Ukrainian Police Must Stop Targeting Roma
20 October 2011
Budapest, 20 October 2011: Today, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) sent a letter urging the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the conduct of law enforcement officials engaged in targeting Romani residents with unlawful discriminatory identity checks, including fingerprinting and verification of documents in Lviv, during September and October 2011.
Romani individuals in Lviv have reportedly been subject to specific measures to collect personal, identifying information, in the absence of any allegation of involvement in criminal activities. Police have reportedly inquired about Roma in the process of regular checks of public places, taking measures to check the identity documents of any Romani person found. Some of those Romani individuals who were subject to checks were also taken to the police stations, where they were fingerprinted, photographed and some were beaten up.
Such actions, targeting individuals without reasonable suspicion raises serious concern under Ukrainian law, including the Constitution, as well the country’s obligations under international treaties.
Accordingly, the ERRC requested that the Public Prosecutor of Ukraine launch a prompt and thorough investigation into the conduct and legality of the law enforcement officials in Lviv, take all measures to end any illegal or discriminatory measures and hold the responsible persons accountable.
The full text of the ERRC letter is available in English and Russian.
For further information contact:
ERRC Media and Communications Officer