Ukraine: Police raid to gay club in Kyiv

Ukraian police keep pressing and collecting data on representatives of LGBT commununity

April 23, 2009

The Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine is concerned about the recent harsh violation of human rights of homosexual people by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) officers in Kyiv.

During the investigation of the criminal case about the murder of a gay man, Dmitriy Kandyba, during the nights from 10 to 11 April 2009 officers of the police special department "Berkut" held an operation in the popular city gay club Androgin. Club visitors (over 80 persons) were detained and taken to Golosievo rayon police station of MIA Department. Some detainees report on rude and offensive treatment by the police officers and also claim that the officers used force against them. At the police station, the officers illegally (without following the respective procedures) took fingerprints and photos of the detained. After this the detainees were forced to sign the letter that they did not have any complaints against the police.

It is particularly surprising that this raid was held two weeks after the murder. In addition, the police possessed a photo of the suspected criminal. Thus, in the opinion of the Ukrainian LGBT organizations, the goal of the operation at Androgin club was not to identify the suspected murderer but to threaten the LGBT community and collect personal data on visitors to the gay club.

We are concerned that this incident is not the only case of its kind. Similar cases of harsh pressure by the police on the gay community during investigation of criminal cases have been previously documented by our organizations in other cities of Ukraine.

In this regard, we have already urged the authorities to stop these negative practices. International human rights organizations also drew the attention of the Ukrainian authorities to these practices.

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in its Resolution 1346 (2003) "Honouring of obligations and commitments by Ukraine" has already drawn attention of the Ukrainian authorities to these problems. The document, in particular, talks about the necessity "to investigate allegations of police harassment of the lesbian and gay community and to take disciplinary action as appropriate. The police should be made aware of the need to respect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons, inter alia, through the inclusion of relevant material in police training courses and manuals."

In the Report on Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy towards Ukraine as of May 3, 2008, the emphasis was made that "cases of harassment of persons belonging to sexual minorities by the police continue to be reported"

Presently, LGBT organizations of Ukraine sent an appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine with a request to investigate actions of the police during operation at Androgin gay club and to punish the guilty. All illegally collected personal data on homosexual people should be destroyed without delay. Ukrainian police should stop the practice of discriminatory treatment of lesbian and gay people and is obliged to observe human rights of homosexual people in full scope.

The Council of LGBT organizations of Ukraine urges its international colleagues to support its legal demands and send letters of protest to the Ukrainian authorities.

Please send your letters of protest to:
Mr. Victor Yuschenko
President of Ukraine
7 Bankova Str.
Kyiv 01005
Fax: +380 255-61-61

Mr. Olexandr Medvedko
Procurator General of Ukraine
13/15 Riznitska Str.
Kyiv 01011
Fax: +380 44 280-10-20

Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko
Minister of Internal Affairs
10 Acad. Bogomoltsya Str.
Kyiv 01024
Fax: +380 44 256-16-33

Ms. Nina Karpacheva
Ombudsmen of Ukraine
21/8 Institutska Str.
Kyiv 01008
Fax: +380 44 226-34-27 – Issued by Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine

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