LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Statement on Odessa Equality March

Disturbing reports have emerged from Odessa, Ukraine today (Thursday, 13 August 2015) in relation to their upcoming Equality Festival. 

ILGA-Europe are disappointed to learn that the Equality March scheduled to take place this Saturday has been banned following court proceedings initiated by the city council.

The council cited concerns over public health, the threat of public disorder and the possibility of confrontation among their reasons for seeking to block a number of festival events at various locations. The Equality March has been banned despite the fact that the organising committee followed all necessary procedures, including negotiations with the police about the security of the event.

ILGA-Europe are dismayed at this last-minute cancellation, which is a restriction of the right of freedom to assembly. We understand that the Pride organising committee will appeal this decision and call on the authorities in Odessa to allow the entire festival to go ahead as planned.