Violence and the potential for increased political repression continue to confront LGBT people in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
A second gay rights activist was viciously beaten last week.
That followed the May 20 beating of gay-rights leader Svyatoslav Sheremet, who was set upon by thugs minutes after he announced the cancellation of a gay pride march because police said they could not ensure marchers’ safety.
Taras Karasiychuk, who like Sheremet is a leader of Ukraine’s Gay Forum, reported that he suffered a concussion and a fractured jaw when he was attacked June 21 by assailants who screamed homophobic insults at him, the Associated Press reported.
After receiving medical treatment, Karasiychuk was moved to a more secure location.
Police said they are investigating.
“Taras Karasiichuk was clearly targeted by his attacker because he is a gay man who is promoting LGBT rights,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should immediately investigate this vicious attack and treat it as a hate crime.”
HRW presented a slightly different account of the crime:
At about midnight on June 22, 2012, an unidentified man attacked Karasiichuk, who works for LGBT rights organization Gay Alliance Ukraine and is the head of the Kiev Pride 2012 organizing committee.
The attacker appeared to be waiting for Karasiichuk as he walked to his apartment building from the subway, and attacked him near the building entrance. The man approached Karasiichuk, said, “Are you a fag (pidor in Russian)?” and then kicked him in the head and jaw, as Karasiichuk fell to the ground in an attempt to protect himself. The attacker fled when a passerby approached.
Political repression would increase in Ukraine if parliament passes either of two proposed laws that are currently under consideration. HRW described the proposals thus:
- Draft Law No.10290 proposes measures to protect the rights of children, to ensure the “healthy moral, spiritual and psychological development of children, to promote the idea that a family consists of a union between a man and a woman,” and “to overcome the demographic crisis.” It bans the “promotion” of homosexuality, and provides an exhaustive list of activities that are defined as promotion, including: meetings, parades, actions, pickets, demonstrations, and other mass gatherings aimed at disseminating positive information about homosexuality. The law supposes that such information may adversely affect the physical and mental health of children. The law also bans any educational activities on homosexuality, or, presumably, the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and it bans any messages, articles or appeals in the mass media.
- Draft Law No. 8711 proposes to ban any production or publication of products promoting homosexuality, the use of media, TV or radio broadcasting for homosexuality “promotion,” the printing or distribution publications “promoting” homosexuality, the import, production or distribution of creative writings, cinematography, or video materials “promoting” homosexuality. If adopted, the laws will introduce fines or prison sentences of up to five years.
HRW and Amnesty International wrote to the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, calling for the rejection of both proposals, saying that they would “have the effect of discriminating against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in their exercise of several human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.”
- Ukraine: Attacks on Leading Voice for LGBT Rights Should Spur Investigation, Hate Crime Prosecution (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Ukraine cops won’t protect gay marchers; thugs move in (76crimes.com)
- Ukraine will soon act on ‘gay propaganda’ bill (76crimes.com)
- Ukraine might ban talking about homosexuality (76crimes.com)
- Efforts to ban ‘gay propaganda’ spread in Europe (76crimes.com)