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Roma of Loshchynivka will sue the village head and police
Lawyer Iuliia Lisova. Photo by UHHRU.
Lawyer Iuliia Lisova.

The Odesa appellate court made the first-instance court start the case of the Roma victims of pogroms in Loshchynivka.

Let us remind that in the night from 27 to 28 August 2016 in the village of Loshchynivka, Izmail district of Odesa region, the locals revolted with murder of the girl staged pogroms of Roma housing. The police did not interfere in the actions of the rioters, and the village head Viktor Paskalov at a community meeting stated that “representatives of the Romani people commit crimes in the village” and through this “they need to be evicted”. Thereafter, the head together with the villagers wrote the so-called “Decision No. 1 of the meeting of citizens of the village of Loshchynivka”, which demanded to deport the Roma.

On January 4, 2017 seven victims of the Roma appealed to the Odesa district administrative court with the claim to recognize the inactivity of the National Police of Odesa region and the head of the village council as illegal, and to pay them moral damages. On January 10, the administrative court refused to hear the case, because it was about a criminal offense, which the administrative court cannot consider, because it is not in its competence.

On April 13, 2017 the appellate court of Odesa issued a ruling, which overturned the previous decision of the Odesa district administrative court dated by January 10, 2017, and also decided to send the case to the court of first instance for further consideration. In the text of the definition, the court stated: “The subject of the dispute in this case is to appeal against the inaction of officials of the National Police in the Odesa region, which is associated with not reporting about committed or planned crime, and occurred with the direct performance of official duties on protection of a public order and involved the failure to ensure the safety of Ukrainian citizens during mass events”. The decision of the court of appeals is final and not appealable.

The lawyer Iuliia Lisova, who cooperates with the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and protects the interests of victims in court, said that the Roma object to the disclosure of their names and deny any and all comments on this matter.

Iuliia Lisova believes that in Ukraine there is a positive practice of dealing with such cases. For example, the trial of police inaction during riots in Gorky Park in Kharkiv, which was attended by UHHRU lawyers. Then the inaction of the police was also illegal. Therefore, the trial on events in Loshchynivka has good chances.

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