European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Update on Lviv Equality Festival 2016 – event must be protected

Three months on from the successful Equality Festival in Kyiv, ILGA-Europe are very disappointed to learn that attempts have been made to disrupt a similar initiative in Lviv.

One of our Ukrainian member organisations, Insight, has been planning to host an anti-discrimination cultural event in the city from 19-20 March. However, Insight have released a public statement today (Wednesday 16 March) stating that the proposed festival venue has pulled out, due to anonymous threats.

The Equality Festival Lviv 2016 had a clear aim – to promote tolerance, understanding and cooperation among all sections of Ukrainian society. Allowing the voices of minority groups to be silenced by threats of physical violence is a dangerous message to send. ILGA-Europe call on city authorities and law enforcement officials in Lviv to offer their full and unconditional support to the Equality Festival.

Every effort should be made to make sure the event can go ahead safely, upholding the participants’ rights to freedom of assembly.