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The Ukrainian Parliament vote to ban freedom of expression in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons

Written declaration No. 533 | Doc. 13051 | 04 October 2012

Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Sonja ABLINGER, Austria, SOC ; Ms Tina ACKETOFT, Sweden, ALDE ; Ms Najat ALASTAL, Palestinian National Council ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EDG ; Mr Robert BIEDROŃ, Poland, SOC ; Mr Brian BINLEY, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Bernadette BOURZAI, France, SOC ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Mikael CEDERBRATT, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Ismeta DERVOZ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria GIANNAKAKI, Greece, NR ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Carina HÄGG, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Håkon HAUGLI, Norway, SOC ; Mr Norbert HAUPERT, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Birkir Jón JÓNSSON, Iceland, ALDE ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Ms Federica MOGHERINI REBESANI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Lydia MUTSCH, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mr Gebhard NEGELE, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Sandra OSBORNE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Björn von SYDOW, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Vilmos SZABÓ, Hungary, SOC ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Katrin WERNER, Germany, UEL ; Ms Karin S. WOLDSETH, Norway, EDG

On 2 October Ukraine’s Parliament supported, at first reading, a draft law which would impose a wide-ranging ban on the exercise of freedom of expression in support of LGBT people. 289 MPs voted in favour, one abstained and none opposed.

Draft Law No. 8711 proposes to ban:

  • any production, printing, publication or distribution of products “promoting” homosexuality;
  • the use of media, TV or radio broadcasting for homosexuality “promotion”;
  • the import, production or distribution of creative writings, cinematography or video materials “promoting” homosexuality.

Such activities would be subject variously to fines or prison sentences of up to five years.

This proposal is a direct attack on a highly vulnerable minority. It can only increase the violence and discrimination to which they are subject. Its adoption would constitute a flagrant violation of Ukraine’s obligations under United Nations and Council of Europe treaty obligations.

We call upon:

  • Ukraine’s Parliamentary Assembly delegation to work urgently to convince their colleagues to respect European values;
  • Ukraine’s Parliament to consider the profound consequences of introducing such a law, and to reject it on second reading;
  • The Committee of Ministers to engage urgently with the Ukrainian authorities, with a view to persuading Ukraine to uphold its treaty obligations.