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Russian Authorities Demolish Romany Homes In Tatarstan

AISHA, Russia -- Authorities in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan have demolished houses belonging to the Romany minority, saying they were built illegally.

Riot police with dogs were present as three private houses belonging to local Romany families were razed in the village of Aisha on August 3.

A court in Tatarstan ruled on March 16 that five private houses in Aisha must be demolished as they had been built without permission.

Romany families promised to take apart the houses by August 3 and had removed three by the deadline.

But the last two houses were demolished by authorities on August 3, an action that the Romany community is now being charged 800,000 rubles ($13,200) for.

Andrei Suchkov of the Law Zone human rights organization, which represents Roma's rights, told RFE/RL that the officials had no right to demolish the houses with heavy machinery as it also destroyed construction materials that could be used by the homeowners to build new houses.

In 2016, authorities in Russia's western Tula region destroyed some 500 houses belonging to Roma, saying they were illegally built.