On 30 May, one of our longtime partners in Ukraine, the public organisation Insight, was attacked by far-right extremists. The attacks, one in Kyiv and one in Odessa, are the latest in a series of attacks against LGBTQI organisations and events in the country. RFSL calls on Ukraine authorities to investigate the attacks and ensure the safety and security of LGBTQI people in the country.
In Ukraine, LGBTQI people face a number of challenges and homophobia is widespread in society. There is also currently no hate crime legislation that protects LGBTQI people, and attacks by right-wing groups have become an increasingly pressing issue.
“Unfortunately, our events are often disrupted and there are numerous assaults against LGBTQI community members and activists that police does not react to. This inaction really puts all of us at a higher risk in our daily lives and day-to-day work,” said Olena Shevchenko, Director of Insight.
The attacks on 30 May were directed towards Insight’s premises in both Odessa and the capital city Kyiv. In Odessa, Insight were forced to cancel an event, Fem Talks, as members from two well-known right-wing groups, Tradition and Order, were threatening activists and community members who were taking part in the event. At the same time in Kyiv, approximately 20 aggressive individuals broke into the organisation’s office.
RFSL calls on Ukraine authorities to investigate the attacks immediately as well as look into the introduction of a hate crime legislation. We urge the authorities to ensure the safety and security of LGBTQI people in the country.
Read our statement in full here.
Insight is a Ukrainian public organisation that is committed to equal rights, freedom, inclusiveness, and diversity for all social groups. The organisation engages in human rights and educational activities, and provides assistance and support to LGBTQI-people. Insight was founded in 2008 in Kyiv and has over the years developed regional representation in other parts of the country.