Blood stains, abandoned children’s toys and scattered personal belongings: this is what remains of a Roma camp that came under violent attack last week in western Ukraine, leaving one man dead and three others – including a 10-year-old boy – injured.
Police have detained a dozen suspects, most of them teenagers attending Lviv high schools, and one 20-year-old, understood to be the organizer of the attack. They identified themselves as members of an ultra right-wing organization “Sober and Angry Youth.” The group has a Telegram channel and a YouTube channel named “Lemberg Jugend,” which features racist and neo-Nazi content.
Staff at one of the Lviv schools, where five of the suspected perpetrators studied, told Hromadske they were shocked that their students were capable of such violent behavior.
This is the fifth widely reported attack on the Roma community within the last two months and the first involving a fatality. While police are treating the latest incident as murder, most of these attacks have been classified as “hooliganism.” The lack of police response to these incidents has prompted backlash from human rights groups, who have called on law enforcement authorities to step up their response to hate crime.
Rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have documented at least two dozen attacks on groups, including the Roma and LGBT communities, since the start of the year.
/By Ostap Yarysh