Ukraine's far-right attack Canadian journalist during transgender rights demo in Kyiv

Source : 112 Ukraine

Michael Colborne got a punch in the face, his glasses were broken; the police not only supported, but also physically removed activists from an event sanctioned by the city - Michael Colborne
18:22, 18 November 2018

Christopher Miller

Far-right opponents of the March in support of transgender people in Kyiv attacked Canadian journalist Michael Colborne, he wrote on Twitter

"During the time I uploaded my tweets, I’ve been assaulted twice. Great job, Kyiv. Great job," wrote Colborne.

When a man found out that the journalist was a foreigner, man told him to return to his homeland. Colborn also reported on two injured girls. 

The far-right protesters lit smoke bombs and threw them into the crowd, an Agence France-Presse journalist at the scene noted.

Another journalist, Christopher Miller, said that the work of the police was not good enough, since it was the marchers who were pushed into the subway hall and not the people who tried to disrupt this action.

"The journalist (Michael Colborne - ed.) got punch in the face, his glasses were broken by the radicals who disrupted today's rally for transgender rights, because the police not only supported, but also physically removed activists from an event sanctioned by the city," Miller wrote.

Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Vashchuk responded to the beating of a journalist. He said that the actions of right-wing radicals require an effective response from law enforcement agencies. Vashchuk noted that the police had already demonstrated their training during previous LGBT actions in Kyiv and now must reaffirm their commitment to protecting human rights.

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In addition, the transgender rights activists were forced to stop their rally after far-right counterdemonstrators assaulted the protesters and Michael Colborne.

NewsOne TV channel journalists were streaming the rally against the Transgender Day of Remembrance, while their activities were hampered by members of far-right groups (spewed in the face of the correspondent), as well as by Ukrainian MP Oksana Korchynska (Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko), who requested journalists to leave the event. Oksana Korchynska is a wife of Ukraine's far-right Bratstvo’s party leader Dmytro Korchynsky.

UN monitoring mission for human rights reported that Ukraine experienced an increase in the number of attacks against journalists in 210% compared to the previous reporting period of 16 February to 15 May 2018. 

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