When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Ukrainian civic society leaders on Friday, they won’t include LGBT activists.
The State Department determined which leaders were invited to the meeting, but offered no further explanation.
As a result, Pompeo won’t get to hear about a troubling surge of anti-LGBT hate crimes and violence in Ukraine, which police have failed to properly investigate, or the community’s struggle for recognition from the government.
The Daily Beast reports: So Pompeo will not see any of the documentation from PrideHub, a community center on Podylskyi Lane in the center of Kharkiv. He’ll miss, for instance, the video footage of far-right activists pouring animal blood all over the center’s door a few weeks ago; and of somebody in a balaclava writing “Death to LGBT” on the same door in December. … After every incident, leaders of the LGBTQ community ask police to investigate the attacks. Without visible results. This year, the official answer from the Interior Ministry said the incidents on Nov. 11, Nov. 26, and Dec. 16 near PrideHub, “have been registered” and police are going to make efforts to identify the perpetrators. But the LGBTQ community has heard this before. “Police have closed down several previous investigations into the attacks on us by far-right groups who used tear gas and smoke grenades against us,” Sharyhina said. “Nobody has been punished. That means violence is not going to stop.”