Protect LGBTI activist Vitalina Koval
Vitalina Koval has been central to the LGBTI community in Ukraine. She helped set up a community centre - a safe space for LGBTI people within the growing hostility of the country.
During the International Women’s Day March in Ukraine in 2017, Vitalina was attacked by a dozen young men, who charged at her and other protesters – tearing up their posters and shouting threats. Vitalina tried to file a police report. The police ignored her.
Vitalina wanted to attend the 2018 Women’s March, this time going to the police in advance for protection. They said she’d be fine. But during the march, two men and four women from far-right group ‘Karpatska Sich’ threw red paint all over Vitalina. Her eyes began to hurt immediately. She suffered from chemical burns.
“I felt pain, shock and fear: ‘I could go blind!’ … These long minutes it hurt, and I couldn't get the thought that I could lose my sight out of my head”
Since then, Vitalina’s friends have received threatening messages and even been followed home. They don’t feel safe.
Vitalina is a determined activist – but she is at risk. She needs your support.
Sign this petition calling on Minister of Interior, Arsen Avakov, to publicly recognise the vital role of Vitalina and other activists who defend women and LGBTI rights in #Ukraine, and protect them from attacks by far-right groups.