]

                                                                                       

Human rights are an essential part of a civilized and democratic state. Equality Marsh has become a litmus test that showed what in fact the situation with the level of tolerance and human rights in Ukraine in general. Unfortunately, the results were not very comforting.

"Giving lessons to future Kyiv police patrol, the task to develop an action plan for one of the fundamental human rights - freedom of assembly – e.g. for human rights and the LGBT community was set out. First, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of laughter, thinking that people understand the importance of these issues, especially in the police. However, the reality turned out that the students just did not know that LGBT - is an abbreviation for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people and fuzzy imagine what human rights are, including peaceful assembly. In general, the whole society shows same perception and understanding. Well, we keep working on police reform. Moreover, each of us should start to realize that all people are equal from birth in their human rights, i.e. in relations ‘state-person’, and peaceful assembly is our opportunity to show what is important for us, what we are concerned about. By limiting the freedom of some people – you restrict yours» - points out Valeria Rybak, coordinator of OZON Civic Monitoring Group.

As per now the investigation of crimes committed during and after the Equality March is in process.

"Certainly, we must note that the attacks happened on the march cannot be qualified only by Article 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely hooliganism. It is not just an attack on the street in order to pick up the cell phone, these attacks have clearly defined nature, and they were directed against a specific people who are marchers or openly express their solidarity" - stresses  complainants’ advocate Ksenia Prokonova.

Ruslana Panuhnyk, member of the Organizing Committee, described cooperation with the Organizing Committee of KyivPride2015 and Kyiv city state administration along with the city police on ensuring public order and security. "In the dimension of cooperation with the state, KyivPride2015 Organizing Committee in general and the Department of the march, in particular, aimed to establish accessible and effective mechanism for interaction and cooperation. After all Equality March is planned for 2016, 2017, and all subsequent years. Such measures are a litmus test for the local government and police to check their level of democracy".

His impressions and emotions during a press conference shared Zakhar Popovych, injured during the Equality March.

It is necessary to stress the fundamental shortcomings in the actions of government, which has made possible the commission of crimes. Despite the notification about the peaceful gathering a month before (May 5), Kyiv City State Administration informed the police only on May 28. Meanwhile they assured the organizers that police is informed and offered to develop a common goal of the event, slogans and change location, namely to focus on countering Russian propaganda and conduct meeting at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kyiv, which does not meet the goals of the organizers. March organizers had to communicate with police on their own.

The police in their turn refused to develop a common security plan in advance and to agree, for example, how participants can safely leave the scene. As well, the location was suggested less than a day before the march.

During the Equality March, despite the reported number of law enforcement officers of more than 2 thousand people, places where the aggressors penetrated the peaceful march were not guarded; safe leaving the scene was not ensured; there was no proper coordination between the assembly participants and the police; not all law enforcement officers were properly identified, which further complicated the opportunity to appeal to them for help.

More information about the course of Equality March events, contra-meetings, actions of police, local authorities, conclusions and recommendations are the report "Equality March - litmus paper of the freedom of peaceful assembly and tolerance in Ukraine".

Invited to the press conference representatives of the Ministry of Interior did not attend the event. Therefore, many questions (e.g. the safety of peaceful assembly on June 6 as well as who is to blame for the attacks on peaceful protesters) escape answering.

Press conference record in Ukrainian:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73pHJL7bKuA

Press conference record in English:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDo7GsgjKzU

For reference:

OZON Civic Monitoring Group is a voluntary association of active citizens - primarily, civil society activists, lawyers, journalists aware of the importance of proper public control of state authorities, as well as key processes that occur at the contact line of society and the state or state and human being, in particular, during the peace assembly and trials. According to the results of observations, OZON publishes conclusions and recommendations. Public observers is an independent party, they always remain outside the process. Detailed information is available at social networks:  www.facebook.com/OZON.monitoring as well as at web site of founding organization, CCL - http://ccl.org.ua/activities/hr/ozon/

Equality March – peaceful human rights march in the framework of International Forum of LGBT KyivPride, aimed at actualizing human rights in general and LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people) rights in particular in public discourse.