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Two police hurt in attack on LGBT rally in Ukraine

AFP  |  Kiev 

Two Ukrainian policemen were hospitalised after they tried to disperse about 30 young men who attacked a rally by gay and transgender rights activists in the eastern city of Kharkiv, enforcement officials said today.

Video footage from the event released by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty showed hooded hooligans burning an LGBT rainbow flag and attacking the event's participants as well as the police outside a building.

The Kharkiv police told the Interfax-Ukraine agency that they arrested four of the assailants on Wednesday. They face up to five years in jail if convicted of using force against enforcement officials.

The incident came less than a week after Kiev hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual television extravaganza embraced by the LGBT community, held this year under the "Celebrate Diversity" motto.

Anti-homosexual sentiments still run high in Ukraine and several gay pride parades have been banned across the former Soviet republic in recent years.

But larger cities such as Kiev and Kharkiv have attempted to show more tolerance by permitting various LGBT events to take place.

The organisers of the Kharkiv gathering said they were attempting to draw attention to homophobia in society.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 18 2017. 13:42 IST