Sphere NGO

Sphere NGO har kæmpet for LGBTI- og kvinderettigheder siden 2006, og er blandt de ældste organisationer af deres art i Ukraine. Organisationen er grundlagt af aktivisterne Anna Sharyhina og Vira Chernygina og tilbyder kvinder og LGBTI-personer et sikkert sted at opholde sig i Kharkiv, Ukraines næststørste by.

Selvom Ukraine betragtes som et af de mere progressive post-sovjetiske lande i forhold til LGBTI-rettigheder, tager myndighederne fortsat ikke det stigende problem med hadforbrydelser alvorligt.

I takt med at der opstår flere og flere grupper, der er imod LGBTI-rettigheder, har Sphere oplevet adskillige angreb. Spheres tilhængere og lokaler udpeges, der er blevet urineret på deres vægge, tørret afføring på dørhåndtagene, vinduer er blevet brudt op, og folk har råbt homofobiske kampråb mod dem. Selvom Anna og Vira melder de mange angreb til politiet, bliver ingen stillet til ansvar.

I 2019 organiserede Sphere Kharkivs første Pride nogensinde. På trods af trusler og chikane gennemførte Sphere en meget vellykket parade, hvor op mod 3.000 mennesker deltog. Men politiet formåede ikke at beskytte paradedeltagerne mod vold. I stedet tog flere af betjentene del i de homofobiske tilsvininger af Pride-deltagerne.

Anna og Vira siger, at politiets passivitet over for de konstante angreb betyder, at Sphere og deres tilhængere lever i en permanent frygttilstand.

Jeg vil have, at de, der angriber os, holdes ansvarlige i overensstemmelse med loven” siger Anna.

Kræv at Ukraine stiller Spheres overgrebsmænd for retten.

Sphere NGO have been championing LGBTI and women’s rights since 2006, and are among the oldest organisations of their kind in the country. Founded by activists Anna Sharyhina and Vira Chernygina, they provide a safe space for women and LGBTI people in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. 

Although Ukraine is considered one of the most progressive post-Soviet countries on LGBTI rights, it’s still failing to address the growing rate of hate crimes.

As groups targeting LGBTI people have proliferated across the country, Sphere have suffered numerous discriminatory attacks. These groups have set upon Sphere’s supporters and premises, urinating on their walls, daubing faeces on the doorknobs, breaking windows and chanting homophobic slogans at them. There have been dozens of attacks like these. Anna and Vira report them to the police, but no one is held accountable.

In 2019, Sphere organised Kharkiv’s first Pride ever. Despite threats and intimidation, Sphere created a hugely successful event attended by up to 3,000 people. But the police failed to protect marchers from violence, instead joining in by hurling homophobic abuse.

Anna and Vira say that police inaction in the face of constant attacks has left Sphere and their supporters in a permanent state of fear.

I want our attackers to be held accountable in accordance with the law” says Anna. Add your voice to Anna and Vira’s.

Tell Ukraine to bring Sphere’s attackers to justice.