Tagged: hate crimes

Pro Igual Survey on Hate Crimes in Spain 2013

HateCrimesSurvey

Monitoring and documenting hate crimes is one of Pro Igual´s core projects. We realize that many victims do not report hate crimes because they fear repercussions, or because they think nobody would believe them. As a result, an estimated 95% of such crimes remain unreported. And the Spanish State has no incentive to address this problem. If you were a victim or witness of a hate crime, please help us raise awareness of the true scope of the phenomenon by taking part in our online survey on hate crimes in Spain in 2013 available in Spanish and English. All responses are strictly confidential.

The Rise of the Extreme Right Parties to Power

Pro Igual

Pro Igual´s Intervention at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Working Session 2: Tolerance and Nondiscrimination

In the course of 2012 and 2013, PRO IGUAL conducted monitoring of hate crimes committed by Spanish extreme right elements against immigrants, minorities, and other vulnerable groups. The aim of the project has been, besides documenting individual cases, to explore the origins, specifics and the reach of the extreme right.

The project highlighted certain weaknesses in the Spanish legal and policy frameworks. Spanish legislation, on the one hand, allows proliferation of parties and organizations propagating intolerance. But on the other hand, it fails to provide adequate recourse for victims. In addition, victims often either do not know how to complain or are afraid. This serves to create a climate of denial and impunity for hate crimes.

PRO IGUAL reports and other materials on the subject are available on the website. In the meantime, we would like to make the following conclusions and recommendations relevant for a number of countries in the OSCE region.

Recommendations:

  • The Governments must recognize the reality and the danger of the extreme right ascent to power, and not dismiss the right-wing extremism as fringe behavior of a handful of marginalized youths.
  • It is also important to recognize that the extreme right has received a Public Relations makeover. We are no longer dealing with just crude manifestations, such as shaven heads or military boots. The contemporary extreme right is an increasingly sophisticated and insidious ideology that masks hate as care and violence as freedom, and actively uses democratic means to attain undemocratic ends.
  • Appeasement does not work. Some of the mainstream parties tried to woo the extreme right voters by embracing xenophobia. But they will never be radical enough for the extreme rights, but will instead lose their core supporters alongside with integrity.
  • Economic crisis and corruption must be addressed urgently, as they feed into the extreme right´s popularity. Ineptitude in handling the economic crisis, lack of transparency and seemingly endemic corruption turn the mainstream, moderate voters away from the established parties into the grip of the extreme right.
  • Laws must protect the victims of right-wing extremism, not provide loopholes and excuses for perpetrators.
  • It is not enough to be reactive; it is essential to become pro-active. This means the alarm must be raised BEFORE the extreme right ascend to power. Otherwise, with each new victory of the extreme right, there will be fewer countries even left to condemn it.
  • Last but not least, the Governments should work treat civil society as an ally, and not as a nuisance, as presently civil society is the only force resisting the rise of the extreme right to power.

 

Fascists attack Madrid’s Catalan center on Catalonia Day

By Anne Sewell, 12 September 2013

While Catalonians formed a human chain for independence in their region, a group carrying Spanish and fascist flags interrupted celebrations at the Catalan Government center in Madrid on Wednesday, shouting, tearing down flags and using pepper spray.

Digital Journal reported on the human chain, dubbed the “Catalan Way Towards Independence”, formed by hundreds of thousands of Catalan residents across their region on Wednesday, demanding independence from Spain. However, not everyone was celebrating Catalonia’s national day on September 11.

Six people, believed to be extreme right-wing or fascists, were arrested for their part in an attack which disrupted celebrations at the Blanquerna Cultural Center in Madrid on Wednesday. Read more…

Original article: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/358178

European Action Day for the Victims of Hate Crimes

22July

The No Hate Speech Movement, in which Pro Igual participates, invites you to join the online and offline actions to commemorate the European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime on July 22. To remind, support and show solidarity with all those people that have suffered aggression because of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, religion and many other characteristics. We will also educate and raise awareness about the consequences of hate speech and hate crime on our societies!

WHAT TO DO?

1. Organise a public action or an educational activity for 22nd July. Here is a guide of what you can do and how. Please post information to this Facebook event about your action!

Don’t forget to REPORT your action with photos and videos on the No Hate Speech Movement platform: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/join-the-movement

2. We are launching a petition to establish 22 July as the European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime. It will be ‘live’ only until 9 November, so get busy helping to achieve this task! The petition addresses all the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the members of the European Parliament! http://blog.nohatespeechmovement.org/petition/

SIGN it! Get your organisation to sign it! Inform others about it!
Write to your representative/s in these European bodies on July 22nd and ask her/him/zee to sign it and support it publicly!
Here’s where you can find their contacts details:
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/AssemblyList/AL_DelegationsList_E.asp
European Parliament: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html

3. Do you know of a case of hate crime? It is important not to be silent about it. Submit a story to action@nohatespeechmovement.org and on July 22nd we will feature it on the No Hate Speech Movement Platform. Please make sure to send us photos, if possible.

4. Have you witnessed hate speech that incites violence online? Then report it on Hate Speech Watch here: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/hate-speech-watch

5. Take action online! Join this event on Facebook! ‘Like’ the Facebook page of the Movement! Invite your friends to do the same!

Share and post the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nohatespeech?fref=ts

Find out more and participate!
www.nohatespeechmovement.org
www.facebook.com/groups/combatinghatespeech
@nohate_speech #nohatespeech

The Rise of Neo-Nazism in the Party Political System

The recent report by the The World Jewish Congress recorded a disturbing rise in extreme right, xenophobic and anti-Semitic political parties across Europe, echoing with Pro Igual´s own findings of the past years.
The WJC report is available here; the excerpts of the Executive Summary are as follows.
“Parties with neo-Nazi leanings have seen a significant resurgence, particularly in Greece and Hungary where, respectively, Golden Dawn and Jobbik have either achieved double figures in elections or are polling at such levels in opinion surveys. Both have seen their support rise dramatically from small beginnings. …
“There are good reasons for believing that governments are either conflicted or confused in their approach to neo-Nazi parties. In Greece, the government does not appear to know what to do. In Hungary the governing party wants Jobbik’s votes at the next election, and in Germany, where the National Democratic Party does not have wide support but is feared for historical reasons, the government has backed away from outlawing it believing that its efforts would fail at the Constitutional Court.
“Economic crisis is in some cases plainly a contributory factor in the growth of neo-Nazi parties. The Greek economy has declined by 20 percent since the crisis began with general unemployment now standing at over 27 percent and youth unemployment at over 60 percent.
“Anti-Semitism remains a central feature of neo-Nazi parties even though their main focus in many European countries is on non-white minorities. The anti-Semitic rhetoric is often extreme, as when a Jobbik parliamentarian last year called for a list to be drawn up of the country’s Jews in order to assess whether they represented a security risk to Hungary.”
The full report is available here.

Pro Igual joins No Hate Speech Movement

NoHateSpeechMovement

Pro Igual has joined numerous NGOs and individuals across Europe forming part in No Hate Speech Movement.

The campaign is against hate speech online in all its forms, including cyber-bullying and cyber-hate. The campaign is not designed to limit freedom of expression online. Neither is it about everyone being nice to each other online. The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.

Through participation in the Movement Pro Igual hopes to raise awareness of extreme intolerance experienced by members of our target groups – especially minorities and foreigners – and stop and prevent hate crimes that unfortunately have become a fact of life in Spain.

To read more, please visit here.

FRA Director holds speech on combating hate crime in Europe and beyond

“Hate crimes speak to people who sympathise with the offender and whose biased attitudes the offender confirms and reinforces. They say ‘don’t think you’re wanted here, because you’re not. And don’t think you’re safe, because we’ve already shown you’re not – and it could happen again. Be scared’.”

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum held a speech entitled Innocent figures: why we need more facts at the conference ‘Right-wing extremism and hate crime: minorities under pressure in Europe and beyond’ in Oslo on 14-15 May.

He began by talking of the gaps in data collection that can impede the search for lasting and effective solutions to the phenomenon of hate crime. This leaves the majority of such crimes unrecognised, unprosecuted and therefore invisible. The gaps are due both to under-reporting by victims, who often lack confidence in the authorities’ ability to afford them protection, and to under-recording by national governments. At present, only four EU Member States collect comprehensive data on hate crime, while differences of classification in national crime statistics often make it impossible to make comparisons between countries.

FRA research shows clearly that hate crime is a major problem in the EU today. This is particularly the case in the wake of the EU’s economic crisis, with violent extremism on the rise in a number of countries. Of the 93,000 respondents to FRA’s 2012 LGBT survey, 26% had experienced violence in the five years preceding the survey, with the figure rising to 35% for transgender people. In a survey of Jewish communities, FRA found that 26% had experienced some form of harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey.

The Director emphasised that hate crime transcends the experiences of the individuals directly involved, as homophobic, racist and other crimes motivated by prejudice create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality that harms entire groups and society as a whole. This means it is all the more important for countries to introduce enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes, thus making perpetrators fully accountable for their actions.

At the end of his speech, the Director underlined the fact that hate crime is not just a phenomenon that affects a few individuals marginal to society, but a direct attack on the democratic principle of equality and the assumption that each person in a democratic society can live without fear of violence and discrimination.

Original link: http://fra.europa.eu/en/news/2013/fra-director-holds-speech-combating-hate-crime-europe-and-beyond

Human rights commissioner warns against “worrying intensification” in activities of race-hate groups

In his latest comment article, human rights commissioner Nils Muižnieks warns against the “worrying intensification” in the activities of race hate groups across Europe.

Nils Muižnieks writes: “According to some commentators, the upsurge has even reached the point of “an early form of far right terror.”

The Commissioner for Human Rights adds: “It worries me deeply that the European community and national political leaders appear not to be fully aware of the serious threat that these organisations pose to the rule of law and human rights.”

Muižnieks states that “the philosophy of racist extremist organisations is centred on denying the entitlement of ‘others’ – mainly migrants and members of national, ethnic and religious minorities – to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“They invent “enemies” who have to be fought and eliminated. In Greece, for example, between October 2011 and December 2012 around 220 racist attacks were reported to the Racist Violence Recording Network headed by UNHCR and the National Commission for Human Rights. That is about one attack every other day. In my recent report concerning Greece I underlined the need to curb hate crime and combat impunity for hate crimes.”

More information

The fight against racism in Europe

Original link: http://www.humanrightseurope.org/2013/05/human-rights-commissioner-warns-against-worrying-intensification-in-activities-of-race-hate-groups/

FRA brief: Crimes Motivated by Hatred and Prejudice in the EU

The March 2013 brief by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides information about the situation on the ground in the EU as well as suggestions for the way in which the EU and its Member States could better address crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice.

Pro Igual Submission towards the OSCE Hate Crimes Report 2012

nopasaran

The 2013 Pro Igual submission for the OSCE Annual Report on Hate Crimes highlights the deficient Spanish legislative framework regulating political parties whose goals and activities contravene democratic values of the Spanish Constitution. As a result, political parties which openly propagate xenophobia and intolerance are allowed to exist and operate, gain adepts and even attain legislative seats.

As in previous years, Pro Igual calls to attention of the national authorities and international monitoring bodies that hate crimes are not isolated incidents and do not take place in a vacuum. Activities of the legally permitted extreme right parties in Spain are one of the strongest factors contributing to a fertile climate for xenophobic hate crimes. It should come as no surprise that the hate crimes committed by adherents of extreme right and neo-Nazi ideology are becoming ever more brazen and premeditated.

Notwithstanding some steps taken by the Spanish State to address hate crimes, even despite the simultaneous decrease of net immigrant population, the number of such crimes in Spain does not diminish but continues to steadily rise.

The Pro Igual Report is available here.

Image courtesy © http://surparalaemancipacion.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/no-pasaran.html

CIDH Pro Igual es Asociación sin ánimo de lucro registrada en el Ministerio del Interior con el nº 595496.