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 PACE calls upon Ukraine to prosecute responsible for breaking up of Lviv Equality Festival

An attempt by LGBTI groups to hold an Equality Festival in Lviv on March 19 was broken up by right-wing extremists with the tacit support of city authorities and the local police.

PACE calls upon the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the prosecution of those responsible and to take measures to guarantee that such events are never repeated, Censor.NET reports citing the PACE declaration.

"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 With no guarantee of protection, venues booked for other events were withdrawn," the assembly declared.

"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 Kyiv, 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"," the declaration reads.

Read more: Two policemen injured and ten attackers arrested during Equality March
 
 
 
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