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Zolotonosha: details of conflict between Roma and police
Meetings of Roma in Zolotonosha, photo was made before yesterday's events. Photo: website of NGO “Romani Rota"
Meetings of Roma in Zolotonosha, photo was made before yesterday's events.

In the morning of October 30 all Roma detained by police were released. It happened only after publicity in mass media, intervention of civil society activists and human rights activists. All of them urge to give a law assessment to illegal actions of law enforcement concerning Roma of Zolotonosha.

Let us remind that as a result of the conflict between local Roma and police in the night of October 30 in Zolotonosha of Cherkasy region the manhunt on Roma began. The head of Cherkasy regional public organization "Romani Rota" Vladimir Bambula reported about it through colleagues and journalists of Chiriklo Romani Radio. Law enforcement broke into the houses and took away men into the unknown direction.

“People wearing masks, with the weapon rushed into Romani dwellings in the dead of night, having frightened children and women. Just men and young guys were taken away. In general that night over 30 people were detained. Roma families were constantly calling me, people were scared with what had happened, were worrying about their detained relatives”, Vladimir Bambula told "Legal Space".

Roma activist note that persons who broke into Romani houses, did not present search permissions or perform other operation actions that testified to the facts of use of force and beating Roma by police, in particular, by regional law enforcement.

People were released only after publicity in mass media and interventions of human rights activists. In particular, Vice President of CF “Chirikli” Zemfira Kondur at once asked the Authorized Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada for help. Not in view of late time, the Representative Valeria Lutkovska and the staff of the Office - Mikhail Chaplyga and Yuriy Bilousov undertook to solve a problem. Due to joint efforts of not indifferent journalists and human rights activists at midnight the mass detention of Roma stopped.

In the morning on October 30 human rights activists published a post on Facebook page of CF “Chirikli” with the requirement to give a law assessment to illegal actions of policemen of Zolotonosha in regard to Roma residents.

"The city of Zolotonosha is not the only city where law enforcement exceeds the authority and violates human rights. Also it doesn't promote performance of the Roma Strategy, intimidating Romani population that is often unaware of their rights. Last year such violations of Roma rights were recorded in Odessa region – in Izmail, in Zakarpattya - in Uzhgorod".

“Such inadmissible methods do not remain out of sight of world human rights organizations”, Zemfira Kondur told. “It should be noted that during the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of OSCE in Warsaw on September 30, 2015 it dealt with that OSCE participating states had to do more to reduce the level of discrimination and to prevent violence from law enforcement concerning Roma”.

Human rights activists consider disproportionate or excessive use of force from police in OSCE countries to be the result of bias and negative stereotypes about Roma in society.

Legal Space follows the developments, reaction of officials and the public on the incident in Zolotonosha. Information is updated.

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