Prosecutor General of Ukraine
Minister of the Interior of Ukraine
Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
Mayor of Kyiv
In Kyiv, the events that are characterized by ethnic cleansing take place, namely the force expulsion of inhabitants of natural Roma settlements and other nationalities and burning their tents where they have lived.
The first incident had occurred on March 31 at the housing estate “Novobilychi” (Svyatoshinskyi District) and the second – on April 5 near the Nyzhniy Telbyn Lake (next to Sortuvalna and Kanalna Streets). In total, about 300 people of different nationalities inhabited these two settlements.
Victims said that one of the reasons was the fact that highway and railway are situated close to their settlements, and this is not desirable to show the spontaneous settlements in these territories to guests of Eurovision. At first, unknown persons warned residents that the settlement would be burned and offered to collect their possessions and to move to the places of permanent residence. Those, who agreed, seated on a bus and were taken to the station where they got tickets and went away in different places. The fate of those, who remained is unknown. Tents, where these people lived, were set on fire. In particular, the settlement, near the Nyzhniy Telbyn Lake, was burned again tentatively on April 11, cleaning everything that remained completely. Now there is only black burned area.
Such cases are not a new phenomenon for Ukraine. For example, in Ukraine, on the eve of the football championship Euro-2012, settlements of Roma and other nationalities were burned in Berezniaky in Kyiv (near the Bereznyakivska Street). The victims-witnesses of the incident said that law enforcement officers were involved: they took people out of the tents, took pictures of half-dressed men, set their tents and documents on fire, fired into the air and demanded to leave the village because of the large public event in Kyiv, etc.
Then, some victims asked the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights for the support. UHHRU together with the Ukraine-wide Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine” submitted applications concerning the offense to the Chief of the Main Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine in Kyiv and Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office with the above-described facts. They asked to conduct verification and to initiate criminal proceedings against the guilty persons. In the absence of an effective investigation of the crime, victims with the support of UHHRU lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights; the case is now being communicated.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Ukraine-wide Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine”, the International Renaissance Fund, the International NGO “International Union”, the Congress of Ethnic Communities of Ukraine, the Assembly of Nationalities of Ukraine, the Council of National Communities of Ukraine, the International Charity Fund “Roma Women Fund “Chirikli”, and the NGO “Center Right” resolutely condemn these methods of preparation for any event and demand to conduct a thorough investigation into this crime and to bring to justice all those responsible.
Against the background, the official Eurovision slogan “Celebrate diversity” looks mockingly; pogroms of natural settlements of Roma and other nationalities can destroy the positive image of Ukraine in the eyes of the world community.
Arkadiy Bushchenko, Executive Director of the Civic Union “Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union”
Petro Hryhorichenko, President of the Ukraine-wide Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine”
Yevhen Bystrytskyi, Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation
Danil Goncharov, President of the International NGO “International Union”
Yosyf Zisels, Executive Vice President of the Congress of Ethnic Communities of Ukraine
Ravshan Tahiiev, President of the Assembly of Nationalities of Ukraine
Ashot Avanesian, Chairman of the Council of National Communities of Ukraine
Yuliia Condor, President of the International Charity Fund “Roma Women Fund “Chirikli”
Petro Burlachenko, Head of the NGO “Center Right”
Photos – the Human Rights Information Center