June 02, 2016 20:25
Kyiv police vow to protect June 12 gay pride parade from radicals
KYIV. June 2 (Interfax) - Police in Kyiv are set to ensure safety during a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) parade (the March of Equality) due on June 12, Kyiv National Police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said.
During the parade, Kyiv must demonstrate its ability to provide safety, especially in light of the upcoming Eurovision 2017, Kryshchenko said in an interview with the 112 Ukraine television channel.
"The LGBT parade. There was an application, it will be held. We are seriously determined to provide safety. No matter who says what about this parade, there is the national interest and we must show that our society is tolerant and ready to take its values into Europe. Kyiv is hosting the next Eurovision and we must show that we are capable of providing safety. This is not about the parade proper, this is about people having the right to speak their minds. Because it [the parade] is not only 'about this', it is also about the opportunity to freely express your thoughts, which is what we were all fighting for two years ago," Kryshchenko said.
Serious security measures will be in place, he said. The police have already met with all participants of the future parade, as well as their opponents, the police chief said.
"We met both with the organizers and with their opponents who represent radical youth organizations. We explained to everyone what we are going to do. Last year, a law enforcement officer was injured very severely at a similar event. He sustained serious injuries and it was a miracle that his life was saved. This year, the police will act within the law, but in a very tough way," the city police chief said.
The police are also checking Internet posts, especially those which threaten LGBT parade participants, Kryshchenko said.
According to the kyivpride.org website, the fifth international LGBT forum, KyivPride2016, which includes about 20 training sessions and discussion panels, will be held in the Ukrainian capital on June 6-13. The March of Equality, on June 12, is a peaceful procession in support of the ideas of personal and public safety, individual rights and non-discrimination.
A number of public organizations have already expressed their intention to disrupt the event.
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