Increase of violent far-right attacks against the Roma in Ukraine

Members of a far-right group proudly filmed themselves destroying a Roma camp in Kiev– marking the second such attack by militant nationalists against Roma living in Ukraine’s capital in the past two months.

Ukraine’s National Police said in a statement released after the incident that they were actively investigating the case of “hooliganism.” But Ukrainian law enforcement has been conspicuously unresponsive to similar attacks carried out by right-wing paramilitaries.

In April, members of the right-wing extremist group C14 attacked a Roma camp situated in Kiev, throwing stones and pepper spraying, as men, women and children fled their makeshift settlement.

UNITED firmly condemns the recent violent actions against the Roma in Ukraine. The Roma, being the most often discriminated and the most segregated nation in Europe, deserves better treatment in all European countries, without a doubt, and recent events in Ukraine especially demand more attention from civil society and institutions.

“Despite the difficult times in the country, the growing popularity of violent far-right groups, the restrictive laws against various minorities and physical violence is unacceptable and must be stopped. This trend requires monitoring and firm reaction from OSCE, the EU and the Council of Europe”, says Balint Josa, Programme Coordinator of UNITED.

Some of UNITED’s supporter organisations in Ukraine already monitor the most notorious extremist groups that are suspects of crimes such as arson, group beatings of minorities, threatening and insulting human rights defenders and hate speech, among many other crimes. A list of such groups can be found here.

Read more about the details of recent events in Ukraine here and here.

Image: @EuroMaydan, Youtube