‘Constantly pursued’: Ukraine’s LGBT+ activists attacked online and in the street

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08/03/2021

For days, death threats and homophobic insults have been pouring into Sofiia Lapina’s messaging inbox – a constant reminder of the hatred she often encounters as an LGBT+ rights activist in Ukraine. Members of a far-right channel on the Telegram messaging app published Lapina’s phone number last month, and – following a series of recent attacks on the LGBT+ community – she is on edge. Some people have tracked down her address, too. “They photographed my balcony, the entrance to my building, and they’ve been sending it all to me,” she said. “It’s difficult to sleep, knowing that people have declared (they are hunting) you.” Ukraine legalised gay sex in 1991, but conservative elements in the mainly Orthodox Christian nation often speak out against rights for LGBT+ people, and members of the far-right regularly target groups and events linked to the community.

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