MINELRES: ERRC: Two Roma Killed in Racist Pogrom in Russia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Apr 18 19:46:03 2006


Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>


Racist Attack on Roma in Russia Causes Two Deaths and Severe Injuries

Budapest, Volzhskiy, 14 April 2006. According to ERRC sources, on April
13, 2006, Grigoriy Marienkov, a Romani man, and a Russian woman whose
first name was Galina, were killed by youths apparently identified by
local Roma as skinheads. The attack and killings took place in the
Volgograd region of Russia. In the pogrom, approximately six members of
the Romani family Marienkov were also severely beaten and wounded.

The details are as follows:

In the late evening hours of April 13, 2006, the Marienkov family and a
Russian guest, Galina, were sitting by a fire built just outside the
tent they inhabited, on the banks of the Akhtuba river, approximately 22
kilometres from the town of Volzhskiy, in the Volgograd region of
Russia. ERRC sources reported that between 9:00 and 10:00 in the
evening, a group of approximately twenty youths armed with metal bars
and spades attacked the group and beat them severely until all were
lying unconscious. They then reportedly left the site. A young male
member of the family who first regained consciousness called the police
shortly after 10:00 PM. It was established that two people, a Romani
male, Grigory Marienkov, and the visiting non-Romani woman, Galina, both
in their 40s, had died of their wounds. Additionally, eighty-year old
Polina Marienkova and thirteen-year old Roza Marienkova were
hospitalized. Ms Polina Marienkova's jaw had been broken; Ms Roza
Marienkova had head wounds and is currently in critical condition.

According to the electronic Russian publication Gazeta.ru, police
arrested six perpetrators, at ages 17-20, three of whom are female. The
Prosecution of Volgograd Region has reportedly opened criminal
investigation under Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code for murder
of two or more persons, committed by a group of persons, motivated by
national, racial or religious hatred.

ERRC monitoring of the human rights situation of Roma in Russia
indicates that as nationalist-extremist movements have been gaining
popularity in Russia over the past decade, racially-motivated violence
against Roma occurs with disturbing frequency. Roma are particularly
exposed to attacks by nationalist-extremist vigilante groups because
they live in compact settlements that are easy to identify. The attack
of April 13 has precedents in the same area of Russia. In August 2001, a
Romani community settled along the Tsaritsa river near Volgograd was
attacked by skinheads armed with metal bars, stones and wooden
truncheons, and two Roma were killed. The ERRC report "In Search of
Happy Gypsies: Persecution of Pariah Minorities in Russia" published in
May 2005, details numerous attacks against Roma in various parts of the
country, including arson, indiscriminate beating causing death and
severe injuries to Romani individuals. Most often these actions are not
investigated or police deny racial motivation. Many attacks are not even
reported to the police due to reasonable fear of harassment and
extortion by the police themselves.

The ERRC welcomes the prompt response of the Volzhskiy law enforcement
officials to the April 13 attack on Roma and the launching of
investigation against perpetrators for a racially motivated crime. The
ERRC is continuing to monitor the case to ensure adequate prosecution of
all perpetrators, and effective justice for the surviving victims.

_____________________________________________

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at
http://www.errc.org.

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Hungary

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax: +36 1 4132201
_____________________________________________

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