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Ukraine’s Odessa court bans gay pride march

August 13, 2015, 12:59 UTC+3 ODESSA
The court has come to a conclusion that holding the event could pose a real danger and threat to the public order in the city and to the health and life of persons who will take part in it
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City of Odessa

City of Odessa

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Pavlishak

ODESSA, August 13. /TASS/. A district court in Odessa has banned holding an event in support of sexual minorities rights scheduled in the southern Ukrainian city on Saturday.

The decision "to limit the right for the peaceful assembly" comes following a lawsuit filed by the city council against the head of an organizing committee of the Odessa Pride 2015 event.

"Taking into consideration the established facts, the court has come to a conclusion that holding the event could pose a real danger and threat to the public order in the city, to the health and life of persons who will take part in it and also to the other citizens and guests of Odessa," the court said.

Police have earlier called on the authorities to ban the demonstration saying no security guarantees for the participants could be provided amid public protests and the increasingly strained situation.

Members of the clergy and religious organizations have earlier urged the Odessa authorities not to allow holding the LGBT event saying it undermines family values and leads to a decay of personality, the mayor’s office said, citing a respective request.

The event’s organizers said on Wednesday they would take to the streets in Odessa despite the countermeasures of city authorities and threats.

Alina Rakhuba, one of the organizers, said: "If we get an official judgement on banning the event, we will appeal against it. If they ban us from holding the demonstration on certain streets, there is nothing to worry about: Odessa is big. We will not give up. The festival will be certainly held."

The issue of protecting the rights of sexual minorities remains one of the most sensitive in the relations between Ukraine and the European Union. Brussels has repeatedly called on Kiev to respect and protect the LGBT rights and the wish to hold demonstrations.

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