Ethnically and racially motivated cases of violence are not effectively investigated or tried by courts in Ukraine, with almost one half of the victims preferring not to contact the law enforcement agencies, rights activists say.
“The ‘Diversity Initiative’ network registered ten events of violent actions suspected of racial motivation, which affected 17 people in the first nine months of 2015. The victims include 13 expatriates coming from Nigeria, Ghana, Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan, the DR Congo, as well as Ukrainian citizens of Tajik and Jewish origins, the Muslim religion and of a mixed parentage,” the expert on counteracting racism and xenophobia at the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine, Yana Salakhova, told a press conference in the Interfax-Ukraine office in Kyiv.
These cases were recorded in four cities: four in Kyiv, four in Kharkiv, two in Dnipropetrovsk and one in Odesa, she said.
Nine such victims complained to the police and one case was dismissed, Salakhova said. All the other victims refused to file complaints with the law enforcement authorities. Salakhova pointed out that only one of all the documented cases contained hatred motive in the description of the nature of the offence.
“The main characteristic of this kind of crime is the fact that the attacker expresses intolerance – not just towards a certain individual, but to the entire community of such people possessing certain features,” Salakhova said.
The levels of the expression of anti-Semitism are relatively stable in the country, the Co-Coordinator of the Group for the Monitoring of Ethnic Minorities’ Rights in Ukraine Tetiana Bezruk said. “According to preliminary estimates by the National Minority Rights Monitoring Group in Ukraine, only one case of physical violence based on hatred, in which some anti-Semitic rhetoric was used, took place in 2015,” she said.
The Group recorded 13 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism in Kyiv, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Mykolaiv, and the Poltava, Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. In particular, six acts of vandalism were committed against the Menora memorial at the Baby Yar in Kyiv in January-September 2015.
November 9 is the international day against fascism, racism and anti-Semitism.