KyivPride organizers praise police efforts, but report 10 people injured in attacks after march
Organizers of the March of Equality held in central Kyiv on June 18 as part of the KyivPride2017 have said that the event took place without major incidents, but after its completion ten people were injured in attacks by opponents of the march.
"The march itself passed without significant incidents. I know that during the march its opponents snatched away one big rainbow banner and about 20 small flags. The opponents were unable to get into the column and attack the participants during the march. But there were regrettable incidents after the event. Unfortunately, despite the fact that we tried to talk to people as much as possible asking them to take their personal security seriously, we could not avoid attacks after the march," a member of the KyivPride NGO, Zoryan Kis, said at a press conference in Kyiv on Monday.
He praised the excellent police work during the Sunday march. "Despite the fact that the conditions were more complicated, I got the impression that the police were able to cope though having a smaller number of officers [compared with previous years], which means that the steps to ensure law and order during the march were well planned," Kis said.
Director of the KyivPride NGO Ruslana Panukhnyk said they know of seven attacks on the march participants, as a result of which ten people were injured. "This year, not only did the number of attacks on the participants increased, but there was an attack on the observer from Ozon [civic observation group], on a Belarusian citizen and on a journalist. Moreover, these were the police who used force against the journalist. We will discuss this case with police in order to avoid such incidents in future," she said.
According to her, KyivPride2017 was held at a very high level. "We have received great support from the LGBT community, people who are not part of it, international organizations, diplomatic institutions, Ukrainian human rights activists," Panukhnyk said.
The organizers also noted that for the first time, apart from the walking procession, two cars participated in the march. The vehicles were provided thanks to the financial support of the Elton John Foundation.
According to the organizers, this year's March of Equality was attended by some 4,000 people. The police reported about 2,500 participants.