Following the release of the dramatic photo of a gay man being
beaten by neo-Nazi extremists in Kiev, Ukraine (pictured, right),
activists are urging DIVA readers to add your name to a petition
that may force Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych to speak out
This week, Ukraine's legislature is expected to vote in favor of
new laws that will make it illegal to be gay or lesbian in
The AllOut.org team claim there is still time to put pressure on
Yanukovych which may tie in with his aim to forge a "special
alliance" with the European Union.
"President Viktor Yanukovych is the only person with the power
to stop the law in its tracks, but he has stayed silent as anti-gay
sentiment grows. If he doesn't speak out now, an entire generation
will be forced into the shadows.
"This week an EU delegation focused on human rights will visit
the country to advance the process. If we create a massive
outcry in the next day days across Europe, President Yanukovych
will be forced to finally speak out against the law or risk
endangering his lucrative EU partnership.
"Ukraine is serious about this new alliance with the EU community
and can not afford to ignore calls from United Kingdom and its
other neighbours. In fact, the President described an EU
partnership as his priority and his "legacy" for Ukraine. But
shouldn't Yanukovych be forced to speak out against laws that make
gay and lesbian Ukranians second class citizens if he wants to reap
the financial benefits of an EU alliance?
"Officials from Ukraine are set to meet with the EU's Justice,
Freedom & Security branch this Friday about human rights
conditions for all Ukrainians. Though it's President Yanukovych's
top priority to get into the EU without a hitch, this law is moving
silently under their radar and is set to pass. Now is the
moment to bring this issue to light."
Calling on DIVA readers, the activists at AllOut.org ask "Will you
take one moment to call on President Yanukovych to speak out
against this bill before his meeting on Friday? Every single
voice of opposition makes a real difference so please sign and
share this with friends far and wide."
Kyiv Post: Violence against gays captured for the whole world to
The Ukrainian Week: A Taste of Isolation
Photo courtesy of The Daily Beast