ERGO Network Statement on recent neo-Nazi attack against a Roma camp in Ukraine

02/05/218 – Brussels, Belgium

The European Roma Grassroots Organizations (ERGO) Network strongly condemns the recent neo-Nazi attack against a Roma camp that took place on April 21 in Lysa Hora, Ukraine dispersing and setting fire to Roma families’ tents. The criminal investigation of the violent dispersal has been initiated after days of negligence and implausible denial by Kyiv police forces, which is yet another example of pure antigypsyism.

As an international Roma and pro-Roma network with 28 member organizations from all over Europe advocating for better policies for Roma and fighting against antigypsyism, we believe it is our duty to step up and call on the following actors to take further steps and measures to restore democratic functioning and institutions, to enforce the fundamental rights of the Roma people and to express our worrying concerns related to extreme right wing activism.

Our claims are listed, as follows:

1.     ERGO Network urgently calls on President Petro Porosenko and the Ukrainian government to speak out against the targeted far right attack and potential similar attacks on Roma, condemning all forms of bias motivation, violence and extreme right ideologies threatening Roma people.

2.     The public condemnation of police negligence and omission, and the call for transparent, impartial, objective and time-bound legal procedures and investigations.  We strongly claim to conduct proper investigation that complies with the rule of law, as well as fair and equal treatment and other fundamental principles.

3.     ERGO Network calls on the respective Ukrainian authorities and international non-governmental organizations to more effectively monitor far right, extremist, and neo-Nazi riots, marches, gatherings and all other forms of activities and movements (online and offline) that are able to pose a threat, denounce, verbally or physically attack, thus violate the fundamental human rights of the Roma people.

4.     ERGO Network calls for the engagement of the European Union to have a stronger position in condemning the Ukrainian neo-Nazi attack against Roma, as well as human rights violations and antigypsyism that is very much present in Europe.