One man has been killed and four people injured following an attack on a Roma camp in western Ukraine on June 23.
Lviv regional police reported that a group of masked men attacked the camp located in a forest on the outskirts of Lviv at 11:25 p.m.
A 24-year-old Roma man from the Transcarpathian region died from fatal stab wounds while a 10-year-old boy, two 19-year-old men and a 30-year-old woman were injured during the attack.
Police have arrested seven people in their late teens and a 20-year-old in connection with the deadly assault. Authorities are treating the incident as a deliberate murder.
Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi condemned the attack. He called for a high-quality investigation into the attack and for punishment of those involved in the murder.
He added that the wounded 10-year-old boy and the 30-year-old woman have been released from the hospital while the 19-year-old man remains in a serious condition in hospital.
According to Mykola Yurchenko, head of non-government organization "Roma of Ukraine Ternipe", the victims have been taken to a homeless shelter in Lviv.
This is the fifth widely reported attack on the Roma community within the recent two month period and the first fatal one.
Earlier this month members of far-right militia National Druzhyna destroyed a Roma camp in Kyiv, smashing their belongings and huts with hammers as residents fled the site.
In May, a group of people attacked a Roma camp in Ternopil. It followed another incident where a group of people burned down a Roma camp in the village of Rudne in the Lviv region.
Prior to that, on April 22, members of the right-wing extremist organization С14 set fire to a Roma camp at Lysa Hora in Kyiv.
The majority of incidents have been classified as “hooliganism.”
Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have been calling for Ukrainian authorities to address the increasing violence from radical groups, who have been behind at least two dozens attacks on the Roma community, LGBT and women’s rights activists since the start of the year.
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/By Natalie Vikhrov