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Romany Woman 'Found With Throat Slashed' In Ukraine

A group of Roma abandoned this camp on the outskirts of Lviv after an attack on June 23.
A group of Roma abandoned this camp on the outskirts of Lviv after an attack on June 23.

Media reports in western Ukraine's Zakarpattya region say that a 30-year Romany woman was killed in the city of Berehove amid tensions over a series of attacks on Romany community members.

The reports quote members of the local Romany community as saying that unidentified attackers slashed the woman's throat.

Ukraine's National Police said in a statement on July 2 that a woman "with injuries to her throat" was found on a street in Berehove and that medical personnel were unable to save her life. It did not name the victim or include any information about her ethnicity.

Police said they are treating the woman's death as a "premeditated murder" but so far have found no evidence that it was a hate crime.

"At this point" police have found nothing to suggest a motive involving "racial or any other type of discrimination," the statement said.

The woman's death occurred eight days after police arrested seven people in an adjacent region of Lviv in connection with a deadly June 23 attack on a Romany camp.

Police said at the time that a 24-year-old Romany man was killed in the attack in a forest near the city of Lviv, which was carried out by a group of masked men.

According to police, four other people were hospitalized with knife wounds as a result of the attack -- including a 10-year-old boy, two 19-year-old men, and a 30-year-old woman.

That violence was the fifth attack on a Romany camp in western Ukraine in the past two months.

In a joint letter to Kyiv authorities on June 14, four groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemned what they said was a growing number of attacks by radicals in Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities have "failed" to respond to most incidents, leading to "an atmosphere of near total impunity that cannot but embolden these groups to commit more attacks," the groups said.

The letter said that several neo-Nazi and far-right ultranationalist groups, including C14 and Right Sector, were behind at least two dozen attacks or harassment cases against Roma across Ukraine so far during 2018.

The Council of Europe rights group estimates there are some 260,000 Roma in Ukraine, whose population is about 48.5 million.

With reporting by Novyny Zakarpattya and Ukrinform
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