ADC “Memorial” and attorney Malankovsky saved the Roma settlements in the Tula region from demolition:
The project for protection of residents of the Roma settlements, developed by ADC “Memorial” five years ago, saved 13 homes in the Tula region from demolition. The claim for demolition of “unauthorized constructions” in the Roma settlement in Fedorovka, Tula region, has already been reviewed in court and supported by the administration, as well as by owners of the adjoining property. In addition to the lawsuit filed by the district administration, two more claims were filed in court by the owner of the adjoining property: she demanded the court to acknowledge the unlawful sale of land to the Roma, as well as demolish the illegally built houses.
At first, the situation in court appeared to be very unfavourable for the residents of the settlement: the lawyers of the administration and of the neighbours used all possible means to attain the eviction of the Roma from their self-constructed homes. The discriminatory claims for eviction of “undesirable” neighbours, filed by the owner of the adjoining property, were also supported by the authorities. In response, ADC “Memorial” attorney S.B. Malanovsky, who has a substantial amount of experience in counteracting oppressions of the Roma people, drove to the Tula region in order to protect the interests of the residents of the Roma settlements. The lawyer met with the residents of the settlement, neighbours and authorities, gathered evidence of the inadmissibility of demolition of homes, and represented the interests of the Roma residents in court in three lawsuits. The administration’s claim was rejected, thanks to the lawyer’s efforts, and the restrictions on the houses, which were demanded by the authorities, were also lifted.
According to the human rights activists, the administration should have given time and opportunity to eliminate the violations, instead of filing a lawsuit for demolition of homes, which are the only places of residence for the Roma families, many of which have young children. Although the civil claims continue to be reviewed in court, the immediate threat of the demolition of houses is no longer present. The lawyer plans to attain the legalisation of the houses, receive the appropriate permits and demand for the administration to assist in solving problems of the socially vulnerable groups of the population.