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For example, the coordinator explained that transgendered people were the most "inaccessible and closed group" within the sexual minorities of Ukraine ibid. According to the youth developer, transsexual and transgendered people are "hated" in Ukraine, adding that they are "[t]reated horribly and hurt if they publically display a transition" 21 Aug.

Furthermore, the youth developer said that gay men are seen by a part of the society as "child molesters", as doing "disgusting acts", and as wanting others to become homosexuals 21 Aug. In particular, he stated that there is no developed LGBT community in the western part of the country, with no possibilities for LGBT individuals to share information ibid. The youth developer stated that she was aware of members of sexual minorities in southern Ukraine who travel from smaller villages to larger urban centres in order to participate in support groups, albeit while still fearing being discovered 21 Aug.

According to the youth developer, the people she encounters in southern Ukraine "are very up front about not supporting LGBT people or voicing the fact that they are not natural or just calling someone gay as an insulting word" ibid. Sources report that sexual minorities face violence in Ukraine ibid. The youth developer stated that in southern Ukraine, there is "a huge risk of physical violence," adding : "I know many that have been hurt within the community by strangers, family, police, etc. Country Reports indicates that, according to the Ukrainian gay rights organization Nash Mir, the disruption happened on 20 February in the city of Makiivka, situated in Donetsk Oblast [in eastern Ukraine] US 8 May , ILGA-Europe reports that, in summer , a man in the city of Luhansk [in eastern Ukraine] was "severely" beaten, suffering a broken rib, a dislocating arm and having his front teeth knocked out, and robbed by five men after having arranged to meet one of them on an online dating site ibid.

According to ILGA-Europe, the man submitted a complaint but was pressured to withdraw his case by a police officer ibid. ILGA-Europe wrote that according to human rights defenders, this was not an isolated case in the city ibid.

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ILGA-Europe also reports that in July , a man had money extorted from him after been threatened by three men to reveal his sexual orientation, including two uniformed police officers ibid. ILGA-Europe did not indicate where this incident happened. According to ILGA-Europe, in July , a man in the city of Kremenchug, in Poltava Oblast, was hospitalised after being beaten by his neighbours two weeks after homophobic graffiti were painted on the entrance to his building and on his front door ibid.

Police reportedly did not pursue an investigation until pressured by Insight ibid. Sources report that the first attempt to hold a gay pride march in Kiev in May was cancelled by organisers due to threats of violence youth developer 21 Aug. Human rights sources indicate that police warned organizers that protesters were planning to attack participants Human Rights Watch 11 June ; AI 20 May According to Amnesty International AI , the police claimed that " ultra-right football hooligans" were planning to prevent the march from happening ibid.

Human rights sources report that police were unwilling to provide protection during the planned Pride march Human Rights Watch 11 June ; AI 20 May According to AI, "[a] senior Kyiv police official had previously told pride organizers that he was not prepared to put his officers in harm's way for the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual and Transgender LGBT community" ibid. AI states that they were tear-gassed and beaten by "a dozen youths" 20 May According to Human Rights Watch, the head of the organizing committee was also attacked and managed to escape, but was the target of a second attack six weeks later Human Rights Watch 26 June During this assault, which appeared to be premeditated, the activist reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken jaw ibid.

According to Human Rights Watch, police did not respond until urged to examine the case as a hate crime by Nash Mir ibid. According to sources, sexual minorities are reluctant to turn to police for assistance youth developer 21 Aug. The youth developer stated that while some police officers are "better trained," it is reportedly not seen as "safe" to go to the police, "even" in larger cities youth developer 21 Aug. A pronounced discrimination exists in the villages and small towns; in such cases, due to the small number of people and close relationships in society, rarely representative[s] of the LGBT community ask for help from police, because of the fear [that] their sexual orientation will be made public.

Country Reports states that according to the LGBT rights group Nash Mir, "law enforcement representatives were involved in 69 identified instances of discrimination against gay men and lesbians during ," and that "the Ministry of Internal Affairs ignored homophobic attitudes among its personnel" US 8 May , In a report on the situation of sexual minorities in Ukraine in , Nash Mir enumerates several cases of police officers having beaten or verbally abused gay men , Country Reports also adds that Nash Mir claimed "that police mistreated and collected personal data on gay men and lesbians" US 8 May , The coordinator added that "[t]ransgender people who are involved in the sex business [are] most vulnerable to police and more often subjected to physical, moral and economic violence" ibid.

The youth developer also added that she was aware of undocumented cases of police harassment 21 Aug. Sources report that the Ukrainian Parliament is considering legislation against positive public depictions of homosexuality AP 23 July ; Gorshenin Institute, as of 16 July , three drafts laws to ban the "'propaganda of homosexuality'" have been introduced, but none have been passed Gorshenin Institute 16 July , 9. According to sources, the proposed laws would impose unspecified fines and up to five years imprisonment for disseminating "the propaganda of homosexuality" AP 23 July ; Human Rights Watch 25 June According to the Associated Press AP , acts considered as illegal under this legislation would include gay pride parades, as well as sympathetic depictions of homosexuality in entertainment 23 July Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned law drafts stating that they would discriminate against sexual minorities by limiting their freedom of expression, association and assembly AI 26 June and limit access to essential health information such as information related to HIV and AIDS Human Rights Watch 11 June The AP likewise indicates that human rights activists are concerned that gay people will be driven underground 23 July Sources report that activists are concerned that the proposed laws may be passed and implemented in fall youth developer 21 Aug.

Parliamentary elections are to be held in the fall ibid.


According to the AP, the most recent of these bills was introduced by the Ukrainian president's own parliamentary representative, suggesting it is supported by the president 23 July There are also reportedly no laws that recognize crimes specifically targeting sexual minorities as hate crimes youth developer 21 Aug.

However, Human Rights Watch notes that "Article of Ukraine's criminal code provides for prosecution of crimes that violate 'citizens' equality,' which includes protection from discrimination or violence on various grounds […]" and adds that "[t]he article does not specifically name sexual orientation as a protected category, but refers to prohibited acts based on 'other characteristics'" 26 June ILGA-Europe states that there are "administrative procedures to obtain legal gender recognition" for trans people, but adds that these are accompanied by compulsory sterilisation and divorce ILGA-Europe n.

As a result, prices for basic groceries were reportedly outside the means of many persons remaining in Russia-controlled territory.

Human rights groups also reported severe shortages of medicine, coal, and medical supplies in Russia-controlled territory. The constitution and law provide for freedom of expression, including for members of the press. Authorities did not always respect these rights, however. Other problematic practices continued to affect media freedom, including self-censorship, so-called jeansa payments publishing unsubstantiated news articles for a fee , and slanted news coverage by media outlets whose owners had close ties to the government or opposition political parties.

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In the Donbas region, Russia-led forces suppressed freedom of speech and the press through harassment, intimidation, abductions, and assaults on journalists and media outlets. They also prevented the transmission of Ukrainian and independent television and radio programming in areas under their control. Freedom of Expression : With some exceptions, individuals in areas under government control could generally criticize the government publicly and privately and discuss matters of public interest without fear of official reprisal.

The 10 most popular television stations were owned by businessmen whose primary business was not in media. Independent media had difficulty competing with major outlets that operated with oligarchic subsidies. As of October 1, the Institute of Mass Information IMI recorded cases of alleged violations of freedom of press during the year, compared with cases over the same period in Jeansa —the practice of planting one-sided or favorable news coverage paid for by politicians or oligarchs—continued to be widespread.

Violence and Harassment : Violence against journalists remained a problem. Human rights groups and journalists criticized what they saw as government inaction in solving the crimes as giving rise to a growing culture of impunity. According to IMI, as of September 1, there had been 22 reports of attacks on journalists during the year, compared with 19 cases during the same period in As in , private, rather than state, actors perpetrated the majority of the attacks.

As of September 1, there were 24 incidents involving threats against journalists, as compared with 22 during the same period in IMI and editors of major independent news outlets also noted online harassment of journalists by societal actors, reflecting a growing societal intolerance of reporting deemed insufficiently patriotic, a development they asserted had the tacit support of the government.

According to Popov, Voychenko and an accomplice approached him at a restaurant to complain about his writing and then beat him. The journalist linked the attack to his critical publications about local authorities. Police opened an investigation into both Popov and his attackers, who had filed a complaint claiming that Popov had attacked them.

There were reports of police using violence and intimidation against journalists. For example in February 21, several female journalists seeking to attend the treason trial of former president Yanukovych reported that police officers forced them to undress and undergo invasive security checks in order to be granted entry to a courtroom where Poroshenko was testifying via video link.

Specifically, the female journalists were asked to remove all clothing above the waist so that police could confirm that they did not have political slogans written on their bodies. Police later indicated that they had been looking for members of the protest group Femen, who often conducted partially nude protests. There were reports of attacks on the offices of independent media outlets, generally by unidentified assailants. For example, on February 23, an unknown assailant burned the offices of the investigative news website Chetverta Vlada fourth Power in Rivne.

Police opened an investigation into the attack. Two perpetrators were identified and police issued a wanted notice. There were reports that government officials sought to pressure journalists through the judicial system. On September 18, an appeals court ruled to restrict the original request to geolocation data from around the offices of the NABU in Kyiv, but upheld the original timeframe.

In June authorities completed the investigation of the killing of Oles Buzyna, allegedly by members of a right-wing political group, and referred the case to court for trial. Court hearings against two suspects were underway as of September. Censorship or Content Restrictions : Human Rights organizations frequently criticized the government for taking an overly broad approach to banning books, television shows, and other content see sections on National Security and Internet Freedom.

As of July the list contained books. Both independent and state-owned media periodically engaged in self-censorship when reporting stories that might expose political allies to criticism or that might be perceived by the public as insufficiently patriotic or provide information that could be used for Russian propaganda.

While the law limits the monetary damages a plaintiff can claim in a lawsuit, local media observers continued to express concern over high monetary damages awarded for alleged libel. National Security : Authorities took measures to prohibit, regulate, and occasionally censor information deemed a national security threat, particularly those emanating from Russia and promoting pro-Russian lines, in the context of the ongoing conventional conflict in the Donbas, as well as the ongoing Russian disinformation and cyber campaigns.

The government continued the practice of banning specific works by Russian actors, film directors, and singers, as well as imposing sanctions on pro-Russian journalists. According to the State Film Agency, as of mid-September more than films and television shows had been banned on national security grounds since There were reports that the government used noncompliance with these content bans to pressure outlets it perceived as having a pro-Russian editorial policy.

On October 4, parliament approved a resolution to impose sanctions on television channels Ukraine and NewsOne due to their alleged pro-Russian activities and beneficial owners.

2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine

The resolution called for blocking of assets, suspension of licenses, a ban on the use of radio frequencies, and a termination of the provisions of telecommunication services and usage of general telecommunications networks. As of December sanctions had not yet come into force. Observers expressed doubts that this type of ban could be enforced. Media professionals continued to experience pressure from the SBU, the military, and other officials when reporting on sensitive issues, such as military losses.


The magazine reported that the two officials were the main beneficiaries of corruption schemes connected to state purchases of defense articles. The magazine refused to do so. There were reports that the government used national security grounds to arrest and prosecute journalists it believed had a pro-Russian editorial bias. Editor in Chief Kirill Vyshinskiy was arrested and charged with high treason. Pretrial investigation continued as of late September. Authorities continued to deport and bar entry to foreign journalists on national security grounds.

On July 10, border guards barred John Warren Graeme Broderip, a UK national and the host of the Russian channel NTV, from entering the country and imposed a three-year entry ban on him for violating the rules of entering occupied Crimea in Nongovernmental Impact : There were reports that nationalist hate groups committed attacks on journalists. For example according to IMI, on July 19, members of nationalist hate group C14 in Kyiv attacked a journalist covering a trial of C14 members who had been charged with attacking a Romani camp. Russia-led forces in the east harassed, arbitrarily detained, and mistreated journalists see section 1.

Law enforcement bodies monitored the internet, at times without appropriate legal authority, and took significant steps during the year to block access to websites. On May 14, the president endorsed new sanctions approved by the National Security and Defense Council that, among other things, obliged Ukrainian internet providers to block sites, in addition to those previously blocked. Meanwhile, Russia-led forces in the east have stepped up efforts to block content online perceived to be in support of Ukrainian government or cultural identity.

There were reports that the government prosecuted individuals for their posts on social media. For example, according to Freedom House, in February the SBU searched the home of a Chernihiv resident for allegedly posting anti-Ukrainian content on Russian social media platforms. On November 28, representatives of at least four Ukrainian human rights, media, and anticorruption organizations were notified by Google that their private and corporate Google accounts were attacked by offenders likely backed by the Russian government.

Ukrainian users received similar messages throughout Independent analysis indicated that a hacker group named Fancy Bear associated with the Russian Government was behind the attacks.

There were no reports of government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events. The government maintained a list of Russian or pro-Russian musicians, actors, and other cultural figures that it prohibited from entering the country on national security grounds.

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The constitution provides for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights. The constitution provides for the freedom of peaceful assembly, and the government generally respected this right. There are no laws, however, regulating the process of organizing and conducting events to provide for the right, and authorities have wide discretion under a Soviet-era directive to grant or refuse permission for assemblies on grounds of protecting public order and safety.

Organizers are required to inform authorities in advance of plans for protests or demonstrations. During the year citizens generally exercised the right to assemble peacefully without restriction in areas of the country under government control.

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