Accessibility links

UN Rights Office Slams Ukraine's 'Gay Propaganda' Legislation

Rupert Colville: "Clearly discriminatory"

Rupert Colville: "Clearly discriminatory"

United Nations human rights officials are urging Ukrainian lawmakers to reconsider proposed legislation under which people convicted of “promotion of homosexuality” could face prison.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the legislation was “clearly discriminatory” and counter to Ukraine’s commitments to freedom of expression and fundamental human rights.

The bill, passed by lawmakers in a first reading on October 2, envisions prison terms of up to five years for people convicted of publicly spreading a positive depiction of homosexuality.

President Viktor Yanukovych has not indicated whether he will sign the measure into law if it is passed in a second reading.

Ukrainian and Western human rights groups have denounced the legislation as an echo of Soviet times, when homosexuality was a criminal offense.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP