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The first victory in criminal case of Loshchynivka
Volodymyr Kondur. Photo by Roma Human Rights Centre.
Volodymyr Kondur.

The lawyer, head of the Roma Human Rights Center Volodymyr Kondur told about the first victory in the criminal case on antiRoma pogroms in the village of Loshchynivka, Odesa region, on 18 January 2016. The court reversed the decision of the investigator of Prosecutor's office on non-recognition of the Roma as victims.

The first legal achievement in the criminal case of Loshchynivka was reported in the Protection of Roma Rights Facebook group.

"A small victory in a criminal case of Loshchynivka – the Prosecutor's office of Odesa region refused the Roma in recognition of the status of the victims. We filed a complaint in court and defended the rights of the Roma victims. We are waiting for the court order. The issues of ensuring the rights of national minorities and their security in Ukraine by the authorities are relevant and important. We must remember that Ukraine is home to about 135 national races, representatives of almost all of them are living in the Odesa region", the lawyer wrote.

The lawyers received the decision from prosecutors that the Roma applicants cannot be considered victims in connection with absence at the moment of the criminal investigation and any loss suffered by the Roma. And supposedly it is yet to be proven. According to lawyers, it is against the law and they filed a complaint. The court recognized the status of the Roma as "victims".

“Next, they will consider 5 complaints of the same nature – for each Roma. But we have a precedent and it must be successful at this stage”, the lawyer predicts.

It is worth noting that Volodymyr Kondur is also a chairman of the Coalition of Roma NGOs in Ukraine. It was one of the first to respond to the conflict in Loshchynivka: issued a statement which indicated that antiRoma pogroms are inciting ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination and humiliation of human dignity. At the same time the Coalition prepared a lawsuit and an appeal to the head of administration of Izmail district, Interior Minister of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as in cooperation with International Renaissance Foundation initiated holding a press conference regarding the riots in Loshchynivka.

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