Elton John urges Ukraine to protect gays
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 02 July 2012
Sir Elton John has called on Ukraine to halt the victimisation of gay people following a spate of attacks in the country.
During a concert on Saturday night, Sir Elton said: "I plead with you. Stop the violence against gay people." His appeal follows Human Rights Watch's call on the Ukraine authorities to investigate a brutal attack on a gay rights activist.
The 65-year-old musician was performing as part of the Euro 2012 football championship, which was co-hosted in the country, and finished last night with the final in the capital, Kiev.
Sir Elton is a regular visitor to the country, and the crowds cheered as he claimed it was his "second home". Yet he said: "Recently I read about violence against gay people in Ukraine. Beating up gay people is wrong. This for me does not symbolise Ukraine."
A gay pride march was cancelled shortly before the start of the tournament on 8 June, following threats of violence, with three organisers were attacked.
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