Region: Racial Profiling Still a Problem in Ukraine

When two police officers asked Steven Okurut on July 18 to accompany them to a secluded room in a Kharkiv supermarket, Okurut had nothing to fear. His residency permit was valid and Ukrainian police still aren’t equipped with mini-computers to make on-the-spot document checks.

He never thought that he’d leave the grocery store with severely bruised ribs, fractured finger joints, a bloody mouth and head injuries, and virtually cashless.

But when they entered the second-floor room, Okurut said the two officers started accusing the Ugandan national of harboring and trafficking drugs. They proceeded to search him, including his private parts, and even asked him the size of his penis and the origin of his golden wedding band after it slipped off his finger with ease…

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