Ukraine LGBTQ activists hold rave to demand govt punish attacks

Kiev (AFP) –


Dozens of people took part in a rave party outside the Ukrainian president's office Friday to demand the authorities protect LGBTQ rights, sparking scuffles between police and right-wing protesters trying to prevent the event.

Organisers accused the authorities of "doing nothing about the violence" from right-wing groups and in a Facebook posting demanded investigations into past attacks and legislation to combat discrimination.

"Deprived of the protection of the state, we use the only effective tool of direct democracy left to us -- protest," they said.

"And our protest will be loud and noticeable."

Although the Gay Pride takes place every year in Kiev, it does so with a heavy police presence as homophobia is still very present in the former Soviet republic.

The rave had to be delayed after far-right activists tried to stop it.

Two were briefly detained after a scuffle with police, the police said.

Afterwards, young people -- some waving rainbow flags -- danced to electro music played by DJs.

The organisers also linked their event to what they said was "real police repression" of the electronic music scene that "makes the country dangerous for its citizens and unattractive for foreign guests".

In addition to demanding reforms of the police, prosecutors and judiciary, they also called for probes into "illegal raids on the techno scene of the capital and brutal illegal detentions of cultural figures".