The latest reports of an insolent night attack on a Roma settlement in the Lviv region caused horror and indignation. This is not the first case of a hate crime against the Roma community, but this time its consequence was the loss of a human life, which is of greatest value and is the basis of all other human rights.
We join the joint statement of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Secretariat of the Interagency Working Group on the realization of the plan of measures for implementation of the Strategy for the Protection and Integration into the Ukrainian Society of Roma National Minorities for the period up to 2020, and we believe that the latest attack on the representatives of the Roma community should be considered immediately at a meeting of this working group with participation of law enforcement officials.
Recent reports by the National Police about the arrest of suspects in the attack, its organizers, and the direct control over the investigation by the leadership of the National Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs give reason to hope that these actions with clear signs of crime will not remain unpunished.
Establishing the truth and bringing to justice the perpetrators of crimes is what the Ukrainian society so urgently needs today. It is also an important part of the international legal obligations of Ukraine under many international treaties that our country is a party to - starting with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Reaffirmation of our commitment to these obligations is a matter of honor for the country that has been protecting its right to democratic values by fighting Russian military aggression for almost five years.
It is regrettable to note that in recent years, anti-migrant, anti-Roma attitudes have intensified in Europe, which in particular results in discrimination, persecution and hate crimes against Roma communities and their individual members. Reports of reputable international organizations record the fact that in the richest region of the world, the Roma continue to suffer from the inability to meet their basic needs and to enjoy their basic rights. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not an exception, thus, we must actively work on developing a real pan-European policy to overcome these negative trends and become part of this policy.
Ukraine faces many challenges today, but overcoming discrimination against the Roma, eliminating the root causes of such discrimination and, consequently, eliminating ethnic-based violence is an extremely important and urgent task for the Ukrainian State.