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HEAD OF NATIONAL POLICE OF UKRAINE
CC: OMBUDSMAN OF UKRAINE
2 February 2016
Open letter of the Diversity Initiative network
Members of the Diversity Initiative (DI) Network learned from open sources about “raid on identification of illegals” in Bila Tserkva city, Kyiv region. The video, uploaded on 25 January 2016 on Vkontakte network page of the Civil Corps “Azov” under the hyperlink - https://vk.com/wall-79171516?own=1&z=video283114495_172009054%2F4333081e300f40234b, informs about a joint partnership project of the Main Authority of the National Police in the Kyiv Region and the Civil Corps “Azov” aimed at identification of foreigners, who violate conditions of stay in Ukraine. The said video shows one of the members of the raid operation as staff of the Main Authority of the National Police in Kyiv Region and the process of entering two settlements in Bila Tserkva. All identified inhabitants belonged to visible minorities and differed by the color of their skin and appearances. We would also like to draw attention to the fact that one of the foreigners showed “Certificate of application for protection in Ukraine” which is a legitimate (bona fide) ground for stay in Ukraine.
In view of the above, the DI network would like to request the Head of the National Police of Ukraine to either confirm or refute the fact of partnership of the National Police of Ukraine with Civil Corps “Azov” within framework of this joint project in the Kyiv region.
In case of confirmation of these facts please provide information about legislation that was the basis for establishment of such partnership and the normative acts that regulate such activities, as documented in the above mentioned video.
In case of refuting of the above facts, we kindly request to verify the legal grounds of actions of Civil Corps “Azov” which enables the latter to enter into the private settlements of people, who have distinctive outer appearance, mostly based on the color of their skin.
DI network also would like to draw attention to five incidents of racially motivated violence against asylum seekers and recognized refugees in Ukraine, documented by the network during 2014-2015 in Bila Tserkva.
DI network condemns the above intrusion and raid of residences and fact of the ethnic profiling that was applied to foreign citizens based on visual characteristics such as skin color.
We, the undersigned members of the DI network, encourage the National Police of Ukraine within its mandate to take measures and make public condemnation of such practice of ethnic profiling, to hold those guilty liable, and prevent such practice in the future.
For ease of reference: Responding to an increase in the number of suspected racially motivated attacks in Ukraine beginning in December 2006, International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Amnesty International (AI) and other concerned civil society organizations formed the Diversity Initiative network in April 2007 to begin addressing the issue in a coordinated way.
The Diversity Initiative (DI) strives to uphold human dignity and well-being of migrants, refugees and visible minorities in Ukraine. It currently includes over 65 organizations from the international, civil, corporate, and government sectors as well as diplomatic missions and interested individuals.