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F 2nd: Ukraine Roma attacks

HUMAN rights groups are demanding an “urgent investigation” after Ukrainian far-right nationalists torched a Roma camp, throwing stones at women and children as they fled.  

Members of the neonazi C14 group “wreaked havoc” in the  capital Kiev’s Goloseevsky district, setting fire to 15 tents and forcing the Roma to leave.

They boasted about their actions on social media, claiming to have “disposed of the litter” and “safely burnt” the tents, describing their attacks as “convincing and legal arguments.”

Footage posted online showed the neonazis chasing a group of Roma, using gas canisters on women and children.

Amnesty International’s Ukrainian office director Oksana Pokalchuk said that a number of people were injured in the attack and she accused the fascist group of using “bladed weapons and possibly even firearms.”

A statement by the NGO claimed that police who arrived on the scene told the Roma that the camp was burning and advised them to leave Kiev as soon as possible.

Ukrainian authorities have been accused of turning a blind eye to rising neonazi attacks in the country.  The C14 group are closely associated with the far-right Svoboda party and two of its members are suspected of involvement in the 2015 murder of journalist Oles Buzina.

Ms Pokalchuk said that, by continuing to ignore the actions of fascists, Ukrainian authorities give them a “feeling of impunity.”

“It is important to understand that anyone could become a target of such attacks — Roma, women, anti-corruption activists, Jews, the LGBT [community], as well as journalists, artists, students or writers,”  she said.

A group of 57 US Congress members have asked Secretary of State John Sullivan to put pressure on Ukraine over “state-sponsored Holocaust denial” and “glorification of nazi collaborators, including Stepan Bandera.”

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