ICARE Hate Crime News - Archive September 2013

Headlines 27 September, 2013

Headlines 20 September, 2013

Headlines 13 September, 2013

Headlines 6 September, 2013

Headlines 27 September, 2013

Obsession with mass killer led to friends' far-right hate campaign (UK)

26/9/2013- Two friends obsessed with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik branded themselves with hot irons while embarking on a far-right hate campaign in Torbay, a court was told. John Roddy, 20, and Tobias Ruth, 19, were arrested under terrorism legislation earlier this year after material which could be used to make a bomb was found in the Lymington Road area. After an investigation, it turned out the pair were not terrorists but social misfits responsible for a spate of graffiti attacks on public buildings, including Brixham police station and the Torbay Islamic Centre. But the pair's activities also had a more sinister side. Letters were sent to Islamic centres in Brighton and Plymouth telling worshippers to leave the country. And the pair styled themselves as Knights Templar in homage to Breivik, amateurishly branding themselves and spraying buildings with a cross and the letters 'KT'.

At Exeter Crown Court, Ruth, of Hunsdon Road, Torquay, was sent to a young offenders' institution for two years and nine months. He admitted conspiracy to cause criminal damage and to sending malicious communications. He also breached his bail by being found in possession of a knuckle-duster outside a club in Torwood Street. Roddy, of Old Mill Road, Torquay, was given a suspended jail sentence. He admitted the conspiracy charges and possessing a terror manual on his computer. The court was told he had autism and had been influenced by Ruth since the pair met on a bricklaying course at South Devon College. The pair were arrested under terrorism legislation on January 3 after a list of ingredients which could have been used to make explosives was found in Roddy's house. An area of Lymington Road was sealed off by armed police and the bomb squad called in. At that stage police did not know how far his activities went. Ruth was arrested later that day.

A chocolate box containing letters cut out from magazines and newspapers was found with the addresses of mosques in other parts of the country. Roddy's laptop was found to contain an al-Qaeda training manual and Breivik's '2083 A European Declaration of Independence'. This was the Norweigian's manifesto which he released before killing 77 people in 2011 and which incited a war against Muslims. Jeremy Atkinson, prosecuting, said: "Both developed an obsession with the personality and ideology of Anders Breivik. "The defendants had attempted to act out to some extent their own form of activity under the banner of Knights Templar, an organisation discussed at some length by Anders Breivik and aspired to be part of that organisation or their own version of it." In July, the pair had taken part in an initiation right with each of them branding the other on the upper arm with a hot metal cross to signify their allegiance to the Knights Templar.

Before the arrest police had been hunting whoever was responsible for graffiti attacks on buildings in Torquay and Brixham dating back to July, 2012. Red spray paint and the initials KT had been daubed on buildings and 72 incidents of criminal damage were attributed to the pair. Among the buildings targeted were Brixham police station, a council-owned building in St Mary's Park, the Union Street car park in Torquay and a children's play area in Plainmoor. Racist slogans were sprayed on the Torquay Islamic Centre and a letter said 'Leave this town today or there will be hell to pay'. Police arrested Roddy after a billboard had been daubed with the words 'Knights Templar'. Police analysed Facebook traffic between Roddy and Ruth and the pair 'revelled in causing damage'. They even discussed which one of them might be responsible for setting fire to vehicles in the area.

Lee Brembridge, mitigating for Roddy, said there was no evidence any of the material found would be used for terrorist purposes and had not been distributed. He said Roddy was shy and had Asperger's and autism. Kevin Hopper, mitigating for Ruth, said his client was a 'social inadequate' who was easily influenced by others. He said Ruth had been 17 at the start of the offences and compensation claimed for the graffiti only amounted to £500. Judge Francis Gilbert QC said: "At least one of the acts of criminal damage was motivated by racial hatred." Roddy was given 23 months in a young offenders' institution, suspended for two years and 18 months of supervision. Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, from Devon and Cornwall's major crime investigation team, said: "I would like to reassure the community there was no indication of the public being at immediate risk of serious harm and there is little to indicate these men had embarked on preparing for any terrorist acts themselves. "The police have worked closely with other agencies to ensure any risk is appropriately managed."
© This is South Devon

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Northern Ireland: Gay man victim of horrific early morning attack

A 23-year-old gay man has spoken of how he was attacked, left beaten and bruised, and faced a barrage of homophobic abuse early on Monday morning when he left a well-known gay club in Belfast city centre.

26/9/2013- Dean McKenzie, from Kilmacormick in Enniskillen, lives in Belfast and left the Kremlin Nightclub on foot after what he described as a ‘usual’ night out. But, within minutes he was jumped by two men who he said called him a ‘poof’, a ‘dirty queer’ and kicked and punched him in the face. “I just came round the corner, a two minute walk from the club and two guys came out of nowhere,” Dean told the Fermanagh Herald. “One of them asked ‘Did you have a good night you poof?’. At this stage I realised I was in danger, one of them struck out and punched me. “And when I fell, the other one kicked me in the face, hence the nose bleed. They called me a ‘dirty queer’ and left me lying there.” A police spokesman confirmed that an investigation is underway into the attack.

He said: “Police are investigating reports that a man was assaulted in the Royal Avenue area of Belfast sometime between 12.05am and 3am on Sunday (September 23). It is understood the male had left licensed premises when he was approached by two males who assaulted him. Enquiries are continuing.” Dean, who recently appeared on the Stephen Nolan show to speak about the the gay marriage debate, also referred to support he had been given by friends and family. “I am feeling a little shaken but completely overwhelmed by the huge support I have received from people in Fermanagh and Belfast, gay and straight. “This attack only highlights that homophobia still very much exists and perhaps that something of which the DUP and other various political parties should be concerned with and not the fact whether gay people should be allowed to marry or adopt. However, I’m still determined to put my head up and be proud of who I am.”
© the Fermanagh Herald

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Hatchet used in suspected racist attack in Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Tool smashed through window of Nigerian family's home in loyalist Sandy Row area in overnight assault

25/9/2013- A hatchet has been thrown through the window of a Nigerian family's home in central Belfast in a suspected racist attack. The attack on a woman and her two children happened in the loyalist Sandy Row area close to the city centre at around 2am on Wednesday morning. It is the second such assault in the city in just over a month after a house where two Nigerian men lived in east Belfast came under attack. In the latest incident Adenike Yisa was on the sofa in the living room at the front of her home when a hatchet was smashed through it. "I was really, really upset," she said. "I have never been in that situation in my life. I only moved into that house about a year ago and never had any trouble. "When I heard the noise I thought it was a shot, then I saw the axe or hatchet and the big hole in my window. I was screaming at the top of my voice and shaking like a leaf. Luckily my children were in their rooms. "I didn't see whoever did this, but think it was because of the colour of my skin," the 40-year-old said.

No one was injured in the attacked but Yisa said she and her children had been traumatised by the attack. Yisa has lived in Belfast for about 10 years and moved to her home in Sandy Row – one of the oldest loyalist working-class areas of the city – about 12 months ago. The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed they were treating the incident as a hate crime. Almost all such attacks in Belfast occur in loyalist working-class districts. They are usually the work of "freelance" racists who live there and object to the presence of foreigners, rather than any co-ordinated campaign by neo-Nazi groups.
© The Guardian

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Romanian doctors 'suffering racist attacks' because of Ukip's rhetoric, says (UK)

Criticism of eastern European immigrants by the United Kingdom Independence Party is fuelling violent attacks on Romanians here, the country’s ambassador to the UK has said.

26/9/2013- Ion Jinga said that Romanian doctors in the NHS - there are estimated to be around 2,000 - are now receiving racist comments from the British patients they are treating. He revealed that a Romanian doctor wrote to him saying: “Now, almost on a daily basis I am asked where I am originally from, and I have to face a racist attitude following my answer.” Romanians are now being made to “feel guilty of being Romanian in the UK”, the diplomat said. The UK is due to open its borders fully to Romanians and Bulgarians next year. Ukip and its leader, Nigel Farage, have repeatedly raised concerns about that decision. Mr Farage regularly refers in campaign speeches to the number of Romanians in the UK who are convicted of crimes. Writing at telegraph.co.uk, Mr Jinga says Ukip used similar rhetoric in the Eastleigh by-election, leading to violence.

He said: “When, during the by-election campaign for Eastleigh, the candidate of a political party that expects to win the next European elections using xenophobic slogans linked Romanians with ‘a natural propensity towards crime’, I expressed concern that inflammatory rhetoric could have long term negative consequences and even lead to acts of racially assaults. “Unfortunately, I was right because soon after, in Brighton, two young Romanian workers were attacked only because they were speaking in a language identified by their aggressors as being 'East European'.” Nigel Farage, Ukip's leader, rejected the criticism. He told The Telegraph: "I agree with Mr Ambassador - there is a real problem here. "It seems to me that if there are only 80,000 Romanians in the country that we know of - and yet in London alone there have been 27,500 arrests in five years. There is an issue here but we are pretty careful about this."
© The Telegraph

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Racist attacks in Greece: interactive map

25/9/2013- Claims that the far-right Golden Dawn party has been training a military wing have raised concerns about growing racism in Greece. Researchers working on a project called The City at a Time of Crisis have sought to track what they see as the rise of neo-Nazism in Greece using crowd-sourced public reports. The interactive map is constantly updated to show the frequency and severity of attacks. It does this by pulling together reports from individuals, witnesses and the media going back to May 2011. The map shows all reported attacks (in red), but you can select specific categories (eg physical, verbal, police) from the right-hand panel. Clicking on a circle will take you to the report which you can read in full to determine its reliability.
© The Guardian

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Man jailed for anti-Jewish t-shirts (Netherlands)

24/9/2013- A court in The Hague sentenced a man to two years in jail for stocking T-shirts featuring anti-Semitic slogans. The appeals court in The Hague ruled Tuesday that the T-shirts, with a slogan that read “Destroy Zionism” and the image of a gun pointing at a hasidic Jew, were an insult to the Jewish community and an incitement to hatred and discrimination. The man, 37, also had neo-Nazi T-shirts in his possession. According to Dutchnews.nl, the man had two other T-shirts, one bearing the slogan “Combat 18″ and the other with “Whatever it takes,” but the man was cleared of charges related to those articles.

Combat 18 refers to a minor British neo-Nazi group. The court’s website explained that the digits 1 and 8 refer to the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, A and H, which stand for Adolf Hitler. The man denied he knew the meaning of the term, and the court said it could not prove he knew its implication. The more than 40 T-shirts were seized during a raid of the man’s home in connection with a drunken attack on another man. According to the court, the man assaulted an Antillean man, struck him on the head with a bottle, then kicked him repeatedly in the head and body.
© The Dutch News

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Headlines 20 September, 2013

Far-right trolls tweet rape, murder threats to French left-winger

A French left-winger received a deluge of threats of death and rape on her Twitter account after taking part in an anti-fascist demonstration in Marseille last weekend. Julie Del Papa, 22, intends to launch legal proceedings, despite an initial refusal by police to open a file on the hate campaign.

20/9/2013- Far-right trolls tweeted threats to gang-rape and kill Del Papa, a leading activist with Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Left Party, after picking up her tweets from the protest against a national meeting of Marine Le Pen's Front National in the southern port city on Saturday. Some claimed to know where she lives and be able to follow her movements. When fellow anti-fascists started sending tweets to support her, fake tweets purporting to be threats by her started appearing on the microblogging site. On Monday police in her home town, Avignon, refused to open a case against her persecutors but the police station has since invited her to return and she is currently compiling a dossier to back up her case.

The Left Party, which claims that a number of its members have been threatened by the far right, has written a letter of protest to Interior Minister Manuel Valls at the initial refusal. Front National representative, Stéphane Ravier, dismissed the hate campaign as "digital assault", telling regional paper La Provence that party activists had been "insulted and terrorised" by "flesh and blood" individuals. Paris police arrested 38 anti-fascist protesters after a rally in tribute to murdered Greek activist Pavlos Fryssas on Thursday evening. A group of far-left demonstrators were heading for a bar frequented by members of the Printemps Français movement, which was born during this year's anti-gay marriage protests, police said, claiming that they were looking for a fight.

About 10 anti-fascists were arrested in Paris last Saturday after clashes with far-right activists. Police had banned several demonstrations - one in honour of left-winger Clément Méric who was murdered last June and one in support of his killer.
© RFI

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Amnesty International report says governments are ignoring violence and discrimination

18/9/2013- Gay, lesbian and transgender people face shocking levels of violence, discrimination and abuse across Europe, with gaps in EU and national legislation robbing them of justice and creating a climate of fear, a new report by Amnesty International says. This summer, people hurled eggs at participants at a gay pride rally in Lithuania, which is currently chair of the rotating European Union presidency. At the first gay pride rally staged in Montenegro, an EU candidate state, dozens were injured as homophobic protesters threw rocks and bottles. Amnesty’s report detailed cases of people killed, savagely beaten and doused in petrol because of their sexuality, with many victims struggling to get justice or support from police and judicial authorities ill-equipped to deal with homophobic violence. “Lack of legislation has a fundamental impact on how these crimes are dealt with by state authorities,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty’s expert on discrimination in Europe and Central Asia.

EU legislation from 2008 states that attacks motivated by racism and xenophobia constitute hate crimes. Attacks carried out because of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity do not come under that banner, the Amnesty report notes. “The existing double standards convey the idea that some forms of violence deserve less attention and less protection than others,” Mr Perolini said. “That’s unacceptable for a European Union that prides itself on promoting equality and inclusion.” Statistics released in May by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights found that one in four people in the bloc had faced violence because of their sexuality, with more than half reporting discrimination. Activists worry that those statistics could worsen as the EU expands to include more socially conservative nations.

In Serbia, which became an official candidate for EU membership this year, a gay pride parade has been banned for the past two years because police said they were unable ensure the safety of participants. In July, newspapers in Montenegro published fake obituaries of gay activists ahead of the nation’s first gay pride march. Candidate states have to meet minimum standards – including introducing legislation banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) people – to enter the EU. But activists want the bloc to make sure these laws are enforced. “What we are looking at is not just a passive implementation of EU requirements but that there is a genuine political will and understanding that the required reforms are for the benefit of the society and not only a ticket to the EU club,” said Lilit Poghosyan, of the advocacy group, ILGA-Europe.

But even some of the EU’s founding members are struggling to protect gay communities. Italy and Germany were among the five EU nations Amnesty said did not have adequate laws. Camilla, a Brazilian transgender woman living in Italy, spent three months in hospital after a group of men attacked her outside a club. “They punched and kicked me all over my body, when I fell onto the floor they kicked my head … Then one of them sat on my chest and tried to choke me,” she told Amnesty. Hospital staff failed to inform the police, and when she was finally discharged, police said she had left it too long to report the crime. In Greece a man trying to report a homophobic beating was asked by two police officers what a homophobic attack was. Such hate crimes need to be enshrined in law, said Mr Perolini, because they have an effect on entire communities. “There were people (in Greece) who told us that they were scared to go out and to show affection with their partner on the street,” he said.

In May, the EU’s top justice official, Viviane Reding, said the EU had made progress, introducing a charter on rights which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. EU spokesperson said they welcomed Amnesty’s report, in particular because it highlighted weaknesses in member states which they also wanted addressed. “EU laws exist and the Commission is acting to enforce them but unfortunately often enough Member States are not taking the necessary action to ensure these rules are enforced on the ground,” the official said.
© The Independent

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Police appeal for witnesses to attack on gay man in Vondelpark (Netherlands)

18/9/2013- Amsterdam police have appealed for witnesses to a serious stabbing incident in the city’s Vondel park, which they say was a deliberate attack on a gay man. The 55-year-old was stabbed at least 10 times in his face, hands, arm and back at around 02.00 hours on Sunday morning, police said. He was stabbed in the rose garden, part of the Vondel park which is known as a meeting place for gay men. The victim told police he was attacked by a man who had asked him ‘are you one of them?’. The victim described his attacker as a thin man, either bald or with a shaved head and between 1.80 and 1.85 metres tall.

Witness
An anonymous witness told the Parool he heard someone shouting ‘help, I’ve been stabbed’. When he went to investigate, he found a man who was bleeding heavily from several wounds to his face and back. The witness said the attacker was probably a thin, unkempt man he had seen walking in the park earlier. ‘He wore a hoodie but I could see he was bald, he had oversized trousers and a slouched walk.’ ‘We have spoken to a number of people who were in or around the park,’ police spokeswoman Ellie Lust said. ‘We know a number of people fled because of the incident but we would very much like to talk to them.'
© The Dutch News

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Man admits to killing leftist hip-hop artist in the name of far-right party Golden Dawn

18/9/2013- Greek police raided the Athens offices of the Golden Dawn party after Pavlos Fyssas, a left-wing rapper otherwise known as MC Killah P, was killed by a 45-year-old man claiming his allegiance to the far-right group. 34-year-old Pavlos Fysass died in hospital having suffered at least two stab wounds to the heart and ribs, police officials said. Local reports say Fysass had been watching a game of football at a café in the Athens suburb of Keratsini when he was surrounded by a group of 30 men in Golden Dawn shirts and military style trousers. The 45-year-old man arrested in conjunction with Fysass’s death has admitted to the murder and also stated his support for Golden Dawn, police say.

Golden Dawn, who are the fastest growing party in Greece and currently poll at around 15 per cent, have denied any involvement. “[The accusers] are miserable and wretched not only because of their brazen lies and slander but because they are exploiting a tragic event for politicking, to win votes and to divide Greek society,” the party said in a statement. The killing immediately stimulated strong responses from other politicians as well as non-government groups. Minister of Public Order Nikos Dendias cancelled a trip to Rome, citing the severity of the situation. He said: “The abominable murder in Keratsini by an attacker sympathizing with Golden Dawn, according to his own statement, illustrates, in the clearest way, the intentions of neo-Nazism,”

Keerfa, a Greek anti-racist and fascist group, said in a statement: “Golden Dawn is intensifying its attacks [because it is] enjoying complete asylum from the police,”. The far-right party have been known to openly espouse Nazism and Hitler’s ideology, while its logo, the “meander”, an ancient Greek symbol, bears a strong resemblance to the swastika in colour and design. Founded in 1985 as a tiny fringe party, Golden Dawn’s popularity has soared during Greece’s last six consecutive years of recession. In Greece’s 2012 elections the party garnered nearly seven per cent of the vote. It currently holds 18 of the 300 seats in Hellenic parliament.
© The Independent

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Germany: Neo-Nazis attack children on school trip

A teenage boy is in intensive care after neo-Nazis attacked a group of pupils on a school trip in east Germany.

17/9/2013- The 87 pupils from Hamburg were on a trip in rural Saxony, east Germany, when the attack took place, the Welt newspaper reported. A group of the pupils aged 14 to 15 from Goethe Grammar school snuck out of their hostel to go to a nearby village party on Friday night. The fete itself, celebrating the hamlet of Ostrau's 888th birthday, was advertised around the area and caught the eye of some of the pupils. But the party was a hotbed of far right activity with the number 88 being significant in Nazi circles as H is the eighth number in the alphabet – 88 stands for HH, Heil Hitler. Despite teachers banning them from going, the group, mostly aged around 15, were stopped by 12 men in a car park at around 3am, after enjoying the festivities, the Welt reported. They then followed the schoolchildren through the town, until they had reached the youth hostel where they were staying. According to the teachers, three of the men came into the building with the children.

One pupil, who has not been named, told the Welt that he had woken up to use the toilet, when he heard a commotion downstairs. He entered the toilets, where the three men followed him, throwing him into a urinal. One boy, a 15-year-old of Chinese descent, was reportedly beaten so badly that they broke his eye socket and jawbone. He was taken to hospital and has been in intensive care since Sunday. After the attack, the neo-Nazis stood outside the building shouting “NSDAP! We will never forget”. The NSDAP, National Socialist German Workers Party, was the ruling Nazi party during World War II. Police arrived half an hour after the attack – despite, the Welt said, the station being just three kilometres away. They have arrested nine suspects and launched an investigation.
© The Local - Germany

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German immigrant party receives threat from far-right

The BIG Party, founded by Turks residing in Germany to participate in the Sept. 11 general elections, has held a meeting over a threat they received from the far-right NPD

17/9/2013- The BIG Party, founded by Turks residing in Germany to participate in the Sept. 11 general elections, has held a meeting over a threat they received from the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). Germany's intelligence agency describes the NPD as racist, anti-Semitic and inspired by the Nazis. Its local election campaigns blame immigrants for crime and unemployment and its supporters are mostly unemployed young men with little education in depressed areas of the east. The BIG party which in German stands for Bündnis für Innovation und Gerechtigkeit, meaning Alliance for Innovation and Justice, was the first immigrant party to take part in the general elections in Germany. The president of the party, Haluk Yıldız, readying the party for the general election, held a meeting at Park Restaurant&Deluxe -- a well-known spot in Duisburg -- with many Turkish NGO representatives and party members in participation.

Yıldız made his opening speech talking about party's general election strategy and continued by mentioning that they had received a threatening letter from the right-wing extremist NPD. He said: “An administrator from the NPD sent threatening messages with authentic signatures on them to 10 of our candidates. The messages started with the use of the term ‘immigrant' as a mode of address.” According to Yıldız's statement, the threat said “Go back to wherever you came from. You are a visitor here and we suggest you leave on your will or else we will have to take a step to make you do so. We don't hesitate to say all these things. You had better take this threat seriously.” Yıldız added that they brought the incident to the attention of a court after they received the letters. A familiar incident had taken place on Sept 23, 2009, when a German prosecutor said he had been investigating a far-right party on suspicion of inciting racial hatred for sending letters to immigrant lawmakers asking them to leave the country. Prosecutor Michael von Hagen stated then that they had opened an investigation based on suspicions of inciting racial hatred.
© World Bulletin

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Man racially abuses store worker before attacking brave couple (UK)

17/9/2013- Police are appealing for witnesses after a man racially abused shop workers before attacking a couple who tried to help. Witnesses saw a customer start racially abusing a staff member, and then spitting at the staff member over the counter at the Chicoland fast food restaurant in Boughton, Chester. When a female customer intervened, the man attacked her, punching her several times in the face. As the woman fell to the floor, her husband intervened and he too was punched in the face. The incident was caught on the shop's CCTV cameras.

A spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: "It appears that this was a racially motivated and unprovoked attack on three innocent people, and as such we really want to trace the man involved. "Chester Races were on during the weekend and we believe the man may have got into a waiting minibus or taxi when he left, so he may be from outside the Chester area. "We are asking anyone who saw this incident, or who can identify this man, to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 135 of September 1, 2013."

The suspect is described as white, aged in his early 20s, with a muscular build. He has tanned skin, light brown short hair and was wearing a navy round necked t-shirt, brown chinos and trainers. At the time of the incident he was with a dark haired white woman in her early 20s, who was wearing a denim waistcoat and long black dress. The man is thought to have left the kebab shop on foot towards the Blockbuster store in Boughton and may have got into a taxi or mini bus.
© Click Liverpool

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'Cowardly' thugs punch and racially abuse man in unprovoked Blackley assault (UK)

The 41 year-old man was unloading furniture outside his brother's new pad in Blackley when the three 'cowardly' thugs launched their attack.

16/9/2013- A man was punched and racially abused in an unprovoked attack as he helped his brother move into his new home. The 41 year-old man was unloading furniture outside his brother's new pad in Blackley when the three 'cowardly' thugs launched their attack. They made racist comments towards the man, who is Asian, before telling him 'You need to get permission from me before your brother moves in.' The offenders then began to rummage through boxes before urinating on the victim's van whilst the other two yobs urinated in his brother's garden. One of them then punched the defenceless man with the other two offenders, said to be white and in their twenties, joined in. Whilst blows were reigning down on him one of the yobs rummaged through his pockets and stole keys to his house and van as well as cash and a mobile phone. All three men then fled the scene.

Police have described them as 'racist thugs' and have urged residents to come forward with information to ensure they are caught. Detective Constable Louise Edwards, said: "These men are cowardly, racist thugs and I have nothing but contempt for them and their appalling behaviour. "They verbally and physically assaulted this man in his own garden and clearly have no regard for other people or their property. "I hope the community will be as shocked by their behaviour as I am and I would urge anyone with information to get in touch. "The comments they made towards the victim suggest they think they are special and above the law so I imagine they may even have boasted to others about what they have done so if you know anything or have heard anything please call us in complete confidence."
© The Manchester Evening News

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Ipswich anti-racism gig cancelled over 'violence threat' (UK)

An anti-racism gig was cancelled after police advised that opponents could disrupt it and there was "potential for violence".

16/9/2013- The Love Music Hate Racism event, featuring over a dozen local acts, was due to take place at the Steamboat Tavern in Ipswich on Sunday but it was called-off at lunchtime. The organisers said the decision gave the "green light" to racists. Police said the decision to cancel the concert was made by the venue. Lauren Bulaitis, 16, one of the gig organisers, said: "I completely understand why the pub pulled the event, but it's still such a shame. "We were completely let down by the police and racism was given a green light in Ipswich yesterday." A spokeswoman for the Steamboat Tavern said the decision to cancel the event was "upsetting" but was made to avoid the pub being caught up in a "political" event.

Sgt Jo Garrard, from Suffolk Police, said: "We had a number of different sources of information to say there were individuals who were planning on disrupting the event and there was a potential for violence. "It is really disappointing and we did discuss how the event could be postponed and alternative arrangements made." Police said officers would be analysing posts on social media sites that had suggested to them that disruption would take place. The organisers of the event said they would now try to organise a similar event at a different venue at some point before Christmas.
© BBC News

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Man charged with assaulting couple after alleged South Wales mosque attack (UK)

Court is told woman was headbutted, stamped on and hit as she lay on the floor

14/9/2013- A man has appeared in court charged with attacking a husband and wife after he allegedly vandalised a mosque. Steven John Davies, of Tonna, Neath, appeared before Swansea magistrates charged with racially aggravated criminal damage, racially aggravated actual bodily harm and assault by beating. Prosecutor Sian Vaughan said the 21-year-old defendant was accused of smashing a double glazing window at St Anne’s Islamic Centre in Tonna, in the early hours of Friday. She told the court that following the damage, 44-year-old local woman Melanie Thomas confronted Davies before allegedly being attacked. “Mrs Thomas was headbutted and kicked and stamped on,” Ms Vaughan added. “As she lay on the floor blows continued to rain down on her.” The court gave the second alleged assault victim as 48-year-old Kevin Thomas - Mrs Thomas’ husband.

Davies, represented by Neath Port Talbot-based solicitor James McKenna, did not enter a plea. He only spoke to confirm his identity, age and address. Magistrates declined jurisdiction in the case – passing matters on to Swansea Crown Court where the defendant will appear on September 24. No bail was given. Friday’s damage to the mosque is the second time in little over a month that the building’s windows have been damaged – although no-one has been charged in relation to that matter. Community leaders expressed their revulsion at both incidents and insisted they were totally out of character for the area. Neath MP Peter Hain said: “Tonna, a quiet village with a reputation for caring and tolerance, has been shocked to the bone. “It is a shameful, ugly stain on the local community. We will not tolerate Islamaphobia or racism in our communities.”
© Wales Online

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Celebrity Swedes back call to fight xenophobia

A long list of prominent Swedes within politics, media, business and the arts have declared their support for a new campaign aimed at combating xenophobia in society.

15/9/2013- "There is a dangerous xenophobic wind blowing across Sweden. It is forcing its way into our daily discourse. It is a loud noise in the public debate. But silence is no answer. We are today launching our call for the Sweden we want to live in," the campaign "Sweden for all" declared in its launch on Saturday. Hundreds of prominent Swedes have signed up to a petition which invites further signatories to back the calls for "the country we believe in, and the tolerance and diversity which best meets current and future challenges". Among the signatories are rapper Timbuktu, integration minister Erik Ullenhag, celebrity chef Tina Nordström, and World Cup-winning football coach Pia Sundhage. The list is complemented by a list of high profile figures from all areas of public life. "We have been motivated by frustration over the uneasy silence, not least within the business world," businessman Jan Scherman, one of the initiative takers behind the campaign, explained to the Dagens Industri daily.

The campaign has been launched in the wake of two attacks with an apparent hate crime motive which have received widespread media coverage and debate both in Sweden and abroad. The beating of a pregnant Muslim woman in the Stockholm suburb of Farsta in August, apparently due to her wearing a headscarf, prompted the so-called "hijab outcry", which gained international attention. The beating of a man of Gambian origin in Malmö last week has also been condemned after police classified the incident as a hate crime. The campaign has however been ridiculed in some quarters with Sweden Democrat backed website Avpixlat describing the call for action as "a new meaningless campaign". "There is hardly any racism in Sweden today, there is however a criticism against the government immigration policy," according to an unsigned opinion article on the website. According to Crime Prevention Council (Brottsförebyggande rådet, Brå) statistics there were 5,518 police reports of hate crimes in Sweden in 2012, down 6 percent on 2008. The council's annual survey of people's security and safety in society (Nationella trygghetsundersökning, NTU) for 2012 indicates that some 86,000 people (1.2 percent of the population) were subjected to 151,000 xenophobic hate crimes in 2011.
© The Local - Sweden

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Headlines 13 September, 2013

Greeks protest against Golden Dawn attack on Communists

Thousands demonstrate in Athens after supporters of neo-Nazi party leave nine seriously injured amid fears of civil war

13/9/2013- Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Friday to protest against a violent attack on Communist party members by black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which left nine people in hospital with serious injuries. In what was described as a murderous attack – and the most serious violence since the extremist group was elected to the country's parliament last year – about 50 men wielding crowbars and bats set upon leftists as they distributed posters in a working-class district of the capital late on Thursday. In a statement KKE, the Communist party of Greece, said: "The way in which they acted and the weapons employed … are evidence of the murderous nature of the attack. Among the Golden Dawners, some of whom had covered their faces or wore helmets or [party] shirts, were their leaders, well-known fascists and thugs." With the Communist party preparing to stage a youth festival in the coming days, Thursday's midnight assault comes amid mounting fears that the far right is trying to cultivate an atmosphere of civil war in Greece.

Prominent members of the virulently anti-immigrant Golden Dawn have openly predicted that the debt-stricken country is heading towards civil war. Dimitris Psarras, a writer who has chronicled Golden Dawn's rise over almost four decades since the collapse of military rule, said: "Their agenda, clearly, is to create a climate of civil war, a divide where people have to choose between leftists and rightists." Psarras argues the attack in the dock-side district of Perama – a Communist stronghold where Golden Dawn has made considerable inroads in recent years on the back of anger over austerity measures – was indicative of that strategy. "It was very well organised and the most serious incident yet," he told the Guardian. "They are no longer only targeting immigrants in the middle of the night. They are deliberately increasing tensions, expanding their agenda of hate, by going for leftists."

Earlier this year, the Muslim Association of Greece received a letter bearing the insignia of the group and an implicit threat that its members would be "slaughtered like chickens" unless they left the country. Marking the anniversary of the September 11 attacks this week, the party posted a vehemently antisemitic diatribe on its website denouncing "world Zionism [as] the architect of global terrorism". Greece, whose political faultlines were entrenched by a bloody civil war in the wake of brutal Nazi occupation, is mired in a sixth year of recession that has seen poverty and unemployment soar as it navigates its worst crisis in modern times. Recent opinion polls have shown that no other party has managed to capitalise on the growing levels of desperation and despair as effectively as Golden Dawn. Surveys released by the pollsters Public Issue and Pulse in recent days confirmed that the extremists – who recently blasted people attending a "Greeks only" food handout with the official anthem of Nazi Germany – were the nation's fastest growing group and, at 13% and 15% respectively, its third biggest political force.

The main opposition party, the radical left Syriza, topped the ratings with 29% of support, marginally ahead of prime minister Antonis Samaras's centre-right New Democracy party. Many worry that Golden Dawn, which won 18 seats with almost 7% of the vote last June, will further boost its share of votes when local elections are held next year. According to analysts, Thursday's attack demonstrates Golden Dawn's growing self-confidence and ability to spread its appeal. They point to the inroads the party is making into middle-class neighbourhoods of Athens. With prominent clerics also voicing support for the group, commentators have begun to ask whether the ruling conservatives should join forces with Golden Dawn, whose views on issues of public order are strikingly similar. "It is a particularly worrying turn of events that we should now have a debate suggesting that Golden Dawn be brought in from the cold," Psarras said. "Talk that it should end its isolation and link up with New Democracy is dangerous at a time when Greece is going from bad to worse."

Mainstream political parties – like foreign embassies – currently have no official contacts with Golden Dawn. Leftists rallying near the spot where the attack took place called on authorities on Friday to "finally take action" and "erase" the fascist group.
© The Guardian

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Greek Communists beaten in suspected neo-Nazi attack: police

13/9/2013- Nine members of Greece's Communist party KKE were hospitalised on Friday in Athens after a beating blamed on neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, the party said. The attack occurred late on Thursday in the working-class district of Perama, near the main port of Piraeus, the party said. "It was a cowardly and murderous attack by around 50 Golden Dawn members, they wore party markings and we also saw their faces, we know who they are," local KKE official Vangelis Maroupas told Alpha Radio. The group of 20 Communists who were putting up party posters on the street were assaulted with nail-studded clubs and crowbars, KKE said. Maroupas said the nine victims had been discharged from hospital. No detail was given on their injuries.

Golden Dawn denied involvement and dismissed the KKE accusations as "slanderous". "Those who have never worked a day in their lives... should not tell lies," it said. Golden Dawn is a rising force in Greek politics, capitalising on the country's recession plight and widespread anger towards mainstream parties for failing to tackle decades of corruption. The neo-Nazi party last year elected 18 deputies to parliament and currently ranks third in opinion polls. It has been suspected of orchestrating attacks on migrants -- though the party has repeatedly denied this -- and several of its lawmakers are facing court action for violent behaviour.
© AFP

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Jewish teenagers attacked at Paris sports court (France)

A group of teenagers assaulted ten Jewish students at a public sports center in Paris.

13/9/2013- According to France’s Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, several teenagers “of African and North African origins” attacked the group of Jewish 13-year-olds from the Ner HaThorah Jewish school on Thursday. There were no serious injuries. The attackers asked the Jews to stop “occupying the area,” the report said, called them “dirty Jews,” and said “Hitler didn’t finish the job.” When police arrived, the attackers fled, according to a bureau report published Friday on the French Jewish news site JSSnews. Parents and pupils said the attack, in the 19th Arrondissement, turned into a fight as the Jewish pupils tried to defend themselves. The Bureau for Vigilance against Anti-Semitism called on French police to prosecute the attackers.
© JTA News

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The umbrella representative group of French Jewish organizations, CRIF, said it was ''shocked'' by the picture of two French soldiers who posed in front of a Paris synagogue while making an anti-Semitic gesture.

12/9/2013- The soldiers, belonging to elite Alpine Hunters unit, are currently the subject of an investigation, the French army spokesperson said. They face sanctions, he added. While on a Vigipirate anti-terrorist patrol in the French capital, they posed for the photograph in front of the entrance door of the Beth David synagogue in the 16th district of Paris with their left hand placed on their right shoulder and their right hand extended over their right thigh. The gesture was invented by anti-Semitic French humorist Dieudonné in his ‘’anti-Zionist campaign’ for the European elections in 2009. It evokes the Nazi salute. Dieudonné, a once-admired champion of anti-racism, recycled his image to become a Holocaust denying, Israel-bashing, self-styled “anti- Zionist”. CRIF called the soldiers’ gesture “shocking and disconcerting” and said that ‘’the army must always condemn racist and anti-Semitic gestures or advocating Nazism .''
© EJP News

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Denmark: Hammer attack leads to rare hate crime conviction

An attack on a trans-woman in central Copenhagen this summer has led to a successful conviction on hate crime charges

12/9/2013- An attack on a trans-woman that occurred over the summer in central Copenhagen led to a successful hate crime conviction on Wednesday. The 21-year-old assailant, referred to only as AH in the media, was found guilty of attacking 48-year-old Cecilie Mundt with a hammer near the Town Hall Square on the afternoon of June 4. AH brought the hammer down on the back of Mundt’s head with such force that it detached a nine square centimetre section of her skull.

Long-term impact
According to Politiken newspaper, Mundt says she suffers from problems related to sleeping, speaking and mobility following the attack, and is still afraid to walk in the city alone. Despite these issues, she showed up at court to hear the verdict against AH. “I feel good because justice won and the assailant has been convicted of a hate crime,” she told Politiken. “I don’t know him, but that is what he did to me.”

Denies hate motivation
AH explained in court that he approached Mundt in Copenhagen Central Station and, thinking she was a man, asked her why she was dressed the way she was. He says that Mundt then racially abused him, which made him angry and led him to follow her several hundred metres and then attack her. The jury did not agree with AH’s version of events, however, and they found him guilty of both a hate crime and grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Tough sentence
The hate crime law has been on the books since 2005 and allowed the judge in this case to set a much stiffer sentence than if AH had only been found guilty of GBH. He will be sentenced on October 24 following a psychological evaluation. According to the tabloid Ekstra Bladet, AH has been convicted on two previous occasions for assault. In 2009 he received a 60-day suspended sentence and in 2011 he was sentenced to four months in prison. According to the domestic intelligence agency PET, the number of reported sexually-motivated hate crimes rose from 23 in 2011 to 33 in 2012. Hate crime convictions are rare in Denmark. A 2011 report by the national human rights organisation Institut for Menneske Rettigheder lists only a handful of other hate crime cases since the legislation went into effect.
© The Copenhagen Post

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England fans ambushed by neo-Nazi yobs in unprovoked attack ahead of Ukraine game

Around 40 fans were relaxing in a pub when a gang of 30 balaclava-clad hooligans stormed the building, reports Andy Lines from Kiev

10/9/2013- Three England supporters were taken to hospital after being attacked by fascist thugs in Kiev. About 40 fans were relaxing in a city centre pub ahead of tonight’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine when 50 balaclava-clad hooligans stormed the building. Watford follower David Stone had a beer bottle smashed over his head, a Nottingham Forest supporter was stabbed in the hand and another victim badly beaten. The vicious Ukrainian fans – renowned for their links to neo-Nazi groups – fired a tear gas canister at the Shato pub before attacking the English. They stole several England flags before fleeing into the night. As police and ambulances arrived to treat the wounded there were still blood stains on the ­pavement.

History graduate David said: “Someone is going to get killed. These brutes could soon be up on a murder charge. “I woke in hospital. I don’t even know how many stitches I had. "I’ve been told these guys had planned the raid on the bar to steal our England flags. There were getaway cars.” Another fan, James Warren, from Watford, said: “They seemed to come out of nowhere – about 50 with knives, bottles and flares.” Witness Daniel Gover said on Twitter: “Tear gas they used hurt, luckily the flare they launched at us bounced off roof. "I was there, it was a random unprovoked attack.Not nice when they run at us with knives, Forest lad got slashed over the hand.” No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.

A Kiev police spokesman said last night: “Three British citizens were taken to hospital with wounds to the head and hands. "After getting medical treatment they were taken back to their accommodation.” The Foreign Office added: “We are aware of incidents in Kiev involving British nationals. We are providing consular assistance.” The horrific attack came hours before the England team strolled around the centre of Kiev yesterday. Roy Hodgson’s men took in the sights of the Ukrainian capital, which include the Golden Gate and the Monastery of the Caves, which has a network of caverns where monks lived. In their travel advice to fans before the match the FO said: “Most visits are trouble free. But foreign nationals have been the victims of violent crime in Kiev. “In some cases attacks have been racially motivated. "Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and those belonging to religious minorities should take extra care. “Be alert to the possibility of street crime and petty theft. Foreigners may appear to be ­lucrative targets.”
© The Mirror

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Gay Man In Russia Apparently Raped By Vigilantes On Video

13/9/2013- A video depicting a man being raped with a bottle has surfaced on social media, in what appears to be the latest assault on Russia's beleaguered homosexual community. The series of short clips, making the rounds on the mobile phone application WhatsApp show the victim, who seems to be an ethnic Uzbek, being bullied into confessing that he is gay. He is asked to identify himself and is stripped of his clothes, which are later burned. He is then handcuffed, beaten, insulted, and threatened with a gun. Ultimately, he is forced to sodomize himself by sitting on a bottle, which is then pushed with a bat. The man, visibly terrified, weeps throughout much of the ordeal. Viewers on WhatsApp overwhelmingly praised the violence as a well-deserved punishment.

RFE/RL was able to track down a man who claimed to have taken part in the attack. The Uzbek-speaking source, speaking from Russia, confirms that the victim was targeted because he is gay. "We made him sit on a bottle so that he repents for his sins and comes to reason," he told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service. "We did this to protect the dignity of Uzbeks. We live and work here, we are in contact with people of different nationalities. There will be no respect for us otherwise." According to the purported assailant, the attack took place on September 11 in Novosibirsk, where he himself is a student, and all the participants were ethnic Uzbeks. He says the man was first detained by a group of Russian antigay vigilantes who lured him to a fake date through a social-networking website.

The vigilantes then allegedly handed him to the city's Uzbek community. "Russian guys caught him and called us to say they had a gay Uzbek," the self-proclaimed author of the video said. "We then questioned him and he confessed to everything. There were six or seven of us. The Russians told us he was a pedophile, which he denied. But he confessed that he was gay." RFE/RL has seen the video, but was unable to independently verify its authenticity, or the identities of those involved.

Rampant Homophobia
Police in Novosibirsk say they are not aware of the case. A police spokesman for the Novosibirsk region told RFE/RL no such attack had been reported in the past. The assault, however, takes place against the backdrop of an aggressive campaign directed at members of the LGBT community -- lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender -- in Russia. Although Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, homophobia is still rampant in the country and attempts to hold Gay Pride parades in Moscow have been brutally crushed by both police and antigay activists. A recent law banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors has triggered a fresh wave of assaults, both verbal and physical, on LGBT people. A new bill proposes to take children away from homosexual parents.

In August, a video similar to the one apparently shot in Novosibirsk emerged on VKontakte, Russia's biggest social-networking website. It shows four Russian men viciously beating up what appears to be a transgender woman and attempting to make her sit on a bottle. The victim ultimately manages to break the bottle and run away. In this case, too, the clip drew overwhelmingly favorable comments from viewers.
© RFE/RL

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Gay Activist In Russia Hit In The Face As Police Just Watch

On Thursday, as world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg for the G-20 summit, LGBT advocates have been staging impromptu protests against Russia’s reign of homophobic tyranny. Above, a video shows one young man, Danya Grachev of the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality, being hit in the face with a foam “pie,” as police stand by and do nothing.

7/9/2013- Grachev can be seen carrying a sign that reads “Nuremberg trials, not Sochi Olympics,” a reference to the hearings Nazi war criminals faced in the wake of the Holocaust. The National Cathedral of St Petersburg, which posted the video of Grachev, refers to him as a “foreign agent.” Related: Join Logo’s Online Town Hall: “Russia Vs. The Gays” According to Pink News, other protesters have faced violent reactions to peaceful, personal demonstrations—though the only arrests have been of the demonstrators themselves. The law banning promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to minors was signed into law in June. More recently, a measure has been put forward that would take away children from gay parents.
© New Now Next

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A man and his 18-month-old son were badly beaten and nearly thrown off a bridge in Malmö in what police are describing as a race-related hate crime.

9/9/2013- The assault happened on Sunday night on a bridge when the father was out walking with his son. He was approached by a gang and the attack started when a man assaulted his son and later threatened to kill the boy. "He insulted them verbally in relation to their skin colour and their ethnicity. And he threatened to kill the boy," said Thomas Bull, the head of the police hate crimes unit, to local newspaper Sydsvenskan. "It's a hate crime," he added. Police said that the assault unfolded after one of the gang kicked a toy out of the boy's hand. When the father intervened the 18-month-old was thrown the ground. The father then sustained several blows after an estimated dozen men came running to the scene.

"They beat and kicked his father on the body and the head. When he fell they tried to throw him off the bridge which is about five metres from the street below," said Bull. The father held onto the railing while the gang hit his hands in an attempt to make him lose his grip. A witness ran up and rescued the screaming son. "Everything happened in front of the boy's eyes," Bull said. Several witnesses alerted police which were quickly on the scene. The father went to hospital bloodied and with some broken teeth. Police have appealed for further witnesses to come forward but as yet nobody has been arrested. "The callousness they showed by doing this was incredible. We are taking it extremely seriously. It hurts even more when you know what they have done to an innocent child too," concluded Thomas Bull. The crime is currently classified as assault and battery but may be upgraded to attempted murder depending on witness statements.
© The Local - Sweden

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Headlines 6 September, 2013

Friends feared for lives as drive-by thugs launched racist attack in Chatham (UK)

6/9/2013- Friends have told how they were subjected to a sickening drive-by racist attack as they walked home. The three Muslim men feared for their lives as a car driver, armed with an iron rod, and his passenger waged the unprovoked attack. The harrowing ordeal happened as Moinddin Saiyaid, 30, Muhammad Asad Sharif, 33, and 18-year-old Shamule Ishael Plesca took a routine stroll along New Road Avenue, Chatham, after having dinner at their Medway homes on Sunday night. Moinddin, who is studying at Kent College of Business and Computing in Gillingham, managed to call police and give them the registration number of the car involved. The student, who lives with his sister and her family in Chatham, said: "I think if the police had not arrived so quickly we would be dead. They were threatening to kill us and told us to go home to our own country. It was very scary." Moinddin, who hails from northern India, Muhammad, from Pakistan, and Shamule, from Romania, have all been in the UK for more than two years. They became friends after looking for part-time work together.

Moinddin said: "None of us have experienced anything like this. I came to England because it is the best place to be. I like the people and the lifestyle. But this behaviour disgusts me. They were obviously looking for trouble." They heard the car travelling at speed behind them and then stop suddenly as they approached the King's Church. Moinddin said: "One of the men got out and started swearing and saying he wanted a fight. He tried to throw punches at Shamule and I pulled him back. Then the driver got out with an iron rod. He hit me over the head with it but I managed to duck so it didn't really injure me." The man then shouted vile racist abuse and "told us to get back to our own country". Muhammad, who lives in Rochester, said he was very frightened. In the brawl, one of the men stole Moinddin's mobile - but he managed to alert police on his spare phone. As he relayed the registration number to switchboard operators, their attackers tried to remove the plate before speeding off towards Chatham.

The men did not need hospital treatment for what were minor injuries, but were badly shaken by the incident. Dai Liyanage, from Medway Ethnic Forum, said: "This is absolutely shameful. We don't have a problem with racist attacks in the Medway Towns. "I am proud how our young people mix at schools and how all cultures get involved in the community, largely thanks to the work of groups like the forum." Mr Liyanage, who was born in Sri Lanka, added: "We are a multi-cultural society. I have lived here 50 years and I consider this my home. Let's hope this a one-off incident." Neighbourhood Inspector David Matson said: "Racially motivated crimes are treated seriously by Kent Police and we are committed to targeting racism in any of its forms. "Two men were arrested within minutes of this incident being reported and thankfully this type of crime is rare on the streets of Medway. "‘I would urge victims of racist abuse to contact their local officers so we can put a stop to this insidious crime for good."

A 28-year-old man, from Rainham, was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault, criminal damage and drink driving. A 30-year-old man, from Gillingham, has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault and criminal damage. Both have been bailed until Thursday pending further inquiries. They were threatened, said Moinddin: "He said 'If you call the police, we will kill you'. Thankfully, the police arrived in minutes."
© Kent Online

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Muslim teenager lashed out with knife after racist abuse at school (UK)

A court heard Hassaan Mansoor snapped following abuse from classroom bullies at Garnock Academy who branded him a “terrorist”.

6/9/2013- A Muslim teenager who suffered a slew of sickening racial taunts at school told how he “flipped” moments before threatening a fellow student with a knife. Hassaan Mansoor, aged 17, snapped following vicious abuse from classroom bullies at Garnock Academy who branded him a “terrorist”. Mr Mansoor, of Howat Crescent in Irvine, was warned that because his mother wore a headscarf she would be stabbed if she came to school. Appearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, he was spared jail and given a year’s supervision and told to serve 130 hours of unpaid work. Outside court, an emotional Mr Mansoor said: “The abuse had been going on for so long but nobody did anything about it. “I said sorry to the boy right after I took the multi-tool out of my pocket. “I’m sorry for what I did and it’s the only time I’ve ever been in trouble. “It was totally out of character and it only happened because of what they had been doing to me for so long.
“I went to another school after that and the abuse stopped.”

Mr Mansoor was one of just two Asian students and the only Muslim at 1300-pupil Garnock Academy in Kilbirnie. The court heard that his knife threat came after “prolonged and horrific racist bullying” in the classroom and canteen. The distraught 17-year-old told how younger students would ask if he carried a bomb in his bag after they had heard rumours saying that was why the school alarm went off. He eventually turned on one of his tormentors in December 2012 after school authorities ignored his complaints about racism and bullying. Aamer Anwar, defending, said: “In this situation we were dealing with a young man in a school which failed to take any action when it was aware of racism. “Secondly, the school actually aggravated the situation and most of the time was simply unaware of what was happening.” “On a daily basis he was subjected to abuse because of his religion or the colour of his skin but thought if he complained it would make matters worse.

“He was subjected to repeated intimidation and abuse, including being called Al Qaeda, terrorist and Paki black b*****d, and this led to his becoming even more isolated at school.” The lawyer added: “He was repeatedly told that his religion was s**t and humiliated in front of other pupils. “On each and every occasion no one intervened. “He did not retaliate, which emboldened the bullies and increased the casual racism. “As he was pushed to the limits to react he thought of fighting back but stopped from doing so as he knew he would be excluded and bring shame upon his family.” Mr Mansoor had been working on his family’s new home and still had a bladed multi-tool in the pocket of his winter coat when he went to school next day. After suffering further taunts he brandished the tool at a 16-year-old boy, apologising immediately after. Police statements taken from witnesses after the incident confirmed racial abuse against him took place.

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane said she would not be sending him to prison “based on what I heard at the last hearing”. She added: “You presented a knife to someone at school, which is unacceptable in any shape or form.” Describing the school authorities as being “in denial”, Mr Anwar added: “We have heard of no action or even an investigation against these thugs who tormented this young man on a daily basis. “What is sad is that, while Hassan has been punished, those who committed criminal acts against him are free to carry on.” Mansoor transferred to Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn after the incident and is now going to college. North Ayrshire Council denied claims the school failed to act as an “untrue and unfair misrepresentation of the school community”. A spokesman added: “Prior to the incident in question, the pupil had only ever reported one occasion where an unacceptable remark had been made and on that occasion the school took immediate action to resolve the matter.

“Garnock Academy, in common with all other North Ayrshire schools, is educating pupils, staff and the wider community to understand and be tolerant of religious belief and cultural diversity and to encourage this in others. “The school also has its own race equality policy which clearly states the right of everyone in the school community to live free of discrimination and prejudice and confirms its commitment to tackling racism of every kind.”
© The Daily Record

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MP blames ad vans for racist attack on Corby mosque (UK)

The Government’s “go home” vans have been blamed by the town’s MP for a racist attack on a Corby mosque.

5/9/2013- Labour MP for Corby Andy Sawford said he was appalled to see a mosque was targeted shortly after the Home Office’s controversial vans toured the country. He said during an urgent question on border controls: “When I visited a week after the Home Office’s racist go home vans had been touring English cities - (at) the mosque in Corby I was appalled to find the words in very large letters ‘go home’ outside the mosque.” Mr Sawford suggested the culprits were motivated by the vehicles. He said: “That act was the act of a tiny minority of the people in my community spurred on by this Government’s racist attack on the people of this country.” Immigration Minister Mark Harper disagreed with Mr Sawford’s description of the vans. Mr Harper said: “I simply don’t agree with you and, actually, if the polling is to be believed neither do the British people.

“Most people in this country do not agree with the characterisation of our pilot: asking people who have no rights to be in the country - it was aimed at people who have no right to be here, not British citizens, not people who are here lawfully - very clearly aimed at people here illegally asking them to leave the country.” Mr Harper was referring to recent surveys which indicate that the majority of the public do not regard the signs as racist. One YouGov poll showed 66 per cent of the public “tend to” or “strongly” disagree that the advertising is racist. Pointing out that the scheme has not yet been launched on a national level, Mr Harper added: “We’re running a pilot. “We will look at the results of the pilot to decide if it will be rolled out or not. And I simply don’t agree with you and I don’t think the British public do either.”
© Northhamshire Telegraph

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A 78-year-old community stalwart has been found guilty of a racist attack on a traveller family.

3/9/2013- Prominent businesswoman José Hampson flew into a rage at the travellers who live in an encampment on Hut Lane, Heath Charnock, near her home. The former school teacher and governor, who has run Hampson’s Toymaster, Market Street, Chorley, with her family for more than 60 years, appeared at Preston Magistrates’ Court on Friday. The widow had pleaded not guilty to a racially aggravated offence of threatening, abusive or insulting language or behaviour. The charge followed an incident on April 18 this year when Mrs Hampson was driving home from work at around 4pm. A van was blocking her way on a narrow, single track lane, close to where the travellers – the Linfoot family – live. She reversed her blue Jaguar saloon through gates partly onto the travellers’ land to turn around and go back to work. The court heard that when Mr Michael Linfoot and his father-in-law approached the car, Mrs Hampson, who had scraped the bumper of her vehicle on a wall, launched her attack on them.

Mr Linfoot told the court she got out of the car and said: “I’m ******* sick of you lot”. She accused the travellers of living on an “illegal” site and stormed: “I wish you would all **** off, you dirty ******* gypos.” Mrs Hampson, who did admit using the “f word” to the travellers, when she asked “what the “******** nuisance” was about, denied making the racist remarks. She said she did not get out of her car and felt intimidated by the two men. Mr Linfoot said : “A lady got out. I asked can I help her and realised it was Mrs Hampson and she started screaming and shouting. She got out of the vehicle. She started pointing at her wheel. “She said “look at my ******* wheel. I said what’s that got to do with us?” He said she replied: “It’s your ******* van down there. I couldn’t get past it.” The van, though, did not belong to the travellers.

Mr Linfoot’s father-in-law Walter Bird said Mrs Hampson got out of the car and was “ranting and raving, waving her arms around with bad language”. “For her to come out with language like that, I was really shocked,” said Mr Bird. Mrs Hampson said: “I was shocked when Mr Linfoot came running across and said what the ******* hell are you doing on my land. He was shouting through the window, He had his father-in-law stood behind him and I was intimidated.” She said she did not call the travellers “dirty ******* gypos” “Absolutely not. I swear by God I didn’t use those words. “I would never dream of using language like that,” she said. “I did use the f word because I had to respond. I’m only small and they were towering over me.” She said after the trial: “I’m absolutely stunned, but I’m considering the way forward because it’s taken a lot out of me and I know I’m perfectly innocent. “I’ve lost a stone in weight after all this.”

Deputy District Judge James Hatton said he had taken into account that Mrs Hampson was hitherto a lady of good character. However he said the evidence against her was “clear, cogent and believable” and “that in the heat of the moment you have lost your temper and used the language that has been described in the court today.” Mrs Hampson was fined £690, and ordered to pay £620 costs and a £69 victim surcharge.
© The Chorley Guardian

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Internet hoax from far right-website being investigated(UK)

2/9/2013- A hoax story about a baby beating in Teesside which has swept across the Internet – and appears to be racially motivated – is being investigated by police. Cleveland Police said there was no truth in a report - which has gone viral on social media networks - that said a two-month-old white baby was punched in the face and thrown against a wall by an Asian youth in a Teesside street. In fact, the story appears to be loosely based on a 2005 incident in which a ten-month-old Asian baby was punched in the face and chest by a drunken white youth in Middlesbrough. Police are understood to be examining whether the hoax is racially motivated and if any action can be taken. It was posted by a website, The Daily Bale (Britains Against Left-Wing Extremists), which has links to far-right groups, and the story has spread across the Internet, posted by people believing it to be true.

Disturbingly, it also appears to have used a picture of a tiny baby taken from a petition against child abuse. It also makes up quotes from a serving police officer who investigated the true incident in 2005. A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said last night: “We are aware of posts circulating across social media claiming that a baby was assaulted by an Asian youth in Middlesbrough last week. “These reports are a hoax and an incident of this nature has not been reported to police. We would ask that people do not retweet or share the posts. “An officer will be looking at where this originated and seeing if any action needs to be taken.” Even extreme far-right groups were quick to condemn the hoax last night.

The English Defence League originally shared the story, but later wrote on its Facebook page: “Please not that the article on the Daily Bale regarding a baby being assaulted is not true. The picture of the baby is from a petition on the change.org site relating to child abuse. Please do not post the link for the article on Facebook.” British Patriots Society warned on its page: “Please be aware that the "Daily Bale" page and website is a troll page, and their stories are fabricated. I doubt very much that you'll find any of the stories from the Daily Bale that are true.”

© The Northern Echo

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Elderly disabled man attacked and robbed in Tooting 'hate crime' (UK)

2/9/2013- An elderly disabled man was assaulted and robbed of his writing tablet used to communicate. The attack happened at about 11.30pm on Saturday, August 24 in Finborough Road, Tooting. The attacker was described as a black woman wearing a light coloured mid length coat with a fur trim. Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams, Merton police’s borough commander, said: "Every so often, despite all my years in the police, a crime happens that affects me. "Whenever I think criminals can sink no lower, one of them proves me wrong by doing something that shocks, repels and saddens me." He added: "We are convinced that the suspect knew the victim and that she specifically targeted him because of his disability and we are therefore treating this as a hate crime." A suspect has been arrested but was later bailed.
© Your Local Guardian

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Study: Far-right extremists behind loner attacks were younger, had more military experience (USA)

3/9/2013- Far-right extremists who plan and commit homicides alone are more likely to have military experience, be younger and have struggled with mental illness than those who don't act alone, according to research published in Criminology & Public Policy. Loner homicides were also more likely to occur after 9/11, says the study, authored by researchers from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. START announced its publication online Aug. 26, though it was first published in print in February. The study reviews all 139 ideologically motivated homicides committed by far-right extremists between 1990 and 2010 in the U.S. Extremist Crime Database, which START researchers created. It examines homicides by far-right extremists because they made up the majority of ideologically motivated loner attacks in that time.

White supremacists such as Alex Curtis and Tom Metzger popularized loner attacks among their followers because they can be more difficult for law enforcement to prevent and investigate, the study says. They also put large organizations at less risk of prosecution. Researchers counted extremist killers as loners if they operated alone at all stages, were not connected to an extremist or formally a member, and conceived and carried out the attack without direction from anyone else. High-profile loner attacks include the suicide plane attack on an Internal Revenue Service building in 2010 and the abortion clinic bombings by Eric Rudolph in the 1990s. The study compared a variety of attributes between loners and the rest of the far-right extremist killers that they reviewed. Loners were less likely to take part in movement-related activities, such as publishing or distributing materials and attending protests or rallies--defying the researchers' expectations, the study says. Loners were no more or less likely to plead guilty, have substance abuse issues, have a criminal record or have children. Most of the attacks in the study were carried out by white males, whether they did so alone or not.
© Fierce Homeland Security

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2/9/2013- A French imam known for promoting Jewish-Muslim relations said he was physically assaulted in Tunisia by a man who called him a “Zionist.” The attacker of Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy near Paris, punched him in the chest and shoved him to the ground on Sunday near Hotel Gammarth near Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. “He insulted me, called me a ‘Zionist and collaborator’ and then he hit me,” Chalghoumi was quoted Monday as telling Le Parisien daily. Chalghoumi was assaulted in front of his wife and children, who also were hit by the unnamed attacker, the report said. According to the report, the man, who addressed Chalghoumi in French, was detained by hotel staffers and arrested by police. Chalghoumi was taken to hospital after the incident, according to the French news agency AFP. Neither he nor his family members sustained serious injuries. Chalghoumi, who is well-known in France for his involvement in interfaith forums and initiatives, has received many death threats in France for his friendly ties with CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewish communities, and for visiting Israel several times.
© JTA News

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Street party vs. hate: Czech Roma under threat

At street protests in Czech cities, neo-Nazis shout hate slogans to spread fear amongst the Roma population. They seem prepared to use violence. But Roma in the town of Duchcov have responded with peaceful measures.

1/9/2013- Little Robert and his friends have the streets to themselves, for the time being. The seven-year-old lies on the black asphalt as his sister traces his small body in chalk. They add a smiley face to the figure. Two older boys hastily scribble Roma flags onto the street - blue and green, with the red chakra wheel in the middle - and write "We are here too" beside it. With this, the children are trying to somehow ward off the approaching calamity.

Four marches in three months
Just an hour and a half later, some 50 neo-Nazis and 250 Duchcov residents march over the chalk figure. Their slogans echo among the crumbling facades of the buildings in this neighborhood where many Roma families live. "This is our home" and "Bohemia for Czechs," the neo-Nazis chant. Little Robert (not his real name) is furious about the march. He would like to do more than draw chalk figures on the street. "At least throw a skinhead to the ground and give him some kicks," says the seven-year-old. Really? "No, put him in handcuffs, so he can't move." This is already the fourth anti-Roma march he's had to witness in his neighborhood in the past three months. The protests in Duchcov were triggered by an attack in the Roma district in mid-May, when some drunk people brutally beat a man and a woman. The Czech neo-Nazi website Free Resistance used security camera recordings of the attack to stoke anti-Roma sentiment and call for nationwide protest. Criminality in poor areas is something many Czechs are worried about, and the Roma are being held collectively to blame. "Will we just continue to look on?" was the rhetorical question posed in the right-wing online video.

Persecution becoming commonplace
Around 2,500 people in eight Czech cities answered the call, and marched alongside the neo-Nazis. Their derogatory motto: "Together against the Gypsy terror." In the industrial city of Ostrava in the east of the country, demonstrators clashed with police on the streets. Police used teargas and batons to prevent right-wing radicals from entering the largely Roma neighborhood. In Duchcov, around 60 residents and volunteers gathered to oppose the neo-Nazi march. A makeshift podium, built from pallets, was erected in front of the entrance to a home. A banner hung beside it, bearing the phrase: "Black, white, let's join forces." Performance artist Ivana Conkova is also trying to quell the atmosphere of persecution by supporting the Roma. The 28-year-old works alongside a few other volunteers in the citizen initiative Konexe, organizing actions every weekend to counter the anti-Roma protests. They're also intended to distract the Roma, helping them keep their composure and preventing them from hiding away in their homes.

While the mob chants "Let's go get them," Conkova plays, sings and dances along with the residents - at least, that's what they try to do. Conkova calls the small street festival an "oasis of peace." Her brown eyes look tired: she's been keeping up her fight against racism - with no financial support - almost every weekend. "We want to offer the children a different, positive experience," Conkova says. Visibly tense adults shift about on white plastic stools, drinking Turkish coffee. A young woman paints the children's faces. They don't look like they want to sing and dance. Violin, cello and guitar music is soon overpowered by the drone of a helicopter. The protest march is only a few hundred meters away. A chain of police in riot gear is there to prevent the protest from reaching the Roma. Conkova's hoarse vocals aren't enough to banish the Roma's fear and anger.

Biding time, cooking potato soup
Jitka Bartova is having none of it. Duchcov's mayor is staying home this Saturday, cooking potato soup. But the middle-aged woman with sparse red hair says she can understand why citizens are upset, and why they have decided to join the skinheads in surrounding the Roma neighborhood. "Frustration is growing among many people," Bartova says from her sunny terrace, located just a few blocks away from the demonstrations. She points out that the difficult economic situation and high unemployment mean more and more "whites" are struggling financially. "And then they see a smiling Roma letting a social worker fill out welfare forms for them. The feeling is growing inside of people that nobody is looking out for them," Duchov's mayor says. She describes the Roma street party as a provocation. At the first anti-Roma protest in May, Mayor Bartova gave a speech in which she appeared to publicly express sympathy with the demonstrators. A few weeks ago, the Czech domestic intelligence agency assessed the phenomenon of ever more Czechs heeding the neo-Nazis' calls to take to the streets as a serious threat to the republic's security and democracy.

Breakdance instead of battle
Czech human rights organizations have for years been highlighting discrimination against Roma in schools, or on the housing and job markets. Such discrimination can be deeply ingrained in the system. The town of Duchcov, for example, sold off the partly-dilapidated buildings in which the Roma live to fly-by-night private housing companies. A large part of the welfare payments the Roma receive ends up flowing directly to real estate sharks, through inflated rents. Back at the street party, just before 4 p.m., something happens that Conkova says always happens when the anti-Roma chanting becomes too oppressive. Those present turn away from the podium to look at those who want to get at them. "Pressure is building," one person says. "Time to take things into our own hands." Conkova, too, is tempted to stand in the way of the mob. "Roma have to step out of the victim role," she said. But in the end the Roma decide against open conflict. We don't want to provoke them, they say; we have to protect the children. We're here to celebrate. The children take this literally, running back to the stage. Deafening pop music blasts from the speaker. Robert and his friends finally find an outlet for their rage: breakdancing.
© The Deutsche Welle.

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Ukraine Far Right Rallies Against Hasidic Pilgrimage

Plans Rally in Uman as Breslov Group Gathers

3/9/2013- A Ukrainian ultranationalist movement is organizing a march in Uman against the presence of Jewish pilgrims there, Ukrainian media reported. “The Hasidim colonize Uman, with help from authorities,” Yuri Botnar of the Svoboda party was quoted as telling the news site timeua.com on Monday. Botnar, the local representative of Svoboda in Uman, said he was organizing a march under the banner “Uman without Hassidim” on Sept. 12. Protests in Uman against the presence of thousands of Jewish pilgrims in Uman started a few years ago, as Svodoba increased its popularity. The ultranationalistic opposition movement entered parliament for the first time in 2012 when 10 percent of the national vote in the election made it Ukraine’s fourth largest party. Several of its leading members, including party leader Oleh Tyahnybok, have made anti-Semitic statements.

Some 25,000 pilgrims, many of them from the Breslov movement, converge in Uman each year ahead of the Jewish new year to pray near the burial place of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov hasidic movement. Most of the pilgrims do not stay longer than one week and are expected to leave before the protest rally takes place. Previous rallies attracted several dozen demonstrators. Ukrainian police has dispatched nearly 500 police officers to maintain public order in Uman during the High Holidays, Gazeta.ua reported. They were joined by 12 Israeli police officers. Police officers reportedly are limiting the access of non-Jews to the area of Uman where the pilgrims congregate. In unrelated incidents, three attacks on Jewish property have been reported within two weeks in Ukraine and Russia.

In Pryluki, a town located 80 miles east of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, 17 Jewish tombstones were desecrated when unknown assailants spray-painted them with swastikas, the Ukrainian news site Gazeta.ua reported Aug. 22. Swastikas also were painted on the night of Aug. 25 on a synagogue in Mykolaiv, a city situated some 80 miles east of the Ukrainian city of Odessa, the news site tsn.ua reported. And on Aug. 23, unknown assailants hurled stones and other objects at the Gan Geula Jewish kindergarten in Volgograd, a city in southwest Russia, in what authorities said may have been a hate crime, according to Russia’s Jewish News Agency.
© The Forward

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FEMEN activists flee Ukraine over 'political persecution, beatings and threats'

31/8/2013- Fearing political persecution and their lives, four FEMEN activists have fled Ukraine for France, Alexandra Shevchenko, a founding member of the group told the Kyiv Post by phone. "Yes, me, Anna (Hutsol), Yana (Zhdanova) and Oksana (Shachko) have escaped from Ukraine to France, to our Parisian training base," Shevchenko said. The feminist group said in a statement through their French branch that starting in July they have been subject to "systemic persecution, violent beatings, and continuous threats" from Ukrainian and Russian intelligence services "on the order of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and (Ukrainian President Viktor) Yanukovych as revenge for our active anti-dictatorship Femen activity in eastern Europe."

Speaking from FEMEN's Paris training center, Shevchenko said they left the country on Thursday, Aug. 29. Shevchenko said she and the other three are unsure about their plans, but it is possible that they will seek asylum in France. First, though, they must remain in the country for six months. Inna Shevchenko, another FEMEN founder who is not related to Alexandra Shevchenko and who heads the group's Paris branch, received asylum form France earlier this year. The decision to flee Ukraine came days after a raid of FEMEN's headquarters in Kyiv on Aug. 27 by police, during which a World War II-era pistol and a grenade were discovered. The Shevchenko district police said they had received an anonymous tip that the group was in possession of an explosive.

Shevchenko told the Kyiv Post by phone on Aug. 27 that the raid appeared staged and that the weapon and explosive had been planted. “When I saw how they were searching, it was like a show, a scene from a movie, and the police and SBU (security service) were like actors – they came in, and skipped two rooms and went almost exactly to the spot where they uncovered a (grenade),” she said. “These items were clearly planted.” As a result, a criminal case was opened against the activists under Article 263, "illegal possession of weapons," an offense punishable by up to five years in prison.

Also this month, FEMEN's activists and a colleague of the group endured multiple, violent attacks, first in Kyiv, and later in Odesa. As a result of these incidents, the radical feminist group, known for staging topless political protests, announced that it would close its Ukrainian headquarters in central Kyiv. The group emphasized in a statement, however, that "such repression will not stop the active movement in Ukraine, Russia and other dictatorial states."
© The Kyiv Post

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