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Ukrainian authorities should step up their efforts to stop attacks against Roma and human rights defenders

Statement
Strasbourg 25/06/2018
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On Saturday night, a group of masked men attacked a Roma camp in western Ukraine, killing one young person and injuring four others, including a child. I wish to express my condolences to the family of the person killed and I hope that the injured will soon recover.

I urge the Ukrainian authorities to step up their efforts to stop these attacks and prosecute those responsible. Saturday’s attack is just the latest of several violent raids by radical groups against Roma and human rights defenders in Ukraine in the last two months.

I have been informed by human rights defenders that the response to violence and intimidation aimed against Roma has in many cases been indifferent or ineffective. I therefore call upon the Ukrainian authorities to invest more in prevention efforts and prosecute and hold to account the perpetrators of such violent acts. The arrest of several people allegedly connected with Saturday’s raid is a step in the right direction. We cannot allow impunity for hate crimes to prevail. I intend to engage in a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities to this end and will continue to follow the situation closely.