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Lviv Equality Festival broken up by right-wing extremists with tacit support of city authorities and local police

Written declaration No. 606 | Doc. 14037 | 11 July 2016

Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Charles ALLAVENA, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Tobias BILLSTRÖM, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Sílvia Eloïsa BONET, Andorra, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Ms Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER, Germany, SOC ; Ms Tina GHASEMI, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Annette GROTH, Germany, UEL ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Ms Eva-Lena JANSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Carles JORDANA, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Ioanneta KAVVADIA, Greece, UEL ; Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Meritxell MATEU, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Christine MUTTONEN, Austria, SOC ; Mr Rasmus NORDQVIST, Denmark, UEL ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Bernard PASQUIER, Monaco, ALDE ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Mechthild RAWERT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Andreas SCHIEDER, Austria, SOC ; Mr Nico SCHRIJVER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Katrin WERNER, Germany, UEL ; Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC

An attempt by LGBTI groups to hold an Equality Festival in Lviv in March was broken up by right-wing extremists with the tacit support of city authorities and the local police.

The organisers initially faced threats of violence following hostile statements by religious leaders and local politicians, but the mayor and the police ignored requests for help. Public events were banned by the authorities. During an unsuccessful appeal to the city court, a hostile mob was allowed to intimidate the organisers. With no guarantee of protection, venues booked for other events were withdrawn.

The Festival ended with 60 participants trapped in a hotel by a mob of 200 extremists. Lviv police refused to intervene, one calling the organisers “provocateurs”. After appealing to Kiev, Special Forces police arrived four hours later. Then police said there was a bomb threat and the participants were evacuated in buses, under a hail of stones and firecrackers, to chants of “kill, kill, kill.” No one was arrested.

Subsequently the Mayor of Lviv wrote that the Festival was “a carefully planned provocation”.

We call upon the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the prosecution of those responsible and to take measures to guarantee that such events are never repeated.