2012-05-24 17:40:00

EU's Ashton concerned about attack on LGBT activists in Kiev

Kiev, May 24, Interfax - EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has expressed her concerns about a violent disruption of events planned by the LGBT community in Kiev on May 19-21.

"Catherine Ashton is deeply concerned about the violent disruption of peaceful events organized on 19-21 May as part of 'Kiev Pride'. She expresses her solidarity with the victims of these acts and urges the Ukrainian authorities to investigate them thoroughly and to bring the perpetrators to justice," says a statement circulated by the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Ashton called on the Ukrainian authorities "to protect and to enforce the rights of all Ukrainians, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression."

"The EU Head of Delegation received the organizers of the 'Kiev Pride' to express support and commitment of the High Representative to the protection of human rights of all Ukrainians without discrimination," the statement says.

The EU will use the forthcoming bilateral meetings to discuss the issue with the Ukrainian authorities, it said.

The Kiev Pride events were scheduled in Kiev on May 20. However, police advised the organizers right before the events to cancel the march, saying that several hundreds of ultra-rightist soccer thugs were on their way toward its venue to thwart it.

Media reported that about 10 young men managed to attack LGBT activists and beat them.