ICARE Hate Crime News - Archive November 2013

Headlines 29 November, 2013

Headlines 22 November, 2013

Headlines 15 November, 2013

Headlines 8 November, 2013

Headlines 29 November, 2013

Protest against Mosque may be Defined as Hate Crime (Iceland)

29/11/2013- Three pig heads and bloodied pages of the Koran were scattered across the plot of land allocated to the Association of Muslims in Iceland for the building of a mosque on Wednesday. Professor at the University of Iceland's law department Björg Thorarensen says the incident could be classified as a hate crime but Benedikt Lund at Reykjavík Metropolitan Police told visir.is that it is unlikely that the case will be investigated as they don’t have any evidence. The animal parts and pages of the Koran were discarded by City employees tasked with cleaning up the site after the incident. According to Benedikt, the police officer on the scene said that there was some paper at the site but didn’t know whether it was related to the issue. Óskar Bjarnason, who lives in Sweden, told visir.is that he was present when the incident took place and that a group of 20 people are behind the act. Óskar claimed that prominent figures in Reykjavík are among its members. He mentioned examples of protests by others in Sweden but said that the action taken in Iceland was less radical. Reykjavík City Council formally approved the building site for Iceland’s first mosque in September. The Association of Muslims in Iceland was allocated the plot of land in January. The association is currently run from a building in Reykjavík but this will be the first building built specifically as a mosque in Iceland. The City Council’s decision has raised much discussion in Iceland.
© The Iceland Review

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Gay grandfather murdered outside gay bar in Chester (UK)

Police have arrested and bailed two men in connection with the fatal assault of a gay man outside a Chester gay bar.

29/11/2013- Ronald Hayes, aged 63 from Morpeth in Northumberland suffered serious injuries following an assault near to the Liverpool Arms Bar, in Northgate Street at around 12.50am on Saturday 23 November 2013. Mr Hayes lived with his male partner on a smart, modern estate at Widdrington Station, near Morpeth. A murder enquiry has been launched and two men both aged 26 and from nearby Ellesmere Port have been arrested and bailed pending further inquiries. Police say they are investigating numerous lines of enquiry but detectives are understood to be looking into whether Mr Hayes was the victim of a homophobic attack. The pub bills itself as “Chester’s only full time gay venue”. In a statement issued by police, Ronald’s family said: “Those closest to Ronald describe him as a doting partner, father and grandfather whose spirit and energy was infectious. He had a drive for life that outweighed his years. We are all deeply saddened.”

It is understood that Mr Hayes had been in the Liverpool Arms bar during the course of the evening, and was attacked after leaving the premises. It is believed his attackers were in the bar during the evening. He was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital in a critical condition, and subsequently placed on a ventilator. The ventilator was switched off shortly before 1pm on Monday. Sergeant Andrew Burrage, from Chester Police, said: “People will understandably have concerns following this incident. “I would like to reassure the communities of Chester that extra patrols will be visible in the area to answer any questions people may have. Inquiries are ongoing, and at this stage we are keeping an open mind, and it is too early to speculate on a motive for this attack.”

Police are continuing to ask anyone who was in the Liverpool Arms bar, or the area of Northgate Street where the attack occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, and who may have any information of relevance, to contact Chester police.
© Pink News

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London college lecturer suspended after secret tape reveals he compared gay teachers to the Ku Klux Klan in staff room rant(UK)

28/11/2013- A senior lecturer at one of London’s biggest colleges has been suspended after comparing gay teachers to the Ku Klux Klan and claiming they are obsessed with converting pupils to “gayism”. Dr Mark Walcott, the head of dance and drama at Newham College and a part-time psychotherapist, made the extraordinary comments during a 50-minute staff-room rant which was secretly recorded. He told stunned colleagues: "Boys are becoming gay not because they have got a gay gene but because they have gay teachers. The homosexual stimuli is out there moulding and grooming our children." His remarks were made last year but have now been posted online earlier after appalled staff claimed their concerns were "swept under the carpet" when the college’s eight-month investigation resulted in no action being taken.

However after the recording was listened to more than 2,000 times on YouTube, the board of governors yesterday held an emergency meeting, with 52-year-old father-of-five Dr Walcott suspended from his role as a consultant at the college. The governors are said to be concerned about the quality of the initial investigation, and are believed to have chosen an external "legal heavyweight" to chair a new inquiry. In the recording, Dr Walcott admitted being prejudiced and said the gay community was like the "Ku Klux Klan, the Freemasons and the Nazis" who all wanted to boost their "memberships" by "indoctrinating people". He said: "I have prejudices about people who are homosexual and are grooming my children and other people’s children into homosexuality when they didn’t actually choose it. "Gay people’s objectives is not just to have lots of gay sex, but also to increase the gay community. Gayism or any sexual preference is subliminally taught and auto-suggestive."

In the rant he also:
Defended the Ku Klux Klan’s right to "fight for their culture" and said he would "kill" if people in his native Jamaica started to "look Chinese" after breeding with immigrants.
Said he loathed Elton John for his "over-burdensome gayism" and objected to schools and colleges being run by gay people.
Said one patient had asked to sleep with him to heal their homosexuality.

His estranged wife Michelle, who split from him four years ago, today described his views as "madness". She told the Standard: "He always wanted fame and his name in the papers. He’s got it now. "I don’t know where it comes from. He never used to be like that. It’s just madness. His big mouth is bringing down Newham College." The rant was recorded in the school staff room on his phone by James Yates, a former music technology lecturer at the college who later resigned. He claimed it was "covered up". "The reason I loved Newham is because it’s a multicultural institution with many people from all walks of life, and what he was saying was so contradictory to that," he said. "I didn’t think someone in the educational establishment would be able to have those views. "This happened and I feel that it was covered up, and I don’t feel that is right."

Dr Walcott describes himself as a "polymath" and director and head consultant for Mind and Body Clinic London, as well as CEO of MADA Music and Dance Academy London. He did not respond to requests for comment today. Newham is one of London’s largest further education colleges with more than 20,000 full and part-time students. It says its aim is to create "an environment that supports all our students to study no matter what their age, nationality, colour, creed, faith, disability, marital status or circumstances", and is the only FE college in gay rights group Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index of the top 100 employers. In a statement, it said: "The college is aware that a recording has been posted on social media websites expressing views that do not reflect the values of Newham College. The college has instigated a full investigation, to be externally chaired. "The individual named has been suspended, pending that investigation. Newham College does not support any discrimination against, or unfair treatment of, staff or learners in any context." Dr Walcott did not respond to requests for a comment.
© The London Evening Standard.

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Teacher, 28, banned from classroom after racist attack on bouncer at nightclub (UK)

Rachael Patterson was sacked and convicted earlier this year of racially aggravated conduct after she called the black steward a “f****** monkey”.

27/11/2013- A teacher who hurled racist abuse at a black nightclub bouncer has been banned from the classroom. Rachael Patterson called the steward a “f****** monkey”. The 28-year-old, who worked with kids from troubled backgrounds, also made monkey noises. Patterson was sacked and convicted earlier this year of racially aggravated conduct. She attempted to save her teaching career at a hearing in Edinburgh this month but she was struck off by watchdogs. The General Teaching Council for Scotland ruled that it was the only sanction which would show their commitment to promoting equality and diversity. At the hearing in Edinburgh, Patterson admitted she was drunk and said she regretted her behaviour at Aberdeen’s Aurum nightclub. But she denied making racist comments to staff and said she loved her job.

The GTCS hearing was told that the teacher was not appealing her conviction or her sacking. The head of the school where she worked, St Machar Academy in Aberdeen, gave evidence on Patterson’s behalf. Isabella McIntyre described the teacher as “exactly the kind of person we need in Scotland”. But panel convener John McGachey said: “Given the nature of the conviction, removal (from the register) was the only disposal that would sufficiently demonstrate to the public GTC Scotland’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity.” Patterson was fined £600 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in January after being convicted of the offence which happened in May 2012.
© The Daily Record

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Racist letter threatens attacks on Muslim community in Dublin (Ireland)

An unsigned letter sent to mosques and schools in Ireland warns members of imminent attacks.

26/11/2013- Justice minister Alan Shatter has condemned the sending of hate mail to the Muslim community, and said he is bringing the matter to the attention of Garda Commissioner. An unsigned letter, which features an image of Michael Collins, was posted to a number of schools and mosques recently, threatening extreme violence if building plans for a new mosque in north Dublin get underway. The Minister said in a statement that he utterly condemned “racism and religious bigotry in all of their forms” and that he was “appalled by the nature of the letters. He added: “Religious intolerance has no place in our society. Incitement to hatred and incitement to violence are offences under our laws.”

The letter states that:
“Your very presence in our country is destroying our heritage and culture and we are calling on our countries’ people to attack any Muslim they come across in shops, taxis or mosques or any other place they come across them.” “Anyone seen wearing a veil or hijaab will be severely delt with (sic),” it continues. The letter also states “we will attack any Muslim man, women and child that enters any mosque in Ireland and especially if the new larger mosque is build (sic) in North Dublin. And our children will attack yours in schools…” Read the full letter here.

The intimidation has been condemned by the Irish Anti-War Movement and the Immigration Council of Ireland today. Gardaí have opened an investigation. “A hate campaign against the Muslim community in Dublin must be fully investigated and those responsible prosecuted,” said the Immigrant Council of Ireland in a statement. “The emergence of this letter and its threats is both sinister and alarming. The language used is that more often associated with right wing extremists which have re-emerged in other parts of Europe,” added CEO Denise Charlton.

“The Immigrant Council is committed to working with the Gardaí to combat racism and is requesting that the force use all available resources to establish which group or individual is behind the letters and the internet postings and to ensure that they face the full rigour of the law. “The response to this incident will test the effectiveness of Irelands Incitement to Hatred legislation. “The tone and language of the letter does not allow for ambiguity, it is by any definition an act of hatred and should be prosecuted as such,” she added. According to the IAWM, some Muslim girls have received letters specifically referring to their waring of the Hijab.

The group noted:
It is evident from the letter that the mosque planned to be build in Clongriffin, near the Priory Hall site in North Dublin, is likely one of the excuses for this extremely racist reaction. “This letter is unspeakably shameful and disgusting. The author(s) of this ‘porn’ claim to represent ‘the Irish People’ (whatever that imaginary monolith is) but that claim is an insult to Irish people. So it’s not just Muslims that are being insulted. “The letter is also deeply disturbing as it contains a picture of Michael Collins at the top. The Irish Government must denounce this letter immediately as it is a clear incitement to racial hatred and racial violence.”
© The Journal Ireland

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26/11/2013- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has questioned the validity of the FBI’s 2012 Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report, the calling it “seriously flawed” for its incomplete numbers. According to the ADL, more than 25 percent of the nation’s law enforcing agencies failed to provide the FBI with hate crime statistics. “Due to a deeply disturbing trend of under-reporting and under-participation by law enforcement agencies, including more than a dozen of the largest agencies in the United States, the 2012 Hate Crime Statistics Act report is seriously flawed,” Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said in a statement. Nevertheless, in the report, Jews remained by far the largest target of religiously motivated hate crimes. According to the FBI, 59.7 percent of all religious hate crimes in 2012 were anti-Jewish. But overall, hate crimes fell by seven percent from 6,222 incidents in 2011 to 5,796 in 2012.
© JNS News Service

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Latest Hate Crime USA Statistics: Annual Report Shows Slight Decease (FBI press release)

25/11/2013- The FBI has just released its hate crime statistics report for 2012, and the numbers show that we as a nation still have a way to go toward alleviating these crimes that have such a devastating impact on communities. For the 2012 time frame, law enforcement agencies reported 5,796 hate crime incidents involving 6,718 offenses, down from 2011 figures of 6,222 incidents involving 7,254 offenses. Also during 2012, there were 7,164 hate crime victims reported (which include individuals, businesses, institutions, and society as a whole), down from 7,713 in 2011. The data contained in Hate Crime Statistics, 2012 is a subset of the information that law enforcement submits to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The full hate crime report can be viewed on our website, but here are a few highlights:

48.3 percent of the 5,790 single-bias incidents were racially motivated, while 19.6 percent resulted from sexual orientation bias and 19 percent from religious bias.
Of the 7,164 hate crime victims, 55.4 percent were victims of crimes against persons and 41.8 percent were victims of crimes against property. The remaining 2.8 percent were victims of crimes against society (like drug offenses, gambling, and prostitution).
39.6 percent of the victims of crimes against persons suffered simple assaults, while 37.5 percent were intimidated and 21.5 percent were victims of aggravated assault. (Law enforcement also reported 10 murders and 15 rapes as hate crimes.)
An overwhelming majority—75.6 percent—of the victims of crimes against property were victimized by acts of destruction, damage, and/or vandalism.
Of the 5,331 known offenders, 54.6 percent were white and 23.3 percent were black.

Recent Changes to Hate Crime Data Collection
Beginning in January of this year, new UCR data collection methods allowed law enforcement to get even more specific when submitting bias motivation information. For example, as a result of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, agencies can now report on crimes motivated by “gender identity” bias and “crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles.” And a federal directive enabled our UCR Program to expand and/or modify its data collection categories for race and ethnicity. (This enhanced 2013 hate crime data will be published in 2014.)

FBI’s Role in Combating Hate Crimes
In addition to our annual hate crime report—published to help provide a more accurate accounting of the problem—the FBI is the sole investigative force for criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes. As a matter of fact, hate crime is the number one priority in our civil rights program, and during 2012, we opened some 200 hate crime investigations. But in addition to our investigations, we also work closely with our state and local partners on their investigations—offering FBI resources, forensic expertise, and experience in identifying and proving hate-based motivations. We participate in hate crime working groups around the country to help develop strategies that address local problems. And we conduct training for local law enforcement, minority and religious organizations, and community groups to reduce civil rights abuses.
© FBI

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Innocent commuter shot in the face in racist attack on Moscow metro (Russia)

CCTV footage has captured the horrifying moment an innocent commuter was shot in the face at point blank range in a ‘racist’ attack.

23/11/2013- In the footage obtained by Russian media outlet Life News, two men armed with guns confront an innocent passenger on the Moscow metro in Russia. The suspects can be seen talking to each other as victim Khashim Latipov, 30, approaches before they block his path. One of the men shoots Latipov in the abdomen before kicking him and then shooting him again in the face. As terrified passengers flee the carriage, one suspect continues to point his hand gun at the victim before they both get off the train. 'The IDs of the shooters are not known yet, we are searching for them,’ a police source told Life News. ‘The victim was taken to the hospital, with one bullet in his jaw and serious damage to his face.’ Lapitov survived the attack but was seriously injured and has undergone surgery.
© Metro UK

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Headlines 22 November, 2013

Russia 'Migrant Killers' Arrested

22/11/2013- Seven young men, including five teenagers, have been arrested in Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg in connection with the killing of an Uzbek national. St. Petersburg’s Investigative Committee said on November 22 that the seven suspects have confessed to stabbing the Uzbek man earlier this month. The committee said the case has been classified as a murder motivated by ethnic hatred. Dozens of Russian ultranationalists attacked scores of migrant workers from Central Asia and the Caucasus at the city's Uldenaya metro station and at a nearby marketplace on the Day of People's Unity on November 4. Two migrant workers from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan were found stabbed to death in the city that day.
© RFE/RL

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Russian Neo-Nazis Jailed for Bombing Plot

21/11/2013- A Moscow court convicted four white supremacists of planning to detonate a bomb at an antifascist concert in what could have been the loudest blast of a covert street war. The four members of the unregistered People’s National Party were given between 8 1/2 and 12 years in prison on Wednesday. The men targeted a punk rock show that was to take place as part of a national congress of antifascist activists in 2010, investigators said. The show was canceled, and the four 20-somethings were busted with a bomb later that year. They reportedly said after being arrested that the attack was meant “for the benefit of true representatives of the Russian people.” The group allegedly planned to test their homemade explosives by blowing up a Karl Marx monument in Moscow, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper said.

The suspects, who had a previous criminal record, pleaded not guilty and promised to appeal the conviction, the Kommersant daily said Thursday. A vicious neo-Nazi movement formed in Russia in the 2000s, with dozens of independent groups hunting migrants in the streets and challenging rival antifascist groups. Though knives and metal rods were the prime weapons of choice in street fights, several antifascist activists were shot dead, and a market in eastern Moscow, staffed by migrants, was blown up by nationalists in 2006.
Police have cracked down on the extreme right in recent years, sending several skinhead gangs to jail on multiple murder charges.
© RIA Novosti

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Paris Grand Mosque tagged in 'Islamophobic' vandalism (France)

The Grand Mosque of Paris was tagged with racist graffiti.

21/11/2013- Grand Mosque President Dalil Boubakeur said the wall and door of the religious site was desecrated overnight Monday with an inscription "insulting to Muslims and Islam," the daily Ouest France reported. "We deeply deplore the racist violence and hostility shown against the iconic institution of Islam in France that is the Mosque of Paris," he said in a statement. Boubakeur indicated he had filed a complaint with the police commissioner of Paris' 5th arrondissement. Abdallah Zekri, president of the French National Observatory Against Islamophobia, also condemned what he called a "heinous act." Zekri's own residence in Nimes, France, was defaced by neo-Nazi and anti-Islamic graffiti last month.

Meanwhile, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe issued a statement expressing his "indignation and anger," adding, "tags that are abusive ... are both irresponsible and unacceptable." The Grand Mosque was the scene of a call for religious tolerance during the Muslim Eid celebrations last month, when French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited it to denounce Islamophobic acts. Targeting a racial group for religious defamation is a crime punishable by a year in prison and a $60,000 fine under French law. But despite the prohibitions, 201 such acts were recorded by the French anti-Islamophobia group in 2012 -- an increase of 28 percent over the previous year, the Algerian news.
© World Bulletin

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Experts call for official tracking of hate crimes in Germany

Experts say that collecting official data on hate crimes could help in the fight against violence motivated by prejudice. Recent studies suggest that anti-Semitism and xenophobia are on the rise in Germany.

20/11/2013- Before being attacked, Nasr Abdelaoui had been looking forward to a short vacation with a dash of art, culture and wellness. But soon after his arrival at Dresden's main train station, neo-Nazis targeted the 42-year-old nurse from Cologne. Abdelaoui's dark, curly hair and skin tone led his young assailants to identify him correctly as a foreigner. "I heard shouting and loud taunts, turned around and suddenly a beer bottle was flying toward me," Abdelaoui recalls. The violence seemed about to escalate, but police were able to intervene fast enough to protect Abdelaoui. It's an experience, he says, that he hasn't forgotten.

Increased anti-Semitism
Research on hate crimes like these began in the US in the 1960s. In Germany, punishable hate crimes range from defamation, intimidation or incitement of public hatred (called Volksverhetzung in German) all the way to capital offenses. The victims are typically taken to represent certain social groups, such as immigrants, Jews, Muslims, homosexuals, the homeless, the disabled or specific subcultures, like punks. "Attacks on bankers or particularly wealthy people can also be considered hate crimes if they are motivated by prejudice," says Michael Fingerle, a researcher on hate crimes at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt. Germany doesn't keep an official tally of hate crimes, trackig only the category of "politically motivated violence" instead. But several recent studies, including research conducted by the non-profit Bertelsmann Foundation and sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer, point to rising anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia in the country. The studies, however, have not reached a conclusion as to whether hate crimes are also increasing.

Loss of trust in government institutions
In the US and some EU countries, authorities keep an official record of the number of crimes motivated by hate. "In England, police records can classify an offense as a hate crime, so they name the assailant's motive," notes Caroline Bonnes, a researcher with Fingerle's team. British judges can also issue more severe sentences for those who commit hate crimes. As part of the research project "When Law and Hate Collide," Fingerle and his team surveyed potential victims of hate crimes. "It's of interest to us what those who face such crimes feel they need - what they would expect from laws, institutions and society," explains Bonnes. The surveys, she adds, clearly show the next form of trauma after a hate-based attack often comes by way of dealing with the police. "The reception given to victims by officers on the ground is often rather cool and inscrutable," notes Fingerle. He says many victims reported feeling as though they were not taken seriously and, as such, faced a second form of discrimination.

The now widely-publicized case of a string of neo-Nazi murders committed by the NSU terror group in Germany have traumatized not only those immediately affected, but many other immigrants in Germany as well. "Apparently, German intelligence does not have the sort of privileged or exclusive information needed to get a case like this under control," says Fingerle, adding that trust in the police and justice officials diminished in light of the handling of the NSU murders.

Increased data collection
To combat hate crimes, Fingerle believes Germany needs to introduce a system for systematically recording incidences of hate crimes, with the goal of raising awareness to such acts. "We need a database in which the crimes can be entered according to their targets and frequency," he says. The EU's Fundamental Rights Conference in Vilnius last week focused on fighting hate crimes in Europe. That means recognizing the rights of victims and raising awareness of the issue, says Karim Moustafa, who represented the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) at the event. "Islamophobia needs to be included as a crime," says Moustafa . "Germany can't continue to be stuck in the middle of the field in the European Union when it comes to data collection." Moustafa sees hate crimes as just the tip of the iceberg, explaining: "We have a massive problem in terms of everyday discrimination, particularly in the area of education, with apartment hunting or in the work force." Recognizing these problems and looking for solutions should be among Germany's key goals, argues Moustafa.
© The Deutsche Welle.

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Racism incidents reported to police rise 62% in Suffolk (UK)

Racism incidents reported to police in Suffolk rose by the highest amount in the country in the last year, new figures show.

21/11/2013- Campaigners last night raised concerns that victims of hate crimes are “normalising” the offence and suffering “long-term trauma”. And Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, pledged to tackle the issue and reverse the trend. Government data shows there was a 62% increase in the number of racism incidents reported to Suffolk Constabulary over the past year, from 294 in 2011/12 to 477 in 2012/13. Out of 48 police forces in England and Wales, the next largest increase was 18% in West Mercia. Thirty-three forces saw the figure drop.

In Suffolk, the longer-term trend showed a different picture, with reported racist incidents falling from 602 in 2008/09, a 21% decline to the 2012/13 figure. Police chiefs and equality campaigners argued the steep rise was due to a growing confidence in the system, insisting more volunteers are working in improved partnerships to encourage victims of hate crime to come forward. The research, released yesterday by the Ministry of Justice, also showed the number of police recorded racially or religiously aggravated offences fell by 21% over the same five-year period, from 316 to 251.

Yvette Gallagher is a project officer at the Suffolk Hate Crime Partnership, a Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Constabulary joint operation which supports people who experience hate crimes. She is also a member of Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality. It aims to eliminate racial discrimination and promote equality between different racial groups. She explained the number of volunteers at the partnerships has increased, coinciding with the rise in reports of racism incidents. But she said: “Hate crime is not something you should have to live with, but the reasons why some people still don’t report them are quite scary. “They have a lack of faith in the police and don’t think it will be taken seriously. They normalise the behaviour of others and think ‘I’ll just have to put up with this’. “Two Asian women could walk down Ipswich high street and have their niqab pulled off and not report it, but police could put in extra patrols and speak to the perpetrators.”

She claimed people living with a “history of hate crime” suffer “long-term trauma”. “It’s important we live in a society free from fear and discrimination, but we don’t,” she added. “People need to remain alert to signs of racism and report them.” Mr Passmore described the rise in racism incidents as “unacceptable” but said a small minority should not tarnish the image of Suffolk. “An essential tenet of my police and crime plan is respect for law and order and for other people and we should not expect (hate crimes) in a liberal and democratic society,” he added. “I am here to hold the constabulary to account and will be raising this issue at our next meeting to see what can be done to reverse the trend.”

Assistant Chief Constable at Suffolk police, Tim Newcomb, said: “We have worked hard with our local communities over the years so that victims have the confidence to report hate crime and racist incidents and we work in partnership with other organisations in Suffolk, such as local authorities, to create other avenues for victims to make contact.” He said reports of hate crime and racist incidents are treated “seriously” and are prioritised by frontline officers and staff. “While racist incidents have increased from 2011/12 to 2012/13 the number of racially or religiously aggravated crimes recorded have actually decreased by 14.3% during the same period,” he added.
© The East Anglian Daily Times

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'Hate crime' attack in Blackburn a day after Sophie Lancaster Foundation gig (UK)

A student who attended a Sophie Lancaster Foundation benefit gig found himself subject to a hate crime only a day later.

21/11/2013- Darius Oliver is a supporter of the charity formed in the name of Haslingden teenager, Sophie Lancaster, after she was murdered in 2007 for dressing like a ‘goth’. Darius, 26, attended the event at the Sir Charles Napier pub in Blackburn on Saturday but said he was confronted in the town centre the next day. He said: “I was walking in Northgate and a group of men and a woman started making comments about how I was dressed. “They started calling me dracula and freak – names like that. I thought the best way to deal with it was just to ignore them but then the woman, about 19 or 20, skipped in front of me. All of a sudden, she thumped me in the face. “The men she was with were saying to her, ‘Why did you do that?’ and she was just laughing and saying it was funny.” Darius reported the incident, which happened around 7pm, to police who told him they would treat the assault as a hate crime.

Kate Conboy-Greenwood, of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, said: “Darius has been a long-term supporter of ours and we are all really sad and outraged this happened to him. “What happened to Sophie wasn’t a one-off.” Blackburn College student Darius, who is studying to be an accountant, said: “It’s disgusting that even after everything that happened to Sophie, people are still being judged on the way they choose to dress. “It’s sad that people who belong to a subculture feel they can’t walk the streets of their own town without being called names or being at risk.” A police spokesman confirmed they were investigating the assault.
© this is Leicestershire

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Muslim Women more likely to suffer Islamophobic attacks than men - study (UK)

Study also found attacks were more likely against women wearing the niqab or other clothing associated with Islam

20/11/2013- Muslim women are more likely to be subjected to Islamophobic attacks than men, especially if they are wearing the niqab or other clothing associated with their religion, a study has found. Maybe We Are Hated, a report on the impact of Islamophobic attacks, written by Dr Chris Allen, a social policy lecturer at the University of Birmingham, will be launched in the House of Commons on Wednesday. It is intended to look beyond the statistics and, for the first time, give a voice to the female victims of Islamophobia. One of the women featuring in the report, Rachel, 28, was run over by a man after she asked him to move his car, which was blocking the drive of her house. Before attacking her, he said: "I'm gonna pop you, Muslim."

In another case, four decomposing pigs' heads were placed outside a woman's house. Shareefa, 33, told how she was repeatedly abused by a group of young people calling her names such as "ninja" and had fireworks posted through the letterbox of her home. "I was scared to go out on the street or into the area on my own," she told Allen. "It made me think continuously that I need some sort of self-defence class so I know now to defend myself and protect my children. You start linking everything as being anti-Muslim, and that may well not be the case. For example, some people give you a look, which may be nothing."

Allen interviewed 20 women aged between 15 and 52 about their experiences. One was called "Mrs Osama bin Laden" and told to "go back to Afghanistan" while at the gym. Another, on her way home after dropping her children at school, was followed by a woman with a pushchair, who spat in her face and asked her: "Why do you look so ugly? Why are you covering your face?" Fiyaz Mughal, from Faith Matters, which commissioned the report, said: "This is the first time Muslim women's voices have been given life in terms of anti-Muslim prejudice. We keep hearing people saying: 'What are the numbers?' We can understand that, but it's important to recognise the actual impact on people."

Tell Mama, a hotline for recording Islamophobic crimes and incidents, found that, excluding online abuse and threats, 58% of all verified incidents between April 2012 and April 2013 were against women and that in 80% of those cases the woman was wearing a hijab, niqab or other clothing associated with Islam. According to Allen, some of the women said their experiences had made them question their Britishness, with one saying her husband wanted them to leave the country. He said a refusal to take Islamophobia seriously risked giving credence to the "clash of civilisations" narrative promoted by Islamists and the far right. "It feeds into the rhetoric of the Islamists saying: 'No matter how hard you try, you will never belong here, they hate you," he said. "When it comes to Muslims, they won't tackle these issues. It adds fuel to the fire."

The names of the victims have been changed.
© The Guardian

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Rise in Belfast hate crime reports (Northern Ireland)

The number of racist crimes reported in Belfast has almost doubled in the last year, new figures have indicated.

19/11/2013- There have also been significant increases in recorded rates of homophobic and sectarian incidents, the police data has shown. Allegations of a racist nature are up 87% from the 115 recorded between April and November in 2012 to 215 in the same period this year. The number of recorded homophobic incidents has gone up by almost 50%, from 34 to 50 in the same time-frame, with more than a 36% increase in reported sectarian crimes - up to 259 compared with 190 incidents in the seven-month period last year. The figures were highlighted by Belfast City Council as evidence of a greater confidence in reporting hate crimes, rather than a sudden surge in criminality. The council, working in conjunction with the PSNI, Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and a number of other agencies, has launched a billboard and online campaign encouraging the reporting of such incidents by both victims and witnesses.

Councillor Maire Hendron, chairman of the Good Relations Steering Group, said: "While the PSNI has cited an increase in the number of hate crime incidents that are being reported, and that is to be welcomed, there is still a lot of work to be done as it has been estimated that as many as 80% of these kind of crimes go unreported. "Belfast is becoming more and more diverse, with many minority ethnic groups making this city their home and it's important that we as a council show civic leadership. While the investigation of hate crime is a police matter, we're working hard through our tension monitoring to establish channels of communication and to raise awareness about how to report hate crime - be it racist, sectarian or homophobic. "There are often very practical challenges, for example language barriers, so it's important that we work with communities to build confidence, and encourage victims of these kind of crimes to come forward and report them, as well as being able to offer them advice and support."

Ms Hendron added: "There are a number of reasons why this type of crime goes unreported - from fear of reprisals, a lack of confidence in the system, or even ignorance that a crime has been committed. This campaign will hopefully focus people's minds on what a hate crime is and how they, as a fellow citizen, need to speak up and report this kind of behaviour."
© The Belfast Telegraph

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Gay couple threatened and forced to take shelter in pub in Vauxhall hate crime (UK)

A gay couple were forced to take shelter in a London pub on Sunday evening, after being pursued and threatened by a gang of teenagers who shouted homophobic slurs.

18/11/2013- David Braniff-Herbert, a committee member of the TUC LGBT Committee, said he and his partner were walking under the tunnel at Vauxhall train station at around 5pm on Sunday evening, when they were subjected to homophobic shouting by 4-5 teenagers. He said the terms ”batty man” and “are you going to f*ck me in my bum?”, were clearly audible. After the couple responded, they believed they had got away, however the gang followed them, and they were forced to take shelter in the Rose pub at Albert Embankment. One of the gang then entered the pub wielding a weapon, before the barman told him to leave. The police were called, and the gang left before they arrived. The incident was logged as a hate crime.

Mr Braniff-Herbert told PinkNews: “There was a time when I used to tolerate being shouted at, called a queer and laughed at, I no longer live in that time – I live in the present and that’s why I’m taking our space back, our dignity back, our pride back. This incident is the tip of an ugly iceberg of fear and hate and we all have to make sure we report and collectively respond to these attacks on our community.” The Metropolitan Police did not respond to a call for comment at time of publication. The couple are organising a walk through the tunnel in Vauxhall and through to the same pub this Sunday, and any supporters to take part.Thirty guests have already confirmed, with 25 saying “maybe”.
© Pink News

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Police investigate hate crime at Camborne Railway Station (UK)

19/11/2013- British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for witnesses after a lone man was racially abused in the early hours on Camborne railway station. The incident happened at around 2am on Sunday the station platform as the man was scanning the train timetable. PC Wayne Frost, said: “A 42-year-old Asian man was checking the timetable at the station when he was approached by two men who racially abused him. “The victim left the station and reported the incident to police.” Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information about who may be responsible, to come forward with information. PC Frost added: “BTP does not tolerate Hate Crime and anyone who is a victim should report it immediately to police so we can work to trace and arrest any offenders as soon as possible.”
© This is Cornwall

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Plymouth: racist, unkind to the disabled and unfair to the young (UK)

16/11/2013- A survey of hundreds of Plymothians has found a “distressing” level of racism and unkindness to the disabled. Dame Suzi Leather, who leads the Plymouth Fairness Commission, and her team of 20 volunteers met hundreds of residents in their quest to know what ordinary people feel about the state of their lives. “What was distressing to hear about was the everyday street abuse,” she said yesterday in an exclusive interview with The Herald. “We encountered a lot of racism and that is something we are going to be investigating. “It’s inevitable at a time of great austerity that people are fearful of losing services and jobs, and perhaps don’t have sufficient understanding of the net contribution these people are making. She said it was not only racist abuse, but also directed at the disabled. “Tourism is important and we live in a very diverse culture nationally. Plymouth needs to be genuinely welcoming . “We want to present ourselves as a city open and welcoming of visitors.”

Their “Summer of Listening” report, published yesterday, Friday 15 November, reveals the real unfairness that people face in the city. Through a series of group meetings, street surveys and visits to people’s homes, the commission uncovered the “gut feeling” of what people feel is unfair in their lives. Dame Suzi said public transport in Plymouth was not good value compared to many other cites. “I had an interesting conversation with some young carers. They are getting into trouble because they are turning up late for school. “But one girl told me she had to leave home at 6.30am to get to class because the bus system was inadequate. “Sometimes apprenticeship places are not taken up. One of the reasons is the high cost of getting to work.” “We did get a sense that our young people are having a rough time,” Dame Suzi said. “We give cheaper transport for older people but there is a need for young people to get access to public transport.

“One of the things that came up repeatedly was that young people did not have places to go that don’t cost money. It’s partly because we have lost some of the places where we used to meet – like churches. “There is a sense of injustice that children from some areas are doing better than others. But older people also suffer. “You can know instinctively that there is some very poor housing in the private sector in Plymouth,” she said. “It’s not until you see it that you think, ‘My god, we shouldn’t be keeping pets in housing like this’. In 2013 we can’t expect people to live like this.” She talked to two elderly people who were attacked in their own homes. Both were blind and they were deliberately targeted by burglars because of their disabilities. “One of them subsequently received repeated phone calls saying, ‘If you tell the police you will be killed’,” Dame Suzi said. “You can get this kind of thing from the data, but it’s much more real to hear it directly.

The commission – one of 18 around the country – will produce recommendations for how unfairness can be tackled. “My message will be to divert more funding this way,” she said. “It’s jolly obvious that Plymouth misses out. There are some issues that should be on the national agenda, about the way Plymouth is being treated. “As a region we have a strong – and justified – sense that we are largely ignored by central government. “That came through in some of the conversations we have been having.” “We have to be realistic about the fact that there is going to be less, not more, money. This is going to be the great challenge. “Our recommendations will not be about spending shed-loads of money but about helping people to help themselves. “The sense of isolation in Plymouth was very strong, particularly among older people and carers. “Young carers will be one of our focuses. If you think about the amount of money some of them save the State, the least we can do is to recognise what they are dong and try to ease some of their burden.
© The Plymouth Herald

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Stockholm mosque hit in pig's trotters attack (Sweden)

Police suspect vandalism after pig's trotters were thrown into a mosque near Stockholm after the windows of the building's main door were smashed in on Monday morning.

18/11/2013- "Shortly before 11am we received a call from the mosque" in Fittja, police official Ulf Lindgren told AFP. "The person had just arrived and found pig's trotters inside." In Islam, pork meat is considered impure. "We have classified this as an act of vandalism," Lindgren said. "But insofar as it is pig's trotters, it could be something else." Police are looking for witnesses in the area and have no suspects so far. "In Sweden, pig's trotters are a traditional dish around Christmas time. You can buy them easily," Lindgren said. The mosque was the focus of attention in the spring as it hosted the first public call to prayer from a mosque in Sweden. The prayer call, on the last Friday in April, came following a decision earlier in the month by local police who ruled that it wouldn't violate local noise ordinances. The ruling allowed the prayer call for between three to five minutes on Fridays between midday and 1pm. Back in September, local government officials had approved the move in principle, voting in favour of scrapping a 1994 prohibition on allowing prayer calls, which dated back from before the construction of the mosque. The mosque was built in 2007 in the municipality's Fittja district and has over 1,500 members.
© The Local - Sweden

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Shooting at the Famous Moscow Gay Club (Russia)

16/11/2013- Famous gay club, “Central Station”, in Moscow was attacked by two men who started shooting at people from the handguns around 5am Moscow time on November 16, 2013. Fortunately, nobody was injured. According to numerous reports, the perpetrators attempted to enter popular Moscow gay club "Central Station" in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 16. When guards refused to allow them into the club, the men opened fire. According to Russian news agency, LifeNews, two bullets damaged the front door, but there were no injuries inside the club. The suspects were tracked on surveillance cameras and the video is possession of LifeNews in order to assist local police.

The nightclub’s management claims the men came to the club that night with one purpose - to shoot the club’s visitors. This is not the first attack on the gay club, the management has repeatedly appealed to local police and the Central Administrative District.

Russian language aggregate news source Queer Russia reports:
"Besides brute force attacks there are other provocations by ill-wishers. For example, on October 21, 2013 at the entrance to the club a huge banner "GAY CLUB ENTERANCE " was placed. Later, a megaphone appeared near the club, broadcasting Boris Moiseyev’s song "Blue Moon" (Golubaya Luna) round the clock.
The "Central Station" administration believes that the real estate development company which owns the building where the club is located might be involved in the incidents, Lifenews reports
."

Homophobia is policy in Putin’s Russia!
© Spectrum Human Rights

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Headlines 15 November, 2013

Neo-Nazi protest against planned mosque in Leipzig(Germany)

Pigs heads inflame tensions 

15/11/2013- When the call came into the Leipzig fire department late Thursday, it sounded routine: A small refuse fire in a dumpster. But the location was a bit odd, on the site of what is planned as the first mosque to be built in the former East Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And, when firefighters arrived, there was a small trash fire, but the situation next to that was anything but routine: Five severed pig heads, on stakes and driven into the future mosque’s ground, above a trough of what appeared to be pig blood. Pig heads as racist protest are not exactly new in the region, though the targets are more commonly Jewish. Earlier this month in Ukraine, one was left at the construction site of a planned synagogue.

In 2008 in Germany, a pigs head was placed at a Jewish cemetery, along with a banner stating “Six million lie,” a reference to the neo-Nazi belief that the rest of the world overstates the extent of the Nazi Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered. Pigs as anti-Semitic statements go back much further, and have been known in the region since the Middle Ages. North of Leipzig, in Wittenberg, Germany, or what is now called Lutherstadt, a church down the street from the place where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses and sparked the Protestant Reformation, has an exterior sculpture depicting a rabbi looking under a sow, as what are said to be Jewish children suckle

The sculpture, which is commonly tied to Luther’s anti-Semitic writings, was part of a tradition of using the pig as way to insult Jews. In Leipzig, the target was Muslims (both religions have dietary laws against eating pork). The Leipzig pig heads were thought to have been set up by neo-Nazis as a protest against the proposed mosque. The far-right German Nationalist Party (NPD) had planned a protest against the mosque earlier, but the attempt was foiled by a counter protest from the left. The mosque has continued to be seen as controversial, even beyond the extreme-right.
© McClatchy DC

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Report: Israeli Victims in Ukraine Neo-Nazi Attacks

As neo-Nazi activity continues to rise in FSU, have racists unleashed an organized campaign of terror against foreigners in Ukraine?

12/11/2013- Ukrainian neo-Nazi mobs have gone on the warpath in recent days, attacking and injuring dozens of foreign students, according to reports on local news sites and social networking sites. Several Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, are said to be among the victims. The attacks have been featured in Arabic-language Ukrainian papers and have been reported by witnesses on Facebook and Youtube. Two recent YouTube videos show sudden mob attacks on subway passengers and passersby. The videos are said to have been filmed in recent days in Ukrainian cities. An Israeli student posting on Facebook reported hearing from Israeli friends in Ukraine that foreign students are being pursued “everywhere,” and that several people have been hospitalized. The attacks have included rape attacks on female students, she said.

However, the Ukraine-Presse website, which had raised concerns over the attacks, published a letter from the editor Monday suggesting that many of the recent allegations were simply rumor. Foreign students’ organizations have stated that no attacks have been reported over the past two weeks, editor Mohammed Julaq wrote. Neo-nazi attacks have increasingly become a problem in Ukraine in recent months. In September a fascist Ukrainian mob launched a sudden attack against English World Cup fans, wounding several people. At least three of their victims required hospital care. The British Foreign Office noted at the time, “Foreign nationals have been the victims of violent crime in Kiev… Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and those belonging to religious minorities should take extra care.”

In recent weeks gay activist sites have noted a spike in vicious mob attacks on men and teenage boys in Ukraine and Russia. Some of the victims are apparently members of the gay community, while others are foreign students who neo-Nazi attackers have accused of pedophilia. An Iraqi student was attacked by notorious neo-Nazi Maxim Martsinkevich in late October. Just days later a group of Russian neo-Nazis published videos and photographs detailing a brutal and degrading attack on a young student from South Africa who they accused of being homosexual. Martsinkevich has encouraged followers to go "hunting" for homosexuals to attack, and to make their attacks on allegedly gay men public. He recently published photos and video of his own violent and humiliating attack on two Ukrainian teenagers. Among other things, he forcibly shaved part of their heads and forced them to dance together, filming as one of the boys broke down in tears.
© Arutz Sheva

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Ways To Assist Hate Crime Victims To Be Looked For In Vilnius (Lithuania)

11/11/2013- What needs to be done to provide the necessary support and assistance to hate crime victims? How should cooperation between stakeholders be improved to combat hate crime more effectively at the European Union (EU) and national level? Answers to these and other questions relevant to fighting hate crime will be looked for at the international conference “Combating Hate Crime in the EU” organised on 12-13 November in Vilnius. The data collected by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) show that violence or other criminal acts motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or bias against a person because of his disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or another feature, i.e. the so-called hate crime, is a topical problem in the whole EU. However, a substantial number of victims of such crime either do not report it to competent authorities or are not provided with the necessary assistance and support for other reasons. “Hate crime is a problem faced by thousands of EU residents. Our response to this should be resolute. The society needs to realise that such acts will not be tolerated, and victims will be provided with assistance and support”, emphasized Juozas Bernatonis, Minister of Justice.

The conference in its plenary sessions and working groups will address issues such as the nature of hate crime, improvement of instruments for fighting such crime, support to victims, and awareness raising. Particular focus will be placed on the implementation of EU Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law and of EU Victims’ Directive as well as on the questions of efficiency and sufficiency of these legal acts. The conference will bring together more than 300 policy makers and practitioners from the EU as well as national levels, among them representatives from EU institutions and bodies, international organisations, national governments and parliaments, law enforcement institutions, civil society and organisations. Conference participants will be welcomed by Mr Juozas Bernatonis, Minister of Justice, and Mr Morten Kjaerum, Director of FRA, and addressed by Ms Cecilia Malmstrõm, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. The international conference “Combating Hate Crime in the EU” is organised by FRA in cooperation with Lithuania as the Presidency of the EU Council. Under the Lithuanian Presidency the issue of combating hate crime will be examined at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in December.

© The Eurasia Review

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Russian Orthodox Activist Spared Jail Time for Attacking Gay Demonstrator

Religious anti-abortion activist Gleb Likhotkin reportedly fired multiple shots at a gay demonstrator carrying a balloon that personally offended him.

12/11/2013- A Russian Orthodox activist who shot eye irritant at an LGBT activist's face during a sanctioned pro-LGBT rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, in May, was convicted of "hooliganism" in court Monday but was given a suspended one-year sentence, meaning he won't serve any jail time. Gleb Likhotkin, who Kremlin-backed news outlet Ria Novosti bills as the "leader of an anti-abortion movement and a campaigner against non-traditional sexual relations," was at a government-approved rally in St. Petersburg May 17 marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia when, police say, he "took personal offense" at a pro-gay slogan on a balloon an activist was carrying. Armed with a weapon described as both an air gun and an "eye irritant," Likhotkin fired one shot at the balloon, then at least one into the activist's face, according to Ria Novosti. The Russian news outlet notes that the LGBT activist was "trying to disarm" the religious fanatic. Likhotkin was convicted of hooliganism, though he pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge sentenced him to one year in jail, but then suspended the sentence, meaning Likhotkin will spend no time behind bars, according to American LGBT blog Towleroad.
© The Advocate

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Migrant Rights Campaigner Shot in Moscow (Russia)

12/11/2013- A migrant rights campaigner and vocal critic of ultranationalism was shot in the back from a traumatic pistol as he attempted to enter his apartment in eastern Moscow on Monday night, a police spokesman said the next day. Mais Kurbanov, a vice president of the Federation of Migrants of Russia, was rushed to a nearby hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening, the police source told RIA Novosti. Kurbanov had helped organize a March of Migrants to take place last week on Russia’s Unity Day, when thousands of nationalists rallied throughout the capital in protest of lax immigration laws. Kurbanov’s march, however, was not sanctioned by city authorities and did not take place. He was attacked on Monday by a group of four people, including a woman who shot him, the president of the Federation of Migrants of Russia, Madzhumder Mukhammad Amin, told RIA Novosti. Amin said Kurbanov had frequently received threats because of his work. Public discontent over rising numbers of foreign workers in Moscow has heated up in recent months, and thousands of migrants have been detained in police raids around the capital. Conversely, police detained hundreds of local residents last month during massive anti-migrant protests in southern Moscow after a 25-year-old Russian was killed allegedly by an Azerbaijani migrant.
© RIA Novosti

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Anti-gay Russian neo-Nazi Machete flees Russia to escape extremism charges

The leader of the group ‘Occupy Pedophilia’ which has been entrapping and humiliating young gay Russians on camera is reportedly on the run in Thailand after authorities began investigating him over an alleged racist attack in the Ukraine

11/11/2013- Maxim Martsinkevich, the founder of the homophobic ‘Occupy Pedophilia’ Russian movement entrapping young gay men and then humiliating them on film is on the run in Thailand after authorities deemed a recent video he made to humiliate an Iraqi foreign student to be racist. In the video Martsinkevich, who goes by the nickname Machete, claims the Iraqi student believed he was meeting a 15-year-old boy for sex in an apartment in the Ukraine but instead he is confronted by Martsinkevich while taking a shower. Martsinkevich shaves the man’s head down the middle and paints a rainbow on his scalp and a 6 pointed blue star on his chest. He then produces a police baton and apparently then assaults the man as we hear his screams from off camera. Ukrainian police began investigating the matter after concerned members of the Ukrainian Iraqi community came forward believing the student had been fooled into thinking he was meeting a girl and robbed. However when they saw the video appearing to show the student thinking he was meeting a boy they distanced themselves from him, saying it would be better if he left the Ukraine.

The Ukraine outlaws sex with persons under 14, and also sexual acts with those under 16 where they are considered ‘debauched.’ Later the Russian Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology examined the video and found it to have ‘elements of racial and ethnic enmity and hatred’ which they believed breached Russia’s laws against ‘extremism.’ Police recently searched the apartment Martsinkevich shares with his parents, and Martsinkevich posted a photo of himself online Sunday relaxing on a Thai beach. Martsinkevich, considered a neo-Nazi by many, has been charged under Russia’s extremism laws twice before, spending 3 years in jail over chanting ‘Sieg Heil,’ during a political debate and a mock execution he held for an ethnic Central Asian man he had accused of selling drugs while wearing a Ku Klux Klan uniform. The video follows on another by the Belgorod chapter of Occupy Pedophilia in which a black South African was made to lick a watermelon before having it smashed in his face. It is unknown if race-related extremism charges will be laid over that video as well.
© Gay Star News

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Disabled man's crutches kicked away in alleged Swanley hate crime (UK)

A disabled man in Swanley had his crutches kicked from under him in an alleged hate crime by three teenagers.

13/11/2013- The 24-year-old was walking along St Mary’s Road from the railway station towards the town centre on October 22 at 6.15pm, when he says he was verbally abused by three youths. He claims one of the boys then kicked his crutches causing him to fall to the ground where he remained while his tormentors looked on. After they had dispersed, he was able to call for help. The suspects are wanted for common assault and for committing a hate crime due to the language used towards the disabled victim. PCSO Tim Darling said: “Fortunately the victim did not suffer any injuries as a result of his fall but Kent Police will not tolerate any level of violence on our streets, especially attacks on the most vulnerable in society. “The victim has told police he does not know the boys, but had perhaps seen them before, which leads us to suspect they could be local. “One of the three boys had a bicycle with him and another was riding on the back of the bicycle as a passenger. “Two of the boys were white, around 5ft 10in tall and possibly aged 16 or 17. “Both were wearing dark-coloured hooded tops or jackets while the younger boy, around 13 years old and 5ft 2in tall, was white and wearing a jumper and jogging bottoms.”
© Newsshopper

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Victim of racism hurled her own abuse at Polish family (UK)

A woman behaved intolerably towards her Polish neighbours, hurling racial abuse at them and eggs at their home.

12/11/2013- Warwick Crown Court was told Tammy De’Amoko, of Oswald Way in Rugby, made it clear she did not want them in what she termed her country, eventually forcing them out of their home. The 40-year-old - who was of mixed race and said to have had her own problems with racism in the past - pleaded guilty to two offences of racially aggravated harassment, having originally denied the charges. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to take part in two probation-run programmes. Judge Alan Parker told her: "I utterly and completely deplore your conduct towards your neighbours. No-one has the right to have the feelings you had, let alone express them in the way you did. "All people who have been the victims of intolerance have a duty to be tolerant towards others. "If there is any breach of any part of the order, you will be back before me and I promise you I will send you to prison."

The court heard De’Amoko’s victims were three Polish people who had come to the UK to work. They had got on with the rest of their neighbours who had accepted them into the community, apart from De’Amoko. Prosecutor Andrew Potter said when she was arrested she denied the offences, claiming it was she who had been racially abused by her victims. Mr Potter added De’Amoko had previous convictions for dishonesty and in 2003, following an argument with her father, had directed racial abuse at people at the nearby West Indian Club. Nick Devine, defending, told the judge: "She had this issue with her Polish neighbours which began as an issue over dogs. But all the bad behaviour was on her part; they did not provoke it in any shape or form. "She is genuinely apologetic and remorseful." 

© The Rugby Observer

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Neo-Nazi who murdered grandfather driven to kill by far-right paramilitaries and racist Dynamo Kiev fans (UK)

Police say the 25-year-old did have links to Ukrainian football hooligans - particularly in the run up to Euro 2012

10/11/2013- The Neo-Nazi thug who killed a grandfather and bombed three mosques was driven to kill by far-right paramilitary groups and racist Dynamo Kiev fans, it has been revealed. Pavlo Lapshyn had been in Britain for just five days when he murdered 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem by stabbing him in the back as he made his way home after Friday prayers. The 25 year-old white supremacist had moved to Birmingham where he had been awarded a placement to further his engineering studies. Following his trial counter terrorism officers said that he had acted as a “lone wolf”. But the Birmingham Mail has revealed how detectives found literature and images related to Ukrainian far-right group Patriot of Ukraine (PoU) and fascist Dynamo Kiev supporters on Lapshyn’s Russian Facebook page and on a pen computer drive when they raided the home he shared with a fellow student in Small Heath, Birmingham. Investigations by counter terrorism officers found that Lapshyn was not a member of any of these groups and that no one else was involved in the murder of Mr Saleem, aged 82, or the bombs that were set off bombs at three Midland mosques. But Lapshyn was influenced by the ideologies of right wing extremists in Ukraine.

Neo-Nazi literature and racist chants popular with Dynamo Kiev fans were among the disturbing set of literature found at his home in Small Heath, Birmingham. Detectives also found a folder marked “White World” on Lapshyn’s computer which included a violent video game called “Ethnic Cleansing” featuring ‘soldiers’ from the PoU. Another audio file entitled “You Must Murder” contained more racist rants by East European extremists calling for a violent race war. After his arrest, a team of West Midlands Police detectives were sent to the Ukraine where sources said he worked alone and was not affiliated to any groups. A recovered camera memory card showed that Lapshyn had amassed 455 images and 90 videos of chemicals, guns and parts of explosive devices as he prepared for a bombing campaign. It also emerged that Lapshyn admired the Boston Marathon bombers and had downloaded images of the April 15 attack and its aftermath on to his computer. Before leaving Ukraine Lapshyn practised blowing up trees. After he was sentenced video footage emerged of the PhD student blowing up trees as he experimented with bomb making in woods in the Ukraine. He had apparently been planning his murderous bomb and knife campaign a year before he left for Britain.

He had come to Birmingham after being awarded a one year placement with software design firm Delcam and had been staying in a company flat when he began his campaign of terror. A police source said: “Lapsyn’s Russian Facebook page had numerous mentions and postings from Dynamo Kiev hooligans and the PoU especially in the run up to Euro 2012. “The Ukrainian authorities were keen to downplay any links with extremist groups operating within its borders.” He added: “It appears Lapshyn was moving within these neo-nazi circles for at least three years which is when he first came to the attention of Ukranian authorities after practising with explosives at his home.” A West Midlands Police spokesman confirmed that detectives had travelled to Ukraine and liaised with police there. Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: ”Following our extensive investigations there is no evidence to support that Lapshyn was a member of any right wing group or that he was directed by any group and we want to reinforce that he acted alone. “During our investigation Lapshyn’s computers were searched and extreme right wing literature was discovered, this demonstrated that he was influenced by this ideology but not directed by any group.”

Speaking after Lapshyn was sentenced Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, head of the West Midlands police counter-terrorism unit, told how Lapshyn had shown no remorse or regret. In a statement, the Muslim Council of Britain said of Lapshyn: “There will be some who will view his activities as those of a lone wolf. “But in a summer that saw an unprecedented rise in attacks on mosques and Islamic institutions, it is important for all of us to challenge anti-Muslim hatred, just as we challenge those who wrongly use Islam to carry out acts of violence.” The PoU recruits and trains football hooligans to attack foreigners. The violent racism of the group caused players Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain to withdraw from the England squad ahead of Euro 2012, hosted by Poland and Ukraine. The group is linked to far-right political parties in Ukraine and has formed alliances with white supremacist groups across Eastern Europe and Germany. Dynamo Kiev football club, which was ordered by Uefa to play two European matches behind closed doors following racist abuse by fans.

During raids at Lapshyn’s Small Heath flat police also found a chilling photo of Lapshyn posing with the hunting knife used to kill Mr Saleem, a grandfather of 23. Lapshyn stood holding the lethal weapon across his chest, apparently taking pride in what he had done. One picture showed a hunting knife with the caption: “Mohammed Saleem was stabbed by…” Lapshyn admitted murdering Mr Saleem as he made his way home from praying at his local mosque in Small Heath on April 29 last year. The PhD student, from the city of Dnipropetrovsk, also set off bombs at three mosques in the Black Country while he was at large for the murder. At the Old Bailey last month he admitted causing an explosion on July 12 near the Kanzal Iman mosque in Tipton, and engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts between April 24 and July 18 this year including a failed bomb attack on a mosque in Wolverhampton.

Lapshyn hid a homemade explosive in a child’s lunchbox and left it outside a mosque in Walsall in June. He then set off a device near Wolverhampton Central Mosque and detonated a nail bomb in Tipton. It was only because a service in Tipton had been put back by an hour that scores were not injured or killed.Three hundred people would have been in the path of the shrapnel that shot across the car park, leaving nails embedded in tree trunks. But the mosque had temporarily moved prayers back. Sentencing the sick white supremacist Mr Justice Sweeney told Lapshyn: “You were motivated to commit the offences by religious and racial hatred in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living. “Such views, hatred and motivations have no place whatsoever in our multi-faith and multi-cultural society.”
© The Mirror

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Headlines 8 November, 2013

Combating antisemitism: more targeted measures needed (European Union)

FRA is today presenting the first comparable figures on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. On 8 November, the eve of the anniversary of the anti-Jewish pogroms that took place 75 years ago, it needs to be acknowledged that while Member States have made sustained efforts to combat antisemitism, the phenomenon is still widespread.

8/11/2013- This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures. “Antisemitism is a disturbing example of how prejudice can persist through the centuries, and it has no place in our society today. It is particularly distressing to see that the internet, which should be a tool for communication and dialogue, is being used as an instrument of antisemitic harassment,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “While many EU governments have made great efforts to combat antisemitism, more targeted measures are needed.”

Key findings:
66% of respondents consider antisemitism to be a major problem in their countries, while 76% said the situation had become more acute over the last five years.
21% of all respondents have experienced an antisemitic incident or incidents involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack in the 12 months preceding the survey. 2% of respondents had been victims of an antisemitic physical attack over the previous year.
Under-reporting: 76% of victims of antisemitic harassment did not report the most serious incident to the police or any other organisation.
Under-recording: limited data-collection mechanisms in many EU Member States mean that antisemitic attacks remain under-recorded.
Antisemitism is considered the fourth most-pressing social or political issue across the countries surveyed, below unemployment, the state of the economy, and concerns about government corruption (see Table 1 in report).
Three-quarters of respondents consider online antisemitism to be a problem

The survey also showed significant differences between countries, which frequently demonstrates their differing histories and traditions, and also patterns of immigration in recent decades. For example,

In the UK, 9% of respondents said they had often heard the statement “Jews are responsible for the current economic crisis,” while this figure rose to 59% for Hungary. The survey found that while in Latvia only 8% of survey respondents said the Israeli-Arab conflict had a large impact on how safe they felt, the figure rose to 28% for Germany and was as high as 73% in France. In response to the findings of the survey, FRA has formulated a number of suggestions for decision makers, including:
EU Member States need to record Jewish people’s experiences of fundamental rights violations effectively and comprehensively.
Public figures should publically condemn antisemitic statements.
The EU and its Member States must work urgently to find effective ways of combating the growing phenomenon of online antisemitism, for example exploring the option of establishing specialised police units that monitor and investigate hate crime on the internet, as well as encouraging reporting of antisemitic web content to the police.

Background: hate crime
Antisemitic attacks are a form of hate crime. Today’s survey report is published together with FRA's annual antisemitism overview, which brings together statistical data on antisemitic incidents collected by governmental and non-governmental sources. Together, the two reports complement the Agency’s considerable body of work on hate crime. This includes data on the experiences of groups such as lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender people, Roma and other ethnic minorities. FRA’s annual Fundamental Rights Conference, in Vilnius on 12-13 November 2013, will focus on hate crime.

5,847 Jewish people aged 16 or over took part in the survey. The results cover eight Member States in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population of the EU live. The survey was carried out online in accordance with expert recommendations. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is mandated to provide evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to more informed and better targeted debates and policies on fundamental rights
© European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

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Racism and Xenophobia in October 2013 (Russia)

The following is our monthly review of instances of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for October 2013. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring.

5/11/2013- In October 2013, no fewer than 20 people were injured in racist and neo-Nazi attacks, two of them fatally. Since the beginning of the year, racist violence has killed 18 people in Russia and injured 141, while four have received threats on their lives. We have recorded racist attacks in 31 regions of the country this year. Thus, even with incomplete data, we have counted over the first ten months of 2013 almost as many murders with racist motives as for 2012 in its entirety. It is clear that the total number of victims this year will exceed that of last year. The most significant far-right event this October was the mass rioting in the Biryulyovo district in Western Moscow, which began with the murder of local resident Egor Shcherbakov on the night of October 9-10.

Immediately following the murder in Biryulyovo, nationalists seized the opportunity to make it an ethnic issue, announcing that on October 15 they would hold an action in "response to Kurban Bayram" (as the major Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha is generally called in Russia). On the 15th, participants in the action tried to line up in a column at the Prazhskaya Metro stop and head down to Biryulyovo, but were detained by riot police. That evening, near where the subway station where the event was held, an Uzbek was found murdered. At Cherkizovsky market in the eastern part of Moscow, an Azeri was found stabbed to death. On October 20, St. Petersburg nationalists held their own protest resulting in riots. After a rally at the Champ de Mars, about 40 nationalists marched down Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main thoroughfare, to Dumskaya Square. They then headed to the outdoor market at Apraksin Yard, where they burned smoke bombs and smashed up display cases with rocks. Nationalist actions took place in other Russian cities as well.

We should note an October 26 attack carried out by a group of young people on a train from Moscow to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, which was accompanied by nationalistic statements and threats to passengers at the Ternovka railway station in the Voronezh region. On the following day, a similar attack happened on a train from Moscow to the northern Tajik city of Khujand. In October we recorded at least six acts of neo-Nazi vandalism against Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox targets. As such, in total we have recorded 53 ideologically motivated acts of vandalism in 35 regions of the country so far this year. Sova Center is aware of one sentence against two people for racist violence that accounted for the hate motive in October 2013. Since the beginning of the year, we have recorded no fewer than 25 convictions for racist violence where the hate motive was considered. Forty-one people in 19 regions of the country were sentenced under such charges.

One individual was sentenced for xenophobic vandalism in October 2013, in the Penza region. Since the beginning of the year six such sentences were issued against seven people in six regions of the country. For xenophobic propaganda, October 2013 saw no fewer than six sentences against as many people in the Vladimir, Murmansk and Orenburg regions, the Kamchatka Krai, and the republics of Tatarstan and Udmurtia. As such, so far in 2013 we have recorded 97 verdicts against 99 people in 48 regions for xenophobic propaganda.

The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated five times, on October 1, 4, 8, 16 and 29; entries 2074-2108 were added. In October the list was supplemented by a number of Islamist materials, including videos by separatist groups and anti-Russian supporters of Chechen independence; two articles by Radical Politics bulletin's editor-in-chief Boris Stomakhin; books by famous Russian nationalists such as Andrei Saveliev; another edition of the Handbook of the Russian Man by Alexey Ivanov and other radical nationalists materials, such as the song Russia for the Churki (an ethnic slur referring to non-Slavic people from the former USSR); a series of books by modern Ukrainian nationalists; the major Kazakh entertainment portal www.kiwi.kz; Korean real estate website www.mlook.com; and media file search engine www.wikibit.net.
© SOVA Center for Information and Analysis

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Gay South African Student Latest Victim of Russian Skinhead Violence

One of the ugliest faces to emerge in the wake of Russia’s gay propaganda law is that of a group of neo-Nazis, who proudly post videos of gay men being tortured on social media. Although it is almost inconceivable today, that face got uglier in a video posted by the group featuring the racist taunt of a gay South African student, Buzzfeed reports.

5/11/2013- Anti-gay activists in the city of Belgorod, located 25 miles from the Ukrainian border, lured David Smith, a 20-year-old student from South Africa into a sting. The group is part of the "Occupy Pedophilia" movement, which sets online traps for gay men and posts the videos of the assaults on social media. As with many of their videos, Smith was forced into a bathroom where he was partially stripped and forced into a bathtub while being interrogated in both Russian and English about his sexual past. In addition to being slapped, the victim has his head shaved and was forced through a number of humiliating scenarios, including being forced to kiss and dance with a watermelon which is eventually shoved into his face. Finally, his captors force him to declare the phrase "White Power" in Russian to the camera.
Buzzfeed photo and video According to Buzzfeed, Smith filed a complaint with local police but was subsequently expelled from the university he was attending. Buzzfeed points to a news release from the Sova Center which tracks violence in Russia. The report states that in October 2013, no fewer than 20 people were injured in racist and neo-Nazi attacks, two of them fatally. The report goes on to say that since the beginning of the year, racist violence has killed 18 people in Russia and injured 141.
© Edge on the Net

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Unknown Assailants Attack Gay Gathering in St Petersburg (Russia)

4/11/2013- Unknown assailants attacked a meeting of gay rights activists in Saint Petersburg with air guns, local media reported late Sunday. Activists told news portal Rosbalt that several people in masks forced their way into an office in central Saint Petersburg where the LGBT event was taking place and opened fire. Local police confirmed the incident in a statement later that evening, and said that a young man inside the building at the time was hospitalized after being shot near the eye. LGBT activist Anna Prutskova wrote on social networking site Vkontakte that she received light injuries to her back during the incident, and said that the attackers were carrying baseball bats as well as guns. Clashes between LGBT activists and anti-gay groups occur regularly in Saint Petersburg, which was one of the first Russian cities to introduce controversial fines for "gay propaganda" among minors last year. Critics say that the legislation, which provoked international condemnation when later adopted in a similar form at a federal level, is anti-gay and has stoked nation-wide homophobia. The Kremlin maintains that the law is designed to protect children, and does not prevent adults from making their own choices.
© RIA Novosti

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Police seeking witnesses after two men racially assaulted in Bradley Stoke (UK)

5/11/2013- Two men were targeted in a racially-aggravated assault in Bradley Stoke. The incident in Oaktree Crescent on Friday night left the two men with bruising and their bike was damaged. Three white men aged between 19 and 21 subjected the pair to racial abuse and assault during the attack at 11.15pm. Avon and Somerset Police did not disclose details about the victims of the hate crime, but said they were walking along the road when they were attacked. One of the offenders was described as 6ft tall and muscular, with short light coloured hair and clean shaven. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. The second man was between 5ft 8ins and 5ft 10ins tall and slim. He was wearing a zip up jacket with long sleeves, shirt and jeans. The third man was aged between 19 and 21.

Anyone who is able to help should contact the Hate Crime Unit at Staple Hill Police Station via the force number 101 quoting crime reference numbers 109501/13 and 109499/13.
Or people with information can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through www.crimestoppers-uk.org
© The Bristol Post

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Polish Synagogue Defaced With Swastikas on Kristallnacht Eve

By JTA
Vandals Strike Gdansk for Second Time in Month

4/11/2013- Unidentified vandals painted several swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols on a synagogue building in Gdansk, Poland. Police are investigating the case and do not exclude the possibility that it may be the same vandals who three weeks ago set fire to a mosque in the city. Swastikas were noted on the facade of the building at 10 a.m. on Monday. “Someone just came in broad daylight and defiled our temple,” Mieczyslaw Abramowicz a representative of the Gdansk Jewish Community, told TVN24 television. “It was done by anti-Semites or someone who does not know what that sign means and he did it out of sheer stupidity.” Police initially classified the incident as the promotion of Nazi symbols which may result to two years in prison. On October 16, unidentified individuals started a fire in a Gdansk mosque. It consumed the mosque’s door and some of the mosque’s equipment, resulting in damages of approximately $16,000. “On the eve of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, during which synagogues were burned in the Free City of Gdansk, the burning of the mosque must bear frightening connotations,” said representatives of the Jewish community of Gdansk in a statement released on Oct. 17.
© The Forward

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