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Ukraine: The glitter of Eurovision should not eclipse human rights abuses

    May 12, 2017

    The Grand Finale of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv on 13 May is a key opportunity to shine a light on Ukraine’s outstanding human rights concerns, Amnesty International said.

    “Millions of people across the world will revel in this dazzling music event which is associated with the values of peace, democracy, tolerance and human rights solidarity. While Kyiv is preparing for its big event on Saturday, it is crucial to keep in mind the pressing human rights issues that are being swept under the carpet. The Ukrainian authorities have a chance to demonstrate to the world their commitment to addressing these issues and to act for positive change,” said Oksana Pokalchuk, Director of Amnesty International Ukraine.

    Amnesty International spokespeople are available for interview on the human rights situation in Ukraine, including:

    Discrimination against LGBTIQ people across Ukraine. Despite the first-ever successful and violence-free Pride event in Kyiv last year, other parts of the country see ongoing discrimination and hate crimes.

    • The lack of accountability for grave ongoing violations by both sides in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, now in its fourth year.

    The plight of internally displaced persons, including restrictions on movement and lack of access to state services.

    • The grim situation for freedom of expression, assembly and association in Crimea since Russia annexed it in 2014. The de facto authorities continue a campaign of repression of all opposition, in particular the Crimean Tatar population.

    Media under pressure, especially outlets espousing pro-Russian or pro-separatist views, as well as killings of prominent journalists in the past year.

    For more information, please refer to Ukraine’s chapter in the Amnesty International Report 2016/2017.

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    For media requests, please contact: Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations: jkuehn@amnesty.ca // 613-744-7667 x 236