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Human rights groups in the United States and Ukraine are urging U.S. officials to press Ukrainian authorities to deal with what they called a “dramatic rise” in hate crimes, including attacks on Jews and foreigners, in the former Soviet republic.
“Progress in dealing with violent manifestations of racism and xenophobia should be an essential component of the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, allowing the country to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law as it seeks greater integration into Europe and membership in NATO,” said Elisa Massimino, Washington director of Human Rights First.
Amnesty International, Freedom House, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the National Council on Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union joined Human Rights First in writing a joint letter to Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European Affairs.
They urged Mr. Fried to raise the issue when he meets with Ukrainian officials next month. They cited 86 violent hate crimes last year and “at least four murders of foreigners” so far this year.
The human rights groups criticized Ukrainian authorities for an “inconsistent and insufficient” response to the attacks and urged Ukraine to create “clear guidelines” for police to investigate suspected hate crimes and to protect hate-crime victims.
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About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
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