The gay pride parade which was due to take place in the country’s capital, Kyiv, has been cancelled over fears for the safety of its participants, according to the organizing committee of the international KyivPride 2012 forum and festival.
Police advised pride organizers to abandon the march just 30 minutes before it was due to start, claiming 500 ultra-right football hooligans were en route to the rally point with the intention of preventing the march from going ahead, following an attack on two gay rights activists, who were beaten up and tear gassed by a dozen youths in central Kyiv, Amnesty International stated on their website.
“It has been clear from the start that the Kyiv police department did not want this march to go ahead. Their reluctance to commit to the event and to put adequate security measures in place to protect demonstrators left organizers fearing for their safety,” said Max Tucker, Ukraine campaigner at Amnesty International. A senior Kyiv police official had previously told pride organizers that he was not prepared to put his officers in harm’s way for the LGBT community.