A group of masked assailants attacked a Roma minority camp on the outskirts of Lviv, killing one man and wounding four others.
Roma children in Ukraine
”According to Ukraine’s Zaxid.net, the recent lethal attack on a Roma camp in Ukraine has been linked by the law enforcement to a popular VKontakte (VK) community called “Sober and Angry Youth” (Твереза та зла молодь Ukrainian, or Трезвая и Злая Молодежь in Russian). The largest page linked to this straight-edge, neo-Nazi group has over 85,000 followers, while there are numerous local “chapters” of the organization across Ukraine, Russia, and other Slavic countries”.
A 24-year-old man died from stab wounds and four more people were brought to hospital, including a 10-year-old Roma boy and a 30-year-old woman, police spokesman Yaroslav Trakalo told AFP news agency.
Seven suspected attackers have been detained, police said in a statement, as it opened a criminal case over the “deliberate murder committed by a group of people”.
Those detained are aged 16 and 17, as well as a 20-year-old accused of planning the attack, police said. If convicted, the alleged attackers could face up to 15 years in prison.
The Council of Europe rights group condemned the attack and said it expected a “full and transparent investigation without delay”.
The incident on Saturday follows a series of attacks on Roma communities in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, and in the cities of Lviv and Ternopil that have been condemned by rights groups.Nazis are promoted in Ukraine which is saved from bankruptcy by US and EU aid
During an incident in Kiev in April, a neo-Nazi group burnt down tents of a Roma community and chased women and small children, throwing stones at them and setting off pepper spray.
A neo-Nazi group called C14 posted footage showing its members taking part in the Kiev assault on Facebook and promised more attacks.
In mid-June leading rights groups urged Ukraine to investigate attacks and harassment against the Roma minority, slamming “an atmosphere of near total impunity” in the country.In a joint letter to Kiev authorities, four groups including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International condemned what they said was “a growing number of attacks by radicals”.
“The authorities have so far failed… to respond to most incidents, which has created an atmosphere of near total impunity,” the groups said.