Statement of organising committee of queer culture festival «OdessaPride-2015»

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On 12th of August 2015 in Odessa there was a court hearing about the claim made by the Executive Committee of the Odessa City Council. The main demand of the claim was a complete ban of activities that were planned for queer culture festival «OdessaPride-2015».

Particular attention was paid to scheduled human rights action — the March of Equality, — and limit the capacity of the organizing committee to conduct other activities: demonstrations, pickets, rallies, meetings. The format of the human rights event was perceived as the «threat to national security».

The claim was satisfied partially, so on 15th of August, on the day of scheduled event, the organizing committee is limited in its right to peaceful assembly, which is guaranteed by art. 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine. In the list of territories on which street actions are prohibited, there are not only the central administrative buildings, but also of all other city districts.

In this decision can also be traced violation of art.24 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which states the equality and freedom of the citizens of the state.

Also, under pressure from law enforcement authorities, we were denied to all already rented places for the festival events (hotel, movie theater, photo studio and hostel to accommodate OdessaPride participants).

Surprisingly, in the city that demonstrates a high level of tolerance (as evidenced by the public support that we’ve received), the law enforcement and city officials are not willing to uphold the principles of democracy and equality of rights.

We insist that the law enforcement agencies, regardless of the specifics of the event, should ensure order and the safety of all residents and guests of Odessa. We are against selectivity of the constitutional rights.

After weighing all the available evidence, organizing committee does not refuse the original idea of conduction of the festival «OdessaPride». To us, even the idea of the ban that is imposed on the citizens of Ukraine limiting the appearance near administrative buildings, is unacceptable.

At the moment, the organizing committee makes adjustments to the action plan and is working on successful implementation of queer culture festival, despite the sabotage made by the city authorities and the counteraction from the law enforcement agencies.

The organizing committee of queer culture festival «OdessaPride-2015» encourages all who cares about democratic values and principles to support the festival. We also urge the media, social and civic leaders to draw attention to this situation in Odessa.

The organizing committee of «OdessaPride-2015»

Автор: Gay Alliance Ukraine

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