Headlines 25 April, 2014
Historic Jewish cemetery in Croatia vandalized
25/4/2014- Vandals seriously damaged several graves in a more than 400-year-old Jewish cemetery in Split, Croatia. According to Ana Lebl, the president of the Jewish community in Split, unknown persons forced open three graves and also damaged their headstones and fences. In addition, they knocked over and broke a fourth headstone and damaged other tombstone decoration. The attack took place between April 10 and April 13, Lebl said, but the vandals left no graffiti or slogans that pointed to an anti-Semitic motive for the attack. “The damage was reported to the police who came promptly and made written and photographic evidence,” she said. The cemetery, located above the city on Marjan Hill, was founded in 1573 and in use until 1945. It is listed as a cultural heritage monument.
© JTA News
Transsexual woman murdered in Istanbul in latest homophobic attack (Turkey)
25/4/2014- A transsexual woman was killed and a friend was wounded when unknown people opened fire at a house in Istanbul’s Tarlabaşı neighborhood, in the latest episode of violence to hit Turkey’s LGBTI community. Çağla Joker, 25, and her friend, 45-year-old Nalan, were attacked on early April 22 by two assailants at the address on Daracık Street. Police and paramedics immediately arrived at the scene after neighbors called police when they heard gunshots. Joker died at scene, while Nalan was transferred to the nearby Şişli Etfal Hospital with serious injuries. Police have launched an operation to capture the assailants who fled the scene after the incident. Joker’s body has been taken to a state medical examiner for an autopsy. The motive for the attack remains unclear, but there are strong suspicions that the murder was a hate crime against the LGBTI community. People answered calls issued on social media to gather on Daracık Street at 12 p.m. on April 22 to protest the murder.
Teenagers arrested over murder of transgender woman
The police detained two teenagers on April 24 as part of the investigation into the attack on two transsexual women in Istanbul this week. Çağla Joker, 26, was killed and her friend Nalan, 45, was injured in the attack, which took place in Istanbul’s central Beyoğlu district, in the latest episode of violence targeting the LGBT community. The two suspects, identified only as H.T., 17, and T.M., 19, were caught on security cameras running away from the scene of the murder. Police first detained H.T. after a raid on an apartment in Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir district. The second suspect’s name was revealed during H.T.’s interrogation at the police department. The suspects say they attacked the victims after an argument that erupted over money after agreeing to pay for a sexual relationship. There are strong suspicions that the murder could be a hate crime against transsexuals. Many trans-genders in Turkey live under the threat of hate attacks and most of the murders targeting the LGBT community are left unsolved. T.M. was taken to the Police Department, while H.T. was sent to the Juvenile Police Directorate as he is under the age of 18.
© The Hurriyet Daily News
House targeted in 'hate' attack (Northern Ireland)
24/4/2014- A family has escaped injury after shots were fired at a house in an attack police are treating as a hate crime. A number of windows at the home in the Whiterock Gardens area of west Belfast were damaged in the incident. A man and woman and a number of children were inside the property at the time of the attack at 10pm last night. It is understood the occupants were members of the travellers community. Officers have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
© The Belfast Telegraph
Suspect in student's stabbing alleged to have threatened other pupils (Greece)
24/4/2014- A 22-year-old theology major standing accused of stabbing high-school senior Foivos D. outside his school in Palaio Faliro on Athens's southern coast in January 2013 allegedly threatened other students who had voiced their opposition to neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, of which the suspect is believed to be a member. Testifying at the Athens court hearing the case on Thursday, a fellow student of Foivos D. said that Giorgos Apsotolopoulos was well known to the school's pupils and had been seen painting swastikas and other Nazi symbols on the walls of the premises. He alleged that it was common knowledge Apostolopoulos was a member of Golden Dawn's youth wing and the ringleader among a group of high-school students who supported the neo-Nazi party.
The witness told the court that he had been subjected to threats after trying to talk to Apostolopoulos's girlfriend, who also attended the school, out of supporting Golden Dawn. "Just before Christmas  I had seen the defendant and his girlfriend at the school painting swastikas on the wall. The next day I tried to talk to the girl, who was in my class, and I was a bit hard on her. She sent a text message and when I left the school at the end of the day, the defendant and another four people were waiting for me outside. They looked at me in a threatening manner," the teenager told the court. "The following day I apologized to the girl and we sat down on a bench to talk. The defendant and a few of his friends came over and started pushing me around. He pulled out a flick knife. It was closed but he waved it near my face and shouted: 'Are you playing with madness?'," the witness said. "The only reason I got away was because I apologized."
Foivos D., who underwent surgery after sustaining a deep cut across his face, testified on Wednesday. He was 17 years old at the time of the attack. He told the court that Apostolopoulos and another suspect - who will be tried separately by a juvenile court as he was below the age of 18 when the attack occurred - grabbed him as he as walking to school on the morning of January 28, 2013. He said that Apostolopoulos slashed him across the face with a knife, cutting his nose - which had to be reattached surgically - and part of this throat. In an effort to explain why he believed he had been targeted by the defendant, Foivos D. told the court that some two months prior to the attack he had taken issue with Apostolopoulos's girlfriend after seeing her draw a swastika on her desk.
"The next day someone had drawn the word 'Antifa' [representing the anti-fascism movement] on her desk and I refused to erase it when she told me to. I can't think what else it could have been; I had never had any problems with them before," Foivos D. said. "The attack was premeditated because they were waiting for me at a spot outside the school that could not be seen from the schoolyard," he added. Investigations into the attack have revealed evidence supporting allegations that Apostolopoulos was an active supporter of Golden Dawn, which is the subject of an ongoing judicial inquiry into its alleged criminal activities. The trial has been adjourned until April 30.
© The Kathimerini
Polish man thrown into the River and pelted with bottles in racist attack (UK)
23/4/2014- A Polish man has told a jury he thought he was going to drown after he was thrown into the River Exe and pelted with bottles in an allegedly racist attack. Konrad Raczynski was walking home from a friend’s birthday party on his won when he says he was set on by two men who subjected him to racial abuse as they punched and kicked him. He said two complete strangers Kruze Howard and Christopher Pinnock threw him into the river and tried to stop him getting out by stamping on his hands and kicking him in the face. Howard, aged 24, of Okehampton Street, Exeter, and Pinnock, aged 24, of Haven Road, Exeter, deny racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm. The prosecution have told the jury they were motivated by racism when they set on Mr Raczynski as he passed under the South side of Exe Bridges in the centre of Exeter. They say the men left him unconscious in the water while they fled to Howard’s home nearby and the victim was rescued by police who tracked the alleged attackers through their wet footprints.
The jury have heard one of the men jumped into the river after Mr Raczynski and also made further racial comments to people sitting nearby. Howard allegedly told police at the scene:”If someone gets chucked in the river, I’m just going to stand there all day laughing. He punched my mate and he chucked the Polish blokey into the river. I was in stitches.” Mr Raczynski said he was on his way home from a birthday party where he had drunk three pints of lager and one of shandy and was a little drunk. He said he was attacked from behind, kicked to the ground and subjected to racial abuse. He said:”There were two men kicking me to the head and they rolled me into the river. I was on my own and I was not able to stop it. I was trying to get out but it was cold. “There were some chains on the side of the bank and they stamped on my hands to stop me getting out. When I did get out they chased me and I ended up in the river for a second time.
“I was trying to get out but they had beer bottles and started throwing them at me while I was in the river. I swam into the middle to avoid being hit and must have lost consciousness at this point. “I don’t remember but it could have been the result of trying to get out again and one of them kicking me straight in the face. That was the last thing I remember. “I was exhausted and spent ten minutes in the river then I remember lots of police who pulled me out of the water. My impression was those men were trying to drown me. “I had bruises and cuts and went to hospital and later I was sick and throwing up and had to go back to hospital the following day. I lost my phone and gold wedding ring in the river.”
© The Exeter Express & Echo
More Jewish sites vandalized in Ukraine
22/4/2014- A Holocaust memorial and the grave of the brother of the late Lubavitcher rebbe were vandalized in Ukraine, amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the country. The Holocaust Memorial in Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula was spray painted in red with a hammer and sickle and the letters USSR, and with what appeared to be other pro-Russian graffiti according to the Sevastopolskaya Gazeta. The Sevastopol Jewish Welfare Center, Hesed Shahar, reported the vandalism to local police, according to Sevastopolskaya Gazeta. The memorial was erected in Sevastopol in 2003 at the site where 4,200 Jews were murdered by the Nazis on July 12, 1942.
The monument has been vandalized by neo-Nazis in the past. Also on Tuesday it was reported that, in Dnepropetrovsk, swastikas were sprayed on the tomb of Dov Ber Schneerson, brother of the late Lubavicher Rebbe, Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson. Chabad emissary Rabbi Moshe Weber, who works in Dnepropetrovsk, said that the graffiti looked recent, according to Chabad Online. Since the revolution erupted in November, Ukraine, which has relatively low levels of anti-Semitic violence, has seen several serious attacks including a stabbing and the attempted torching of two synagogues, most recently last week in Nikolayev. The Ukrainian government and Russian government officials, as well as their supporters in Ukraine, have exchanged allegations of anti-Semitism.
© JTA News
Southeastern Ukrainian synagogue reportedly firebombed
20/4/2014- The main synagogue in the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev was firebombed. The synagogue was empty of worshippers when it was firebombed early Saturday morning, according to the Chabad-affiliated Shturem.org website. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the door and window, the report said, citing Yisroel Gotlieb, son of the city’s chief rabbi, Sholom Gotlieb. A passer-by put out the fires with a fire extinguisher, according to the report. The attack was recorded by the synagogue’s closed circuit television security camera and uploaded to YouTube. Nikolayev, a Black Sea port city of approximately 500,000, is located in southeastern Ukraine about 70 miles from Odessa. The Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, in eastern Ukraine, was firebombed in late February. Last week in eastern Ukraine, fliers calling on Jews to register with pro-Russian separatists and pay special taxes were distributed in Donetsk.
© JTA News
Immigrants bullied into leaving The Hague district (Netherlands)
18/4/2014- The Hague's mayor Jozias van Aartsen and a local housing corporation have pledged to take action against a group of white residents in a working class neighbourhood who are bullying immigrants until they leave. The Duindorp neighbourhood, a pre-war neighbourhood close to Scheveningen harbour, hit the headlines this week after locals appeared on television saying they saw nothing wrong in trying to drive out foreigners. 'My son has been waiting for a house in Duindorp for four years and then along comes a burqa with a man who has a dromedary and a camel. They get one within a week. Get lost. We don't want them here,' one man, Nico den Heijer, said on camera.
Immigrants have complained about having their windows smashed and swasticas painted on the walls of their home, local housing corporation Vestia said. One family found a pig's head had been nailed to their door 'because they had the cheek to come and live here', the AD reports. Housing corporation officials who show prospective new tenants around have also been threatened so seriously the police have been informed, the AD says on Friday.
A Turkish bakery close by was also set on fire last weekend and the owner suspects a racist motive. Local Peter de Bruijn, described as a large, bald man in a jogging suit by the AD, told the paper Duindorp residents all know each other from school. 'It is a big group of friends, we leave our doors open and nothing ever happens between us,' he said. 'But if the foreigners move in, then the problems start.'
Not all locals are opposed to foreigners moving in, but those that have defended them in the past are reluctant to talk to the press because of local repercussions, the AD says. The Hague's mayor, police and Vestia are now trying to work out how to deal with the situation. Van Aartsen says he will not tolerate the situation: 'not in Duindorp, not in Scheveningen, nowhere in the city.' Local politicians have also expressed their concern at the situation. 'There is nothing the matter with sentiment but we cannot tolerate the use of violence against other population groups,' city councillor Richard de Mos, a former MP for Geert Wilders' PVV, told local broadcaster Omroep West. Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch has asked justice minister Ivo Opstelten to make a statement on the issue and urged Wilders to condemn events in the village.
© The Dutch News
Pro-Russian Separatists Loot, Assault Romani in Sloviansk (Ukraine)
19/4/2014- Pro-Russian separatists have engaged in seemingly racially motivated acts of looting and assault against Romani residents of Sloviansk, reports the News of Donbass. Reports of the attacks were confirmed by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. Armed separatists have reportedly begun a series of home invasions against the city’s Romani population, robbing and assaulting their victims. The militants apparently have shown no regard for age or gender, and women and children have been among the victims who were beaten According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen carried off stolen property in trucks.
The perpetrators claim that they are acting on the orders of the self-described ‘People’s Mayor’ and leader of the separatist militant wing, Vyacheslav Ponomarev. According to Ponomarev, he held talks with a Romani who he alleged were involved in drug trafficking, and “removed them from the city.” Ponomarev said they were not attacks on Romani, but rather ‘cleaning the city from drugs.’ The attacks on Romani, also known as Gypsies, follow a troubling precedent set the day prior when members of the Donetsk Republic organization distributed anti-Semitic leaflets in an attempt to extort and intimidate members of the Jewish community. Ponomarev has also announced a “hunt” on the Ukrainian speaking population of Sloviansk, wherein those who speak the indigenous language be treated as suspicious and reported to the local militia.
The Prime Minister has instructed law enforcement agencies to identify those distributing hateful material and bring them to justice, as well as those involved in the attacks on Romani.
© Ukrainian Policy
Headlines 18 April, 2014
White Supremacist Website Linked to Nearly 100 Murders Worldwide
US-based racist site frequented by mass-killers including Frazier Glenn Cross, Anders Breivik; branded 'breeding ground' for extremists.
18/4/2014- Nearly 100 murders around the world in the last five years can be traced back to users of the biggest white supremacist forum on the Internet, a hate-group watchdog said Thursday. The majority of those killings were committed by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist best known for the massacre of 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a summer camp outside Oslo in 2011. But, in common with other killers, he frequented Stormfront.org, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) branded a "racist forum" in a study that comes on the heels of Sunday's triple murder at two Jewish sites in Kansas. "Stormfront is really a worldwide enterprise," said Heidi Beirich, who authored the report for the Alabama-based non-profit organization that monitors homegrown extremist groups in the United States. Such websites, added Beirich in a conference call with reporters, serve as virtual "breeding grounds for people just enraged by their situation."
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, also known as F. Glenn Miller, who has been charged with murder for the Passover eve Kansas City shooting on Sunday, frequented another site, Vanguard News Network, posting more than 12,000 times. Members of that site reacted euphorically to news that one of their fellow members had carried out the shooting, in a discussion thread which reached over 100 posts by late Monday alone. One post read "3 ain't bad. Hail Hitler brother!!" Launched in 1995, Stormfront - whose motto is "White Pride, World Wide" - has 286,000 registered users, though on any given day fewer than 1,800 log on to the site, most of them from outside the United States, the SPLC said. Its users have included Wade Michael Page, who killed six people and then himself at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012, and Buford O'Neil Furrow, who shot and wounded five people at a Jewish day care center in Los Angeles in 1999 before killing a Filipino-American postal worker.
Not all race-related
Not all the homicides were race-related, however: the report mentioned two Stormfront users who shot and killed their wives and then themselves, as well as an "aspiring skinhead" who gunned down three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in 2009. More often than not, the perpetrators have been frustrated, unemployed white adult males, living with their mothers or an estranged mother or girlfriend, who "binges online for hours" on militant hate sites. Breivik, who claimed Norway was being invaded by Muslims, was a registered Stormfront member for three years, introducing himself in 2008 with the username "year2183," the SPLC said. He is serving a 21-year sentence for the summer-camp shooting and a bomb attack on a government building in which eight people died.
"Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings" since its launch by Don Black, a one-time Klan leader in Alabama, said the study. "He is providing a kind of community for these people, an ideological home," said SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok, who faulted the Department of Homeland Security for failing to assign more attention and resources to confronting domestic extremism. "The Internet in general, and Don Black in particular, has really helped to build something that is fueling the radical right in America," Potok said. No reaction to the SPLC report, posted on its www.splcenter.org website, could be seen Thursday on those sections of Stormfront that are open to the public without registration.
© Arutz Sheva
Suspected Greek neo-Nazis get life for murdering Pakistani
Two suspected members of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn were sentenced Tuesday to life in prison over the fatal stabbing of a Pakistani immigrant last year, a judicial source said.
15/4/2014- However, the Athens court judging the case threw out the prosecution´s argument that the murder of 27-year-old Shehzad Luqman in January 2013 was racially motivated. Luqman´s killing -- and that of Greek leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas a few months earlier -- prompted Greek authorities to begin a crackdown on Golden Dawn that revealed the group´s violent paramilitary activities, according to investigators. Several of the party´s senior members are now behind bars awaiting trial, with the Greek judiciary gathering evidence to show Golden Dawn operated as a criminal organisation.
Dionyssis Liakopoulos, 25, and Christos Steriopoulos, 29, were arrested a few hours after Luqman´s murder when a taxi driver who witnessed the attack reported their motorbike numberplate to police. According to the driver, the pair drove up behind the victim and assaulted him as he was cycling in the Petralona neighbourhood near the Acropolis. A search of Liakopoulos´s home found Golden Dawn leaflets in addition to knives and truncheons, although the two men have denied membership in the neo-Nazi party. The pair said they got into an argument with the victim after he blocked their path with his bicycle.
Six of Golden Dawn´s 18 elected members of parliament are currently behind bars awaiting trial and a total of nine have been indicted on charges of belonging to, or running, a criminal organisation. Formerly on the fringe of Greek politics, openly xenophobic and anti-Semitic Golden Dawn has seen its popularity soar as it taps into widespread anger over immigration and austerity reforms in debt-wracked Greece. Critics say the conservative-led Greek government delayed in investigating Golden Dawn for fear of alienating hardliners within its own voter base ahead of local elections.
© The News - Pakistan
Three dead, man arrested in shootings at Johnson County Jewish centers (USA)
Three people were killed and a 14-year-old boy was critically injured Sunday when a gunman opened fire outside the Jewish Community Center and a senior living facility in Johnson County.
13/4/2014- Police arrested the suspected shooter, a man in his 70s, outside Valley Park Elementary nearby by 2:45 p.m. He smiled and reportedly made anti-Semitic statements as he was led away. Two of the victims were a 14-year-old girl and her father who attend the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, the church’s senior pastor, shared the news with church members at the beginning of the evening Palm Sunday service. He said he has been talking to the victims’ family in the hours after the shooting, and they asked him to go through with the Sunday evening worship service. Two of the victims who died were shot in a car at the community center, and one of them died at a hospital, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a press conference. The injured 14-year-old boy was in critical condition at a hospital at 4:30 p.m.
The victims were hit by gunfire at the center at 5801 W. 115th Street and the Village Shalom senior living facility 5500 W. 123rd St. about 1 p.m. The gunfire at the west side of the Jewish Community Center came as hundreds of high school singers from across the metro area were expected to audition for the KC SuperStar contest and actors were rehearsing for a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “There were tons of kids because this was about to start at 1 o’clock,” said Ruth Bigus, the publicist for KC SuperStar. An interfaith service will be held at 8 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, 12251 Antioch Road, in conjunction with Temple Israel of Greater Kansas City. The community center will be closed Monday.
“Our hearts go out to the families who have suffered loss on this tragic day,” the Jewish Community Center said in a statement. “Our heartfelt gratitude as well to all those in Kansas City and around the world who have expressed sympathy, concern and support.” Matt Davis was shopping for bar mitzvah suits with his son when he heard about the shooting at the Jewish Community Center, where his daughter was dancing. He headed to the center and saw the suspect, a heavyset man in handcuffs, being arrested at the school nearby. The man was smiling. “I was wondering why is the guy smiling when he’s being arrested,” Davis said. Leawood resident Jeff Nessel had just returned to the community center parking lot after dropping off his 10-year-old son, Elijah, there at the building at 1 p.m. when an employee told him to get back inside because there had been a shooting. “It’s surreal,” Nessel said. “You don’t think it can happen here.”
With urgency — “Let’s go, let’s go!” — staff hustled about 60 people into a room where they were preparing to hold the SuperStars auditions, Nessel said. “They did a great job,” he said. “It was not a panic, it was ‘We have a procedure here, let’s follow it,’ ” he said. The community center staff kept the group informed as best they could. After about 15 minutes in the room, a worker came in and told them, “There’s been a shooting in the parking lot between here and Sprint. We’ll keep you on lockdown. You’re safe here. The police are on top of the situation,” Nessel recounted. “That’s what you want to hear, that we’re safe,” he said. Later, someone explained to them that the situation had been cleared up but said they had to stay a while longer while invesigators combed the area for evidence. In all, they were locked down for about an hour and a half.
Nessel and his son were at the center for a weekly program for children on the autism spectrum called “Fun and Fitness with Friends.” About eight or nine kids and about six parents were there for the program as well as 10 to 12 volunteers and others from the SuperStars auditions and the play rehearsal. Nobody in the room panicked, Nessel said, adding that he kept busy occupying his son. Nessel, 59, had left his cell phone in his car, so he borrowed someone’s to call his wife, Sarah. His biggest concern was that she would hear about the shooting and not know he and Elijah were OK. His son handled the situation calmly, Nessel said. His only sign of stress: On the drive home, Elijah said he needed a cookie. Turning into Hen House, Dad was happy to oblige.
© The Kansas City Star.
Canadian Jews 'More Afraid'
Bnai Brith says while total number of hate acts against Jews declined slightly, this is only half of the story.
13/4/2014- The Bnai Brith Canada organization published its annual report on anti-Semitism in Canada this weekend, and according to the Shalom Toronto website, it paints a mixed picture. The organization says there has been a 21.6% rise in vandalistic anti-Semitic acts in the past year, and the number of violenct incidents rose by 7.7%. However, there has been a 13.9% decline in the number of events classified under “harassment.” The total number of hate acts against Jews was 1,274, a 5.3% decline compared to last year. "The current level of anti-Semitism in Canada as compared with data from a decade ago shows a leap of 49%,” said Bnai Brith Director Frank Diamant. “Jews pf all ages are subjected to hate acts at work, in school and even in the playgrounds,” he added. Despite Canada's efforts – both domesticaly and internationally – to deal with anti-Semitism, the prejudices still exist in the country.”
Diamant added that the statistics are only part of the picture, and that there is an added element of fear in the present complaints. “Although the total number of events has declined by a small amount, in the past year, Jew-hatred has become a normative discourse that is no longer perceived as negative.” "Anti-Semitism is perceived by many people in the Jewish community as a thing of the past,” he explained. “However, the use of the word 'Israel' instead of 'the Jews,' along with a flood of Holocaust imagery in the context of the Jewish state and its supporters, creates dread.” "In the campuses, the problem has been worsened by a slew of decisions made by student organizations, which have created a situation in which Israeli Apartheid Week essentially lasts all year long,” Diamant elaborated. “At the same time, Jewish students and Israel supporters are labeled racists, Nazis and baby killers. This kind of harassment has sidelined everyone and silenced them.”
While the Canadian government has been tough on anti-Semitism, he claimed, police and prosecutors have exhibited an unwillingness to pursue complaints – so that Canadian Jews generally prefer not to report anti-Semitic incidents at all.
© Arutz Sheva
One Czech Facebook page calling for the killing of "gypsies" shut down, one still open
12/4/2014- For the past several days the Facebook social networking site has hosted an openly hateful, racist page in the Czech language called "We demand impunity for shooting gypsies" (Poadujeme beztrestné vystøílení cikánù). On 11 April at 11:08 AM, news server Romea.cz published an article about the fact that according to communications with those who reported the page, Facebook did not find that it violated its "community principles". Three hours after the article was published on Romea.cz, the Facebook administrators re-evaluated their decision and closed this particular page. However, another page calling for the execution of the director of the ROMEA organization remains active on Facebook and most recently features a post threatening violence against three prominent Romani people: Jarmila Baláová, spokesperson for the Czech Human Rights Minister, journalist Tomáš Bystrý, and David Tišer, a Green Party candidate for the European Parliament.
"Kill them from birth", "That's why this PETITION to KILL these gypsy beasts WITH IMPUNITY!!!" - these are just two examples of the status updates to be found on the now-defunct Facebook page, which had 120 fans. The posts to the page openly called for the killing of a specific ethnic group. "We noticed the page practically right when it was created, which was 7 April. Racist and vulgar posts began showing up on our own Facebook page with the name of that page," Ryšavý told news server Romea.cz. "We immediately reported the page and called on our supporters to do the same," Ryšavý said. Facebook automatically sent the following message to those who reported the page within just a few minutes of their having done so: "We have checked the page you reported as containing hateful language or symbols and determined that it does not violate our community principles."
"The founder of the page, its fans, and the administrators of Facebook are violating the Czech criminal code and opening themselves up to the possibility of criminal prosecution and, in the case of the Facebook firm, to fines or possibly more serious repercussions. The question is why Facebook makes it possible for users to report hate pages if it is unwilling to do anything about them. Under the current state of affairs, Facebook is socially responsible for disseminating hatred and prejudice on the territory of the Czech Republic. I presume that the responsibility for not closing this page lies with the Czech administrators. The American management of Facebook actively guards against such manifestations of hatred," lawyer Klára Klaibová of the In IUSTITIA organization said prior to the page being closed.
Two mobile phone contact numbers were listed in the description of the now-closed page, apparently with the aim of harming the reputation of a person who did not establish the page. According to information obtained by news server Romea.cz, the owner of the numbers has filed a criminal report over their publication already. This particular page is not unique. For years it has been customary for Czech-language pages with hateful and racist content targeting specific individuals to be featured on the social networking site. One such page still features a call for the public execution of the director of the ROMEA organization, Zdenìk Ryšavý. "I filed a criminal report about that at the start of March. No one from the police has contacted me yet, but I believe someone is looking into it," he said.
CoE report confirms concerns about Islamophobia in Denmark
A recent report released by the Council of Europe (CoE) has stated that there is an increase in incidents of Islamophobia and hate speech against Muslims living in Denmark
12/4/2014- The report, published March 24, is based on the examinations of Nils Muiznieks, commissioner for human rights of the CoE, during his visit to Denmark in November of last year. Muiznieks concluded that the high prevalence of racist and stigmatizing speech being used against Muslims in political life and in the media is a very problematic issue in Denmark. In the report, Muiznieks also focuses on issues regarding human rights of asylum-seekers and immigrants, with a particular emphasis on the rights of children as well as those of people with disabilities. “The commissioner encourages the Danish authorities to step up their efforts to combat hate speech, and in particular Islamophobia, which continues to be widespread in public and political debate. He particularly urges the authorities to condemn firmly and unequivocally all instances of racist and xenophobic political discourse,” states the report.
Danish media contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims
There is a diverse range of debates in Denmark on what makes up Danish identity -- from whether or not to allow halal meats at schools or whether to allow cashiers to wear headscarves to questioning a Danish boy of Moroccan descent winning Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, an annual music competition that determines the country’s representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. These debates have one common factor: not being Danish enough. Giving these types of incidents, one may think that it is no surprise Muiznieks found widespread debates that are particularly Islamophobic even though some political parties have criticized the report to be “thin” and not very comprehensive.
Brian Arly Jacobsen, assistant professor in sociology of religion from Copenhagen University, agrees that the Danish media and the political debates contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims in Denmark. Jacobsen, who also specializes in how Muslims and Islam are portrayed in Danish politics, does recognize the problematic issue regarding the portrayal of Muslims in the media. However, he adds that depending on whom you ask there will be different opinions on the issue. “What does it mean to be Islamophobic? There are tendencies, sure, but how can one define Islamophobic?” Jacobsen told Sunday’s Zaman, adding “The problem is that the political debates and the media contribute to a skewed picture of Muslims that have consequences for Danish society as the picture portrayed is often associated with conflicts -- and this problem is exactly the generalization of Islamophobia that Muiznieks refers to.”
Generalization is widespread
Özlem Cecik, a Danish politician of Kurdish descent from Turkey, argues there are particular types of rhetoric being used in political and public debates in Denmark that may be thought-provoking, but she doesn’t agree that the debates are Islamophobic. Cecik told Sunday’s Zaman: “Nuances have disappeared in the political debate; generalization is widespread and herein lies the problem. For example, if there is a criminal called Brian, we try to understand why he became a criminal and help him. However, if the boy is called Muhammad, then the standard response is that it’s a cultural problem. Instead of focusing on how we can help, we start by thinking of it as a cultural or religious problem. We don’t address it as a social issue, such as educational or health-related issues. “Unfortunately, there is a greater focus on culture or religion, which distracts us from the real problems. Setting fire to containers is not a traditional feature of Turkish or Kurdish culture, so there must be more to the problem and often it is social issues, such as lack of education, that we should look to.”
Reading Danish news, it is not hard to find a harsh tone and attitude towards Muslims. For example, a column headed “Islam is our civilization’s greatest threat” in the Danish newspaper, Politiken, on March 2, written by Soren Espersen, a politician from the Danish People’s Party, may encourage fear-mongering. For Cecik, this type of rhetoric is used to stoke fears and sabotages any constructive dialogue. She believes it is always easier to engage in politics by stirring up hostility toward another group of people, adding: “This is a populist approach. Societal groups which do this are fear-mongering.” Muiznieks has also noted the harsh tone used in the media and politics towards Muslims and writes in the report: “Several of the commissioner’s interlocutors have indicated that the focus of stigmatizing media and political debate has shifted from color and ethnicity to religion and culture, with Muslims and Islam being at the center of this shift. Terminology frequently used to refer to Islam includes words such as ‘barbaric,’ ‘tyrannical,’ ‘fundamentalist’ and Muslim men have frequently been portrayed as violent and rapists.”
As a consequence, the anti-Islamic approach has eventually led to tightening immigration requirements for non-Westerners, making Denmark one of the countries in the EU with some of the tightest immigration regulations. “Some people are concerned as to whether Sharia [strict Islamic] law will be implemented in Denmark or not… However, it is unrealistic to think that Sharia law will be implemented in a democratic country like Denmark,” said Cecik.
There is a different side to the problem
Rushy Rashid Hojbjerg, a Pakistani-descended Danish journalist and radio host at Radio24syv who has been working in media for 15 years, told Sunday’s Zaman that she recognizes that even though there is a great focus on Islam and ethnicity in the media, it does not necessarily mean that every time Islam gets mentioned it is a case of Islamophobia. “The media often goes for negative stories because that’s where the conflict lies. As a radio host at my program, I am told that I should also feature more success stories; I don’t make two hours covering success stories, but I interview people of various ethnicities and make them talk politics, social injustice, Islam and so many other topics. The main goal of the program is to give a more nuanced picture,” Hojbjerg noted.
Speaking with Sunday’s Zaman, Jens Stensgaard Jakobsen, an editor for the Danish cross-cultural paper Opinionen, agrees that the Danish debates in the media are not Islamphobic, adding: “If you look back at the 2000s, articles regarding Islam and immigration were published up to three times more than today, but now the focus has been taken away from that. Rather, there is a problem with good journalism. As a journalist, I see the problem lies within the lack of multi-cultural journalists who, with their different cultural insight, can contribute to a more nuanced debate. A lot of the big news agencies do not often have skilled journalists with solid resources. The lack of insightful reporting may be the problem...The big newspapers have to remember that their readers also include Danes with multicultural backgrounds now.”
© Today's Zaman
Racism in Bristol: 349 victims report abuse in 2012/13 (UK)
15/4/2014- The words fill the entire length of another victim's front door. Daubed in paint, they are just one example of the racist abuse facing hundreds of people across Bristol.
The shocking images have been released by Bristol hate crime charity Stand Against Racism and Inequality (Sari), which has published its annual review. Despite a slight fall in racist incidents recorded by the charity, 349 victims reported abuse during 2012/13. The abuse varied from racist language to threats and physical assaults. Sari's annual report showed a seven per cent drop in recorded incidents between 2011/12 and 2012/13. The data has been coupled with census figures which show Bristol is becoming more ethnically diverse. Although the number of racist incidents fell across the city, some wards saw a sharp increase. Incidents reported in Brislington East, where Iran-born Bijan Ebrahimi was found burned to death on an estate in an apparent hate crime last summer, increased from two to 32.
Racist incidents recorded per ward in Bristol:
In total, Sari recorded 349 racist incidents in Bristol and the surrounding area in 2012/13, down from 374 in 2011/12. Census figures show Bristol's black and ethnic minority (BME) population doubled between 2001 and 2011. The increases were attributed to migration from eastern Europe and Somalia. In wards such as Avonmouth and Brislington East, where the BME population has grown, racist incidents have also increased.
+ The highest number of such incidents in 2012/13 were recorded in Lawrence Hill (51), which has the most ethnically diverse population.
+ The large majority (245) of incidents reported to Sari were classed as verbal abuse.
+ Assaults and intimidation were the second most common forms of racist abuse and the proportion has not changed year-on-year.
+ However, attacks on property and police discrimination has risen, according to the charity. Attacks on property increased from 32 to 43 over a year. In one instance, "go back ur country or dead" was spray-painted on a front door. Incidents of police discrimination went up from four to nine.
+ Of the 349 incidents in total, 346 took place at or around the home. The second most common place was at work.
+ Alarmingly, the highest number of victims were children below the age of nine. The second most common age category was 30-39.
+ Fifty-six people of Caribbean and Somali heritage were victims of incidents over the past year. Eastern European victims numbered 35.
Sari provides support to victims and training to employers and in schools. It is funded by local authorities. The charity lost its long-serving director Batook Pandya, who died of a heart attack, earlier this year. Esther Deans, Sari's chairwoman, said the charity had a "significant and inspiring year" marking 50 years since the Bristol Bus Boycott and 20 years since Stephen Lawrence was murdered. She said in her personal report: "At a time of so much change around the South West, we must continue to survive and work together to make Bristol the place where people feel safe and where diversity is truly valued."
© The Bristol Post
Homophobia crime statistics in Horsham district revealed (UK)
As Sussex Police reveal the statistics for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) hate crime in the Horsham district, the council says that tackling this issue is ‘high on the list of priorities’.
12/4/2014- A spokesperson for Horsham District Council (HDC) said that during 2013/14 there has been a ‘substantial increase’ in the reporting of hate crimes in West Sussex, with corresponding increases in those motivated through homophobia. Despite this, HDC described it as ‘encouraging’, saying that the increase is due to victims and witnesses of LGBT crime being more likely to report it to the police than they were in previous years. The spokesperson said: “Victim Support continues to be the lead for the Horsham District Community Safety Partnership (HDCSP) and has been running the ‘Hate Crime Service’ since 2008.” One of the ways that the service has raised awareness has been to hold a high-profile conference in September 2013 in Arun specifically addressing homophobic and transphobic incidents, called ‘Don’t support it, report it’.
The spokesperson continued: “Victim Support provides the third party reporting capability for any hate crime or incident and takes referrals from Sussex Police, other agencies such as schools, local authorities and housing providers and by self-referral from victims, witnesses and third parties to hate crimes and incidents.” This statement follows a recent live chat hosted by Sussex Police where a spokesperson said: “Since April 1 2013 we have had 917 crimes and 276 incidents across all the strands of hate. In the past three months it averages out at about three a day.” The statistics span the whole of Sussex. Of these, Horsham District had only 38 crimes and 15 incidents. Graham Hill, the Senior Manager of Victim Support overseeing the Hate Crime Service, said: “Crimes and incidents motivated by hate against people who are often vulnerable is unacceptable.
“They are seen by some as an easy target. Working with our partner agencies we are trying to encourage any person suffering these types of incidents to come forward and tell somebody. “There is help and support available. “We are committed to creating an environment where any person can come forward in the knowledge that they will be dealt will properly and sensitively, and will be offered support.” If you are an organisation in the Horsham district that offers support and advice for LGBT people, let us know at the County Times.
© West Sussex County Times
Headlines 11 April, 2014
Greece: GD Mob Threatens NGO for Treating Migrants in Perama Clinic
11/4/2014- A neo-Nazi mob affiliated to the Greek Golden Dawn party has intimidated a polyclinic of the human rights organisation Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) because it was providing healthcare services and medication to immigrants. The gang of around 30 people, dressed in the far-right party's uniforms, shouted "Blood, honour, Golden Dawn" and "Foreigners get out" outside the polyclinic in the Athens suburb of Perama, even though the facility also treats Greek patients. At the time of the threats, around 40 Greek and foreign patients, including many children, were inside the clinic. MdM secretary Nikitas Kanakis said that 90% of the patients were Greeks, adding that "they will not scare us, medicine does not discriminate."
It it is not the first time that the Perama branch of Medecins du Monde has been intimidated by Golden Dawn. The organisation provides free primary health care to people who cannot afford those services in Greece, and its patient roster has been growing steadily since the financial crisis struck. In February 2013, patients and staff at the clinic were targeted by Golden Dawn members, who shouted racist slogans. Medecins du Monde released a statement in the aftermath of the attack, saying: We declare that we refuse to "take fright" and we will staunchly continue to defend the right to healthcare wherever there are people. We deem that Golden Dawn bears moral responsibility for any potential attacks our clinics may be subjected to in the future and for this reason the relevant authorities will be notified accordingly. We call upon the Greeks who share the same solidarity principles with us to support our efforts with even greater determination.
Last year, members of the neo-Nazi party clashed with a group of Roma in a raid on Kalamata Hospital in southern Peloponnese. The extremists, led by MP Dimitris Koukoutsis, swooped on the hospital hunting for foreign nurses.
© The International Business Times - UK
Holocaust Memorial Defaced in Ukraine
Neo-Nazis desecrate memorial, Jewish cemetery; incident raises fear of post-revolution anti-Semitic surge.
9/4/2014- A holocaust memorial monument in Odessa, Ukraine, has been vandalized, apparently by neo-Nazi groups involved in the ouster of former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Swastikas and Waffen SS signs were daubed on the memorial, and the words "Death to the Jews" and "Right Sector" were also found painted on the walls of the nearby Jewish cemetery, according to UNIAN news agency. "Right Sector" is the name of a far-right coalition which played a prominent part in violent clashes with government forces during the revolution. The question of anti-Semitism in post-revolution Ukraine - which already suffered from high-levels of xenophobia and anti-Semitism from neo-Nazi groups - has been hotly debated. The Russian government has long alleged that the relative prominence of far-right militias in the former opposition movement, as well as rising ultranationalist sentiment, poses a real danger for the country's Jewish population. Ukrainian officials have dismissed the claims as attempts by Russia to justify its annexation of the Crimea. For the most part the Ukrainian Jewish leadership has also denied the claims of a spike in anti-Semitism, despite several high-profile violent incidents.
© Arutz Sheva
Murdered Sophie Lancaster's mum praises police (UK)
The mum of murdered gap year student Sophie Lancaster has praised Greater Manchester Police for its war on sub-culture hate crime.
9/4/2014- Sylvia Lancaster, whose daughter Sophie, 20, died after being attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, in 2007, for dressing ‘like a goth’, commended the force on the first anniversary of GMP’s decision to recognise offences against members of alternative sub-cultures as hate crimes. In the first 12 months, there have been 15 of these crimes across Greater Manchester, with some victims being assaulted or wounded. Three forces have followed GMP’s lead - Durham, Warwickshire and West Mercia. Sylvia said: “I’d like to thank GMP and the other forces who are now taking the same firm approach to this type of offending. “No-one should have to tolerate abuse simply because they like certain clothing, make up or music, and I would urge young people to have the confidence to be themselves and be proud of who they are. “Hate crime often starts with insults but can easily escalate, and although you may think you are powerless, you aren’t, as you can always report it. “If you’ve seen someone else being verbally abused or physically attacked, don’t be a bystander – pick up the phone and tell police immediately.”
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Hate crime is a blight on communities, and in some cases tragically costs lives. “We work with many organisations to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how victims can be supported, and encourage all communities to challenge and report it. “Over the last 12 months, people in Greater Manchester have not had to tolerate hate crime simply for expressing their alternative sub-culture identities, and we hope they now feel more reassured that we are committed to tackling this issue, and to dealing firmly with offenders. “Our officers now have much better awareness of all types of hate crime, so we can offer improved support to victims and assess more accurately the potential for repeat offending.”
© The Lancashire Telegraph
Man suffers elbow fracture in racist attack in his own driveway (Ireland)
Osamah Zaidi says that he and his family are “desperate” and would like to be moved by South Dublin County Council.
8/4/2014- A naturalised Irish citizen had his elbow fractured after being attacked by three men in his own driveway over the weekend, in the culmination of what he calls three weeks of racist abuse. Osamah Zaidi moved to Ireland from Pakistan in 2006 and has since become an Irish citizen. He lived in a council house in Lucan for over five years without, he says, a single incident. He was moved by South Dublin County Council to a house in Kiltatown Park in Jobstown in Tallaght on 25 March. Within two days, he says, his family were subject to racist abuse from a group of men aged between 16 and 21. The abuse built to the attack on Saturday, when Osamah had parked his car. “I had parked my car when three men attacked me. They punched me, kicked me and held me down. “I ended up with a number of bruises and a fractured elbow.” Osamah has reported the incident to both gardaí and South Dublin County Council, but says that he feels like a prisoner in his own home. “I have three young children who are too scared to go to school because they are afraid to leave me alone.” He adds that much of the verbal abuse is racist in nature and he believes his family are being targeted purely because of their origin. He says that the situation is proving stressful for himself and his family.
© The Journal Ireland
Sweden orders inquiry into hate vandalism
The swedish government has ordered an inquiry into hate assaults and vandalism following an intensification of neo-Nazi attacks on Jewish and Muslim targets.
11/4/2014- The announcement came after a series of defacings, including at the part-Jewish Vasa Real high school in central Stockholm where pupils found Nazi symbols and antisemitic slurs such as “Jew swine” spray-painted in pink and blue on the walls. The findings of the inquiry, which will focus on attacks on Jewish and Muslim individuals and buildings, will be presented at a conference in October 2014. “We must stand up for an open and tolerant society and for everyone’s equal worth,” Sweden’s Minister of Integration, Erik Ullenhag, and the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Stefan Attefall, wrote in an op-ed. “When a young Muslim woman has her headscarf torn off, when the rabbi in Malmö experiences blatant antisemitism and when converts are assaulted because they carry a christening certificate in their bag, society must react,” the ministers wrote. On Friday, pupils, staff and parents from Vasa Real organised a demonstration against racism. Addressing the crowds, Willy Silberstein, president of Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, said: “In 2014, swastikas are yet again being painted on walls and the word ‘Jew’ is being used as a slur in schools.” In a report published in March, anti-racist foundation Expo claimed that Nazi groups in Sweden were stepping up activities ahead of the September general election.
© The Jewish Chronicle
Sweden: Swastika vandals target foreign-born car owners
Small town residents in central Sweden have been rattled by a recent attack on cars owned by people with foreign-sounding names: "After seven years on the run, I've started looking over my shoulder again."
7/4/2014- "Many now say that you shouldn't walk around alone after 8pm," said Moussa Kasim, who has lived in Finspång for two years. He called the police after he saw the vandalized cars and spray-painted swastikas as he returned from morning prayers at a nearby mosque on Sunday morning. "I guess it's against migrants, some sort of 'Sweden for Swedes' logo," Kasim said of the swastikas. "After seven years on the run, finally we felt safe. So this is ironic. I've started looking over my shoulder again." Kasim said that despite an arson attack on an Arab immigrant's car two months ago and a hit-and-run incident four months earlier residents had not felt threatened, but the latest incident had residents worried about their families' safety.
Local police chief Hanna Sjögren told The Local via SMS that an officer had been selected to steer the investigation, but he was not immediately available for comment. Three cars were targeted in the attack, all registered to owners with foreign-sounding names, the Norrköpings Tidning local newspaper noted. "It is probably some sort of message for those of us who think the Sweden may become their second motherland, that they'll find peace and prosperity here," said Kasim, which is not his real name.
He underscored that other Finspång natives had gone out of their way to make him and his family feel welcome in the small town of 20,000 residents in central Sweden. Had it simply been vandalism, Kasim said, he would have not thought much of the incident. "I would think it was some drunk chaps who did this," he said. "But the swastika signs left on the cars made me think otherwise." If the attack were to be deemed politically motivated rather than a drunk prank, it would be the second attack using anti-Semitic messages in Finspång in less than three months. In late January, a woman came home to her Finspång apartment to find an axe wedged in the door, next to a Star of David and a scrawled message "Disappear".
© The Local - Sweden
Racism and Xenophobia in March 2014 (Russia)
The following is our monthly review of instances of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government coordination or countermeasures, for the month of March 2014. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring.
7/4/2014- This month, no fewer than thirteen people fell victim to racist violence in Moscow and the Moscow and Irkutsk regions, one of them being killed. We are also aware that ultra-right activists staged so-called ‘white cars’ – where non-Slavic people on public transit are targeted for attack – on at least three occasions. (This phenomenon is also known in the nationalist community as ‘cleaning.’) As such, since the beginning of the year, no fewer than 29 people have been subjected to racist violence, with seven of them being killed. The violence has taken place in nine regions of Russia: Moscow and the Moscow region; Saint Petersburg; the Vladimir, Irkutsk and Sakhalin regions; the republics of Karelia and Tatarstan; and the Perm Krai. We remind readers that these numbers do not include victims of violence in Russia’s Northern Caucasus.
In March, we recorded no fewer than six acts of vandalism that can be characterized as motivated by hatred or neo-Nazi ideology. That makes at least twelve such incidents since the beginning of this year. The ultra-right’s activities grew this month. Every notable Russian nationalist organization, more or less, weighed in on the government crisis in Ukraine and the Russian Federation’s annexation (in Russian, generally referred to as “merger”) of Crimea. The annexation was supported by the majority of Russians, who often refer to Crimea as a “Russian land.”
A few ultranationalist groups held actions in support of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking citizens, against the Ukrainian government, and for Russian politics in the region generally. On March 1, the People’s Council held an action that drew between 100-150 people. On March 15, on Moscow’s Novopushkinsky Square, the Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers (Soyuz pravoslavnykh khorugvenostsev) held an action that drew activists from organizations including Great Russia and the LDPR, the party of Duma Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky. On March 9, St. Petersburg’s Mars Field hosted an action featuring activists from the People’s Council, the Great Fatherland (Velikoe Otechestvo) party, Motherland (Rodina), the Russian Imperial Movement, as well as Cossacks.
A few nationalist organizations (as part of the ‘Russian Spring’ campaign) actually sent activists to southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. At the end of March, Ukrainian state security expelled from the country Saint Petersburger Anton Raevsky, a member of the Black Hundreds, for “inciting ethnic hatred.” Meanwhile, some nationalists participated in the March for Peace held on March 15 in Moscow. Sova staff at the march noted symbols displaying the presence of the following nationalist groups: the Russian Right Party (Rossiiskaya pravaya partiya) of V. Ivanov (Istarkhov); the People’s Will (Narodnaya volya); and also a Russian imperial flag with the logos of the RONA and the RGS. A few people were detained for displaying nationalist symbols.
Nationalists also fixated on the Duma’s March 21 preliminary discussion of amending Russia’s citizenship laws. In this connection, members of the ‘Russians’ movement organized a campaign under the name “Russians Against the Distribution of Citizenship.” On March 19, about 25 of these activists gathered on Pushkin Square for an unsanctioned picket. On that day and the day before, the ‘Russians’ posted stickers in connection with the picket at Khimki and Dolgoprudny. On March 21, similar actions followed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Orel, and Khabarovsk. On March 1 in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Astrakhan, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Ryazan, and Khabarovsk, the traditional Heroes’ Day was held in memory of the Pskov paratrooper battalion killed in action in Chechnya in 2000.
Ultra-right activists continued their raids on residences known to house so-called “illegals.” Unfortunately, the raids continued in coordination with Russian law enforcement. The ‘Russians’ movement posted information to their Guestbusters website showing that on February 17, 2014, it had “inspected” passengers on a Tashkent-to-Saint Petersburg train in conjunction with the Internal Ministry and Federal Migration Service. We are not aware of any convictions for racist violence in March 2014. There have been six convictions against thirteen people for violent crimes taking into consideration a hate motive so far this year, in five regions of the country. Russian courts made seven rulings against as many people related to xenophobic propaganda this month in as many regions of the country. As such, from the beginning of the year, there have been no fewer than 24 rulings on racist and other far-right propaganda, with 25 people convicted in 20 regions of Russia.
A noteworthy verdict came in the Ostankino District Court of Moscow on March 17, 2014. ‘Russians’ leader and prominent Russian ultranationalist Dmitry Demushkin was convicted under Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code, organization of a banned organization, and fined 200,000 RUB (roughly $5,650 – a major sum). However, the court released Demushkin from the obligation to pay due to an expired statute of limitations. The verdict came as a surprise: it remains unclear why the case was investigated for such a long period of time, and for what reason a litany of other charges were excluded from the case, for example those related to the activities of Demushkin’s banned Slavic Union (SS), which essentially has continued as the Slavic Force (also SS), a member organization of the ‘Russians’ movement.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated five times this month, on March 5, 7, 14, 24 and 27. Entries 2225-2269 were added. The usual suspects remained targets for addition to the list: Islamist materials, including videos from insurgents in the Caucasus and the Hizb ut-Tahrir party; articles from the website hunafa.com; an issue of regional magazine New Times of Udmurtia; Boris Stomakhin’s website, including articles by him; articles from the anarchist journal Avtonom; the website of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) and various other ultranationalist materials from the social network VKontakte (including a picture from a page entitled Russia for Cats); the Third-Reich-era anti-Semitic children’s book Der Giftpilz (Poganka, The Poisonous Mushroom) by Ernst Hiemer; and various racist slogans and placards.
The Faizrakhmanists, a Russian-born Islamist movement, were added to the Federal List of Extremist Organizations in March following a February 21 ruling by the Soviet District Court of Kazan, in the Republic of Tatarstan, which declared them to be extremist. In this connection, the Federal List of Extremist Organizations now includes 34 organizations (not including a separate 19 that are considered terrorist) whose activities in the Russian Federation have been enjoined by a court, and whose continued activities would be punishable under Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code.
© SOVA Center for Information and Analysis.
Roma in Europe: Demanding justice and protection in the face of violence
European states are failing to curb and in some cases even fuelling discrimination, intimidation and violence against Roma, Amnesty International said on International Roma Day on 8 April.
8/4/2014- “There has been a marked rise in the frequency of anti-Roma violence in Europe in the last few years. The response to this alarming phenomenon has been woefully inadequate. It is unacceptable that in modern-day Europe some Roma communities live under the constant threat of violence and pogrom-like attacks,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director. “All too often European leaders have pandered to the prejudices fuelling anti-Roma violence by branding Roma as anti-social and unwelcome. While generally condemning the most blatant examples of anti-Roma violence, authorities have been reluctant to acknowledge its extent and slow to combat it. For its part, the European Union has been reluctant to challenge member states on the systemic discrimination of Roma that is all too evident.”
Amnesty International’s report, We ask for justice”: Europe’s failure to protect Roma from racist violence, examines hate motivated violence and harassment perpetrated against Roma by officials and ordinary citizens in the Czech Republic, France and Greece, illustrating the organization’s concerns across the continent. “On many occasions law enforcement agencies are failing to prevent racist attacks and ensure that hate motives are properly investigated and perpetrators brought to justice. The fact that racist attitudes remain entrenched in many police forces is more often denied than addressed," said John Dalhuisen. Governments across Europe fail the Roma in multiple ways. Discrimination, forced evictions, segregation and sub-standard education are the norm in many countries. “The European Union has legislative arsenal at its disposal to ensure that discriminatory violence, and discrimination more generally, are addressed. However, the European Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the application of EU laws in the member states, has to date failed to take clear and decisive action to address discrimination and violence against Roma in member states,” said john Dalhuisen. Amnesty International calls on national governments and the European Union to commit, visibly and wholeheartedly, to eradicating the scourge of anti-Roma discrimination, intolerance and violence across the region.
Throughout the summer and autumn of 2013, Czech far-right groups staged series of anti-Roma protests in dozens of towns and cities across the country. The protests meant systematic harrasmant of Romani communities. Between June and October 2013, far-right extremists joined by the local residents held regular marches through the city of Èeské Budìjovice to a housing estate following a conflict at a children’s playground between Roma and non-Roma adults. Štefan, a Romani man told Amnesty International: “Some people do not realize that [during the demonstrations, the Roma] have to stay at one place, that children… are afraid. This lasts the whole day and leaves trauma... Nobody deserves to experience something like this. People experienced this during the war and I think that in the year 2013, in the 21st century, we don’t have to experience it again.”
Having fled discrimination in their countries, many of the 20,000 Roma in France live in informal settlements where they rarely have access to basic services, such as water and sanitation. They are often forcibly evicted from their shelters, harassed by the police or other citizens and sometimes attacked. On the evening of 22 November 2011, the police went to the informal settlement next to the church of St. Martin d’Arenc in Marseille with the aim of forcibly evicting the 10 Roma families who lived there. They allegedly sprayed tear gas inside the tents where children were sleeping and then destroyed the tents and other personal belongings. R. was beaten up by the police. He said: “I wanted to run away but I couldn’t see anything, I just saw a gate in front of me, I tried to reach out to it but as soon as I approached it, I just had the feeling that my leg broke and then I don’t remember anything else. R. underwent surgery for a fractured thighbone and spent six months in a rehabilitation centre. Roma migrants in Marseille do not generally report cases of harassment and violence because of lack of trust in the police or fear of further victimization. S., a Roma social worker who used to live in an informal settlement, said: “Roma people are really scared of the police; I usually take kids to the hospital for medical treatments and they are afraid whenever they see the police on our way”.
The estimated 250,000 to 350,000 Roma living in Greece have been at the receiving end of discriminatory treatment for generations. During 2012 and 2013 a series of pogrom-like attacks against a Roma community took place in Etoliko, a village in western Greece. Irini told Amnesty International her experience of an attack on 4 January 2013 when approximately 70 individuals threw Molotov cocktails, stones and wooden planks at their homes: “When I saw them coming, I grabbed my children and locked us up in the house. My children were crying, screaming… I was frightened. Looking out of the window I knew most of them, we grew up together. They threw a glass bottle from the window and set the house on fire.” Six houses and four cars were firebombed or damaged by the attackers that day. Several Roma told Amnesty International that they felt betrayed by the police. One said: “I could see just two policemen from inside the house… They were just staring and asking people to stop. They did nothing more than this”.
© Amnesty International.
Headlines 4 April, 2014
Czech Police never found mosque vandal
4/4/2014- Police never determined who placed a pile of pork bones in front of the doors of a mosque on Vídeòská Street in Brno just before the Christmas holidays last year. The perpetrator of the offensive vandalism spread lard on the door handle and hung a piece of pork flesh on it as well. Pavel Šváb, spokesperson for the Police of the Czech Republic, said today that detectives have shelved the case. Muslims perceive the incident as an affront. The Islamic faith forbids the consumption of pork, which it considers unclean. "We did not succeed in finding the perpetrator. The case has been shelved. If we discover new information, we will reopen it," Šváb said. A Brno-based Islamic foundation filed a criminal report in the matter. The police spokesperson said the incident would most probably be considered a misdemeanor offense against civil coexistence for which the perpetrator could be fined as much as CZK 5 000.
The Muslim community hoped police would apprehend the perpetrator. A security camera on the mosque partially caught him in the act. However, the footage was not enough to identify the man. Representatives of the Muslim community in Brno say the case is clear proof of the hatred felt by extremists against Islamic worshipers. The Muslim community was so angered by the incident that they decided to leave the bones in front of the mosque for several hours with a sign on them reading "This is an example of tolerance". The community believes the perpetrator should be criminally prosecuted for disseminating xenophobia, not just charged with a mere misdemeanor. The mosque in Brno opened more than 10 years ago as the first house of worship of its kind in the Czech Republic. It has previously been attacked several times by unidentified perpetrators who have broken its glass doors and windows and graffittied it.
Greece: A law unto themselves: A culture of abuse and impunity in the Greek police
3/4/2014- As Greece faces its sixth year of deep economic crisis, police responses to social tensions continue to flout international human rights law. A series of police-implemented state policies and police raids at Roma settlements have led to a rise in human rights violations such as racial profiling and arbitrary detention. These abuses are taking place against a background of a steep increase of racially motivated attacks. Successive Greek governments have failed to acknowledge the scale and systematic nature of human rights violations by law enforcement officials and entrenched impunity. A culture of abuse and impunity in the Greek police
© Amnesty International.
Racism is on the rise in Greece, NGO network finds
2/4/2014- Racially motivated attacks increased in Greece last year, according to the Racist Violence Recording Network, a collection of 30 nongovernmental organizations including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). According to the network’s annual report, which was made public on Wednesday, a total of 166 racially motivated attacks were recorded last year, up from 154 in 2012. The 166 attacks left at least 320 people injured, the report said, noting that 143 of the cases concerned immigrants or asylum seekers while almost all the other victims had been targeted because of their sexuality. The racist incident that caused the largest number of injuries in 2013, according to the report, was an attack last April on migrant laborers on a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada, in the Peloponnese, who were shot at by their supervisors for demanding unpaid wages. Assaults attributed to members or supporters of the neofascist Golden Dawn were also highlighted as a concern. But the head of the president of the network, Costis Papaioannou, said the spike in racism was a complex phenomenon. “Golden Dawn does not have the monopoly on racist violence,” he said. “It has many forms.”
Irish justice minister threatened with anti-Semitic material, white powder
2/4/2014- Anti-Semitic material and an unidentified white powder were sent to Ireland’s justice minister, Alan Shatter. The Irish Army’s bomb squad on Wednesday morning was sent to the Dublin home of Shatter, who is Jewish, to remove the package, according to reports in the Irish media. The white powder was discovered to be harmless. The anti-Semitic material was identified in some reports as a swastika or a photograph of Nazi storm troopers carrying flags bearing swastikas. Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister, told the Dali, or lower house of the Irish Parliament, that the incident was a “new low” for the country. A similar package also was sent to the Department of Justice, he said. “It’s not in order that that sort of anti-Semitic material is being received by somebody who happens to belong to a particular religion in our country, irrespective of the challenges that we have here,” Kenny said. A no-confidence motion on Shatter is scheduled for a parliament vote on Wednesday evening, according to the Irish Times.
© JTA News
French court punishes man for quenelle salute
3/4/2014- A French court punished a 28-year-old Morocco native for performing the controversial quenelle gesture in front of a synagogue. The correctional tribunal of Bordeaux on Wednesday convicted the man of incitement to racial hatred and fined him the equivalent of $4,130. The conviction for performing the quasi-Nazi gesture, which some deem anti-Semitic, comes amid a recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks in France. The man, who was not named in media reports on the sentencing, was sued by the France-based International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, or LICRA, after posting photos of himself performing the quenelle in front of the city’s Grand Synagogue earlier this year, according to Le Figaro. LICRA said the sentence was the first criminal conviction in connection with a quenelle, a quasi-Nazi gesture that was invented and popularized by the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, whose anti-Jewish slurs have led to seven convictions for inciting racial hatred.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called the quenelle “an anti-Semitic gesture of hate,” but Dieudonne and others maintain it is merely anti-establishment. The defendant said he is not an anti-Semite. “On my Facebook account I try not to confuse anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism,” he reportedly said during his trial. His Facebook account also features a photo of a man performing a quenelle in front of a portrait of Adolf Hitler with the caption, “I committed suicide but nowadays I’d get the Nobel Peace Prize.” Wednesday’s sentence came amid what the Drancy-based National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism has called an influx in violent attacks against Jews in recent weeks. The most recent incident occurred Saturday in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles when four men of African descent assaulted a Jewish man on the street as he was returning from synagogue with his son, according to a report on the news site JSSNews.com. The attackers performed the quenelle before one of them punched the father, causing minor injuries.
© JTA News
Commission report reveals racism and intolerance is on the rise in France
2/4/2014- Racist speech has become commonplace in 2013, particularly against Roma and Arab Muslims. That is the conclusion drawn by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) in its latest report. For the second year in a row that the body that advises Matignon has published a bleak report highlighting racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic acts, indicating that racial intolerance is on the rise. Of those surveyed , 9% reported being "quite racist", and 26% "a little racist". Concerns over immigration are at their highest level since 2002 and, while job prospects and the economic crisis are of greater concern to many French people, 63% of people who responded to a BVA survey said that they believed the integration of foreign people into French society was “malfunctioning” - an increase of 7% on 2012.
A majority blame immigrants for the problem. A total 68% think that people of foreign extraction do not try to integrate into French society. And 6 out of 10 people believe that “certain behaviour can sometimes justify racist reactions”. According to a “tolerance index” developed by researchers at Sciences Po, and calculated from a series of questions posed to respondents, fell for the fourth consecutive year and has dropped 12 points since 2009. Intolerance of Islamic and Roma people has risen most. A total 87% of respondents to the survey said they believed that Islamic and Roma people “are separate groups in French society”. Meanwhile, 13% of respondents believe that native French people are the greatest victims of racist abuse.
Commentators have been quick to link the rise in racist intolerance in France with the increasing popularity of the far-right and its successes in the recent local elections. But they have also pointed out that the country’s new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, was born in Barcelona, and the new mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, hails from San Fernando in Spain.
© The Connextion France
ADL audit: Anti-Semitic incidents down in U.S., assaults up
1/4/2014- The total number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States fell by 19 percent in 2013, continuing a decade-long downward slide and marking one of the lowest levels of incidents reported by the Anti-Defamation League since it started keeping records in 1979. ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released today, reported a total of 751 incidents across the U.S. during the 2013 calendar year, representing a 19 percent decline from the 927 incidents reported during the same period in 2012. In 2013, anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 40 states and the District of Columbia. “In the last decade we have witnessed a significant and encouraging decline in the number and intensity of anti-Semitic acts in America,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The falling number of incidents targeting Jews is another indication of just how far we have come in finding full acceptance in society, and it is a reflection of how much progress our country has made in shunning bigotry and hatred.”
The annual ADL Audit includes incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment targeting Jews and Jewish property and institutions and includes both criminal and non-criminal incidents reported to ADL’s 27 regional offices across the country and to law enforcement. While the total number of anti-Semitic incidents declined overall, one dark spot in the numbers was a significant increase in violent anti-Semitic assaults. The Audit recorded a total of 31 anti-Semitic assaults on Jewish individuals or those perceived as Jewish in 2013, up from 17 in 2012.
The reported assaults included: An unprovoked attack on a 24-year-old Jewish man wearing a yarmulke by four men in Brooklyn, NY; an assault of a 12-year-old Jewish girl who had a bottle thrown at her by a group of girls, including one who yelled, “You dirty Jew”; and the attack of a Jewish man in Los Angeles, CA, who was surrounded by five male suspects who yelled “Heil Hitler!” before striking him. None of the assaults was life threatening or required hospitalization. “The high number of violent in-your-face assaults is a sobering reminder that, despite the overall decline in anti-Semitic incidents, there is still a subset of Americans who are deeply infected with anti-Semitism and who feel emboldened enough to act out their bigotry,” said Mr. Foxman. “Such incidents are often among the most traumatic for individuals as they involve person-on-person violence.”
ADL has conducted the Audit annually in the U.S. since 1979.
In recent years, the ADL Audit has placed anti-Jewish incidents into one of three categories: assault, vandalism or harassment. In 2013 the numbers broke down as follows:
Assaults: 31 incidents reported in 2013, compared with 17 in 2012;
Vandalism: 315 incidents in 2013, compared with 440 in 2012;
Harassment, threats and events: 405 incidents in 2013, compared with 470 in 2012.
“We must remember that there are people behind every one of these numbers, and every incident represents one person or an entire community affected by the trauma of anti-Semitism,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair. “Every swastika scrawled on a school or rally held by a racist group demands a response -- by law enforcement, by the community, and by public officials -- to ensure that we reinforce the message that anti-Semitism is unacceptable in society.”
While the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. decreased in 2013, ADL recorded increases in some states when compared with 2012 figures, such as in Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. Additionally, continuing a consistent trend for many years, the states with the highest totals were those with large Jewish populations. Once again, New York and California, while each experiencing declines compared to the previous year, topped the list:
New York State, with 203 incidents in 2013, down from 245 in 2012;
California, with 143 incidents, down from 185;
New Jersey, with 78 incidents, down from 173;
Florida, with 68 incidents, down from 88;
Massachusetts, with 46 incidents, up from 38;
Pennsylvania, with 43 incidents, up from 37.
A full listing of state-by-state figures is available on the League’s web site.
Internet Hate a Factor, but Remains Unquantifiable
General anti-Jewish expressions on the Internet, while possibly playing a role in fomenting real-world anti-Semitism, are not counted for the purposes of the Audit unless they target a specific individual. “The explosion of viral hate is impossible to quantify, but should not be ignored,” said Mr. Foxman. “The Internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions, and we suspect that it has also led many to take their opinions online rather than leafleting entire neighborhoods. So, that may have an impact on the Audit’s findings, which measure real world incidents as opposed to viral hate, which is impossible to quantify given its proliferation on the Internet and on social media.”
A Quiet Year for Anti-Israel Activity
One reason for the decline in figures was a relatively quiet year for anti-Israel activity in the public sphere compared to previous years when military conflicts involving Israel -- such as the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and military campaigns in Gaza to thwart Hamas rocket attacks -- spurred hundreds of demonstrations in major cities across the U.S. that sometimes featured blatantly anti-Semitic slogans, signs and rhetoric. “Because anti-Semitism has found its way into the periphery of the anti-Israel movement in recent years, a decrease in the number of anti-Israel demonstrations on campus and elsewhere translated to a decrease in the anti-Semitism that can accompany such events,” said Mr. Foxman. While the Audit does not categorize criticism of Israel or Zionism as an anti-Semitic incident, such reports are included if they cross the line from legitimate criticism to anti-Semitism by invoking classic anti-Jewish stereotypes or inappropriate Nazi imagery and/or analogies. Public expressions of anti-Israel sentiments that demonize Jews or create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation for U.S. Jews are counted.
Selected Incidents in 2013: Anti-Semitic Assaults
ADL reported 31 anti-Semitic assaults on Jewish individuals (or individuals perceived as Jewish) in 2013, up from 17 in 2012. Incidents involved the use of physical force and/or violence, spitting and thrown objects. The following is a list of selected instances of anti-Semitic assault in 2013:
Stoneham, Massachusetts: A man had his shoulder injured by a co-worker who had made disparaging remarks toward him for being Jewish. (January)
Brooklyn, New York: A 12-year-old Jewish girl had a bottle thrown at her by a group of girls, including one who yelled, “You dirty Jew. I’ll get you back. F---, these Jews should leave the neighborhood.” This girl also pulled the victim’s hair and put her in a choke hold before punching her in the back. (June)
Los Angeles, California: Five male suspects approached a Jewish victim, telling him “F---ing Jews! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!” before punching him in the throat. (June)
Kaser, New York: Three people were charged with hate crimes after shooting paintballs from their car at a Hasidic man who suffered a minor injury from the incident. The victim said someone in the car also shouted an expletive about Jews. (August)
Brooklyn, New York: A 24-year-old Jewish man wearing a yarmulke was attacked by four men in Borough Park as part of the “knockout game.” (November)
Selected Incidents in 2013: Anti-Jewish Vandalism
The ADL Audit recorded 315 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2013, down from 440 in 2012. Vandalism incidents are individually evaluated by ADL and are categorized as anti-Semitic based on the presence of anti-Semitic symbols or language; the identity of the perpetrator(s), if known; and the target of the vandalism and its proximity to Jewish homes, communities and institutions. The 2013 Audit includes in its totals swastikas that targeted Jewish property or communal institutions. Swastikas targeting other minorities or those used out of context simply for shock value were not counted. In 2013, a total of 236 incidents were reported across the country involving the use or display of swastikas targeting Jews. The following is a list of selected instances of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2013:
Hempstead, New York: A swastika and the phrase “Death to the Jews” were scrawled in large red letters in the service corridor of a mall. (January)
Santa Maria, California: A swastika was drawn on the door of a synagogue. (February)
Natick, Massachusetts: A man with a Jewish day school bumper sticker on his car found the word “Jew” keyed into the trunk in large letters, each about a foot long. (March)
Jackson, Mississippi: Windows of a synagogue were broken and the word “JEW” was carved into the door. (May)
Dallas, Texas: A swastika was spray painted on an Israeli flag that was displayed on private property. (June)
Los Altos, California: “HITLER DID WELL” was spray-painted across a barrier along a major highway road. (July)
Rapid City, South Dakota: A Jewish man discovered a swastika painted on the window of his car that was parked in his driveway. (September)
Hamden, Connecticut: Approximately 30 gravestones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery resulting in about $5,000 in damage. (September)
Cherry Hill, New Jersey: “Hitler” was spray painted on the sign of a synagogue. (November)
Salt Lake City, Utah: A menorah outside of a Chabad House was vandalized. The perpetrators ripped off three of the candle branches. (December)
Selected Incidents in 2013: Harassment, Threats and Events
The ADL Audit recorded 405 cases of anti-Semitic harassment in 2013, down from 470 in 2012. Incidents included verbal attacks and slurs against Jewish individuals (or individuals perceived to be Jewish); anti-Semitism conveyed in written or electronic communications, including anti-Semitic cyberbullying; and anti-Semitic speeches, picketing or events. The following is a list of selected instances of anti-Semitic harassment in 2013:
St. Louis, Missouri: More than 20 hand-carved wooden Stars of David were found on the sidewalk with conspiratorial anti-Semitic messages on them such as “Israel did 911.” (February)
Clarksville, Maryland: A woman received a comment on her blog in which someone wrote that he was “pro-choice on the issue of jew extermination” and “Have a nice day yid!” (March)
Houston, Texas: A caller left messages on the answering machines of two Houston synagogues stating that Jews are “not white” and if they didn’t stop controlling the world, he would bomb the synagogue. (April)
Detroit, Michigan: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke at a Detroit church, telling the audience, which included a U.S. Congressman and other public officials, that the “Satanic Jews” and the “Synagogue of Satan” control America’s government and other sectors. (May)
New York, New York: A man held a sign with a swastika and the statement, “Israel much worse than the Nazis” at the “Al Quds Day 2013” rally in Times Square. (August)
Goleta, California: A woman in a retirement home was called a “Christ killer” and “Satan” by a colleague. (September)
Palm Beach County, Florida: A vicious anti-Semitic voicemail, in which an individual stated he would have gladly used gas chambers during the Holocaust to “kill you God damn greedy ass Jews. I hate you Jews so bad,” was left on the answering machine of a major Jewish organization in South Florida. (September)
West Hartford, Connecticut: A Holocaust survivor received leaflets at her home that denied the Holocaust. (October)
Selected Incidents in 2013: Anti-Semitic Incidents on Campus
The ADL Audit reported a significant decrease in anti-Semitic incidents on campus for 2013. A total of 37 incidents were reported on college campuses, compared with 61 such incidents in 2012. The following is a list of selected anti-Jewish incidents that took place on campuses in 2013:
New Haven, Connecticut: Graffiti was discovered in a university building that threatened the college’s Center for Jewish life with arson on May 16. (April)
Atlanta, Georgia: New Black Panther Party’s then-chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz spoke at two colleges in Atlanta where he invoked anti-Semitic themes of Jewish financial control and manipulation. (April)
Ithaca, New York: Two members of a Jewish fraternity woke to find “Heil Hitler,” “666,” and a swastika in dripping red paint defacing their door. (April)
Boston, Massachusetts: A swastika was drawn on the whiteboard of a dorm room in which two Jewish students lived. (October)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A freshman discovered two drawings on her dorm’s refrigerator: a swastika and a caricature of herself hanging from a noose. (November)
Anti-Semitic Bullying Among Children & Teens
ADL continues to receive a troubling number of complaints about children, adolescents and teenagers engaging in anti-Semitic behavior, both on and off school grounds. These incidents include physical assaults, threats of violence, and verbal and written taunts promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes or evoking disturbing Holocaust themes. The following is a list of selected incidents in 2013 that represent anti-Semitic bullying of children, adolescents and teenagers by their peers:
Miami-Dade, Florida: An elementary school student was bullied by another student who said things like “I am going to kick your white Jewish a--,” and “I love Hitler…too bad he didn’t get to kill all the Jews.” (January)
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin: A high school student walking down the hallway had a quarter thrown at him by someone who asked, “Aren’t you going to pick that up, you Jew?” (April)
Cleveland, Ohio: A girl was subject to anti-Semitic remarks directed at her—including “Heil Hitler”—to the point where she no longer wanted to return to that school. (May)
East Lansing, Michigan: A Jewish student had a swastika carved into her locker. (May)
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: A Jewish student was physically assaulted by another student who also spit on him and called him a “fat Jew.” (October)
Fairfax, Virginia: A middle school boy was told by another student, “We are going to have the German army come kill you.” The same student made other explicitly anti-Semitic remarks to him in the past as well. (October)
About the ADL Audit
The Audit identifies both criminal and non-criminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs. Compiled using information provided by victims, law enforcement and community leaders and evaluated by ADL’s professional staff, the Audit provides an annual snapshot of one specific aspect of a nationwide problem while identifying possible trends or changes in the types of activity reported. This information assists ADL in developing and enhancing its programs to counter and prevent the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.
© Anti-Defamation League
Slovakia: Three suspects in beheading case of Romani man
1/4/2014- Daniel Horváth was 37 years old and the father of a five-year-old girl when his murderers first beat him up and then chopped off his head while he was still alive. The case of his brutal murder is now before a court in Slovakia. The tragedy occurred two days before Christmas in 2012. The murder was committed in the village of ihárec, not far from the town of Šala. News server TN.cz reports that two youths and the father of one of them are behind the shocking crime. Mr Horváth's girlfriend had her first opportunity to come face-to-face with his brutal murderers during the trial. According to the indictment, the perpetrators beheaded her boyfriend while he was still alive. The Romani man was first brutally beaten up by them in a pub in ihárec. The 40-year-old owner of a local bar, who is also a butcher by trade, his 18-year-old son, and his son's 19-year-old friend transported Mr Horváth by wheelbarrow into the garden, where they used a meat cleaver to separate his head from his body while he was still alive. They then threw the body parts into a cesspool.
Two days later, when they knew police were looking for Mr Horváth, they removed his corpse and his head from the cesspool, put them in a barrel, and drove them by car 25 km away to the town of Šoporòa. They hid the body and head in a shaft in an abandoned slaughterhouse. The butcher's son, Atila, initially testified that his father had cut off Mr Horváth's head. In court, however, he took all the blame, claiming to have committed the murder. Now the father, who was suspect number one at the start of the trial, has surprisingly been released from custody. He reportedly left the country and is in the Netherlands. The next hearing in the trial will be on 15 May. Should the men be found guilty, they could serve 25 to life. No one knows why the trio slaughtered their victim in such a brutal way. One year ago, the father of the 19-year-old involved in the murder said he had behaved as if nothing had happened all during Christmas: "Neither I nor my wife noticed anything unusual about him," the father admitted.
Swedish Islam critic convicted of shoe attack
The 55-year-old who battered a Muslim woman with a shoe in Malmö was on Wednesday handed a suspended sentence for assault. He also attacked the woman's daughter.
2/4/2014- The assailant was sentenced to 75 hours community service and will have to pay 17,000 kronor ($2,632) in damages to his victims. In August 2012, the man attacked the woman with a shoe, hitting her on the head and in the face. He proceeded to slam her head against a wall. Once she fainted, he kicked her as she lay on the ground. The 18-year-old daughter's attempt to stave off the attack lead to her being hit also. The teenager told the Sydsvenskan newspaper last year that the man had seemed "completely crazy". "For me it's obvious that he attacked us because we are Muslims," she said. "He was screaming stupid things about immigrants, like 'It's all your fault' and 'You're destroying the country'," she said. A nurse from a nearby clinic managed to pull the man off his victims. The 55-year-old at first refused to talk to the police because the first officer who arrived on the scene had an immigrant background.
"There was no doubt that his view of Muslim was extremely hateful," the police wrote in their report. The prosecutor had tried to have the man convicted of hate crime (hatbrott), as he attacked the woman without provocation and later told the police he disliked Muslims. The Malmö District Court ruled, however, that there was not enough evidence to conclude that the man had targeted his victims due to their religion. The man is a member of the Free Press Association (Tryckfrihetssällskapet), which many consider to be a front to print xenophobic materials. The Malmö District Court reasoned, however, that membership in the association was not enough to prove any motive in the assault case. Local Malmö politician Mrutyuanjai Mishra earlier this year explained in an op-ed in The Local why he had joined but also why he had left that same association, by writing: "My immigrant background has been used to justify hatred and racism, and to defend a narrow-minded nationalism."
© The Local - Sweden
Sweden Protesters Try To Break Into Malmo Jewish Center
Anti-Semitic Slogans Used at Rally in Flashpoint Town
31/3/2014- Police in Malmo arrested two people who tried to break into a Jewish community building during a demonstration that featured anti-Semitic slogans. Five people gathered outside the Jewish community center on Kamrergatan Street in Malmo’s center on March 27 and tried to force their way inside past security, the Sydsvenskan regional daily newspaper reported. The intruders stopped at the gate, where they voiced insults against Judaism, police officer Linda Pleym told the newspaper. The two men arrested, who are both 18, were not named in the report. Police released them shortly after questioning and local prosecutors will decide whether to charge the men with trespassing and intimidation, the newspaper reported. Fred Kahn, president of the Malmo Jewish community, said the suspects also filmed and took pictures of the building before being arrested.
Swedish police recorded 60 hate crimes against Jews in the city in 2012, up from an average of 22 in 2010 and 2011. About 30 percent of Malmo’s 300,000 residents belong to families of immigrants from Muslim countries, according to city statistics. Radical members of that population are responsible for most of the attacks against Jews, the Jewish community has said. Malmo has approximately 1,000 Jews.
© The Forward
Disability hate crime doubles in Lancashire (UK)
31/3/2014- The number of disability-related hate crimes in Lancashire has seen a steady increase over the past five years. The number has almost doubled, from 57 in 2010, to 109 in 2013. In the month of January 2010 just one such crime was recorded, whereas that number had jumped to 12 by January 2014. However, the increase could be down to increased reporting and recording of hate crime, rather than an actual increase in these types of crime. Speaking about a similar rise in racially-motivated crime in Lancashire, Sylvia Lancaster, founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which encourages victims to report hate crimes to police, said: “I think it’s a good thing, more people are recognising what a hate crime actually is. And when crimes are reported police have a better picture and are seeing them as hate crimes, and that’s got to be a positive step.”
© The Lancashire Telegraph
Gay pub torched in suspected arson attack on equal marriage weekend (UK)
Police have arrested a man following a fire at a gay pub in Wales, which left one man seriously injured, and another five people needing hospital treatment.
31/3/2014- The man, in his thirties, was held on suspicion of arson after the blaze at the Three Crowns Inn on Well Street, Bangor, during the early hours of Sunday. A 29-year-old man suffered serious injuries after jumping from the second floor window to escape. He has been named as Jason Robertshaw, from Bangor, a lecturer in performing arts and creative media. A North Wales Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said he was flown to a Birmingham hospital. It’s understood that his family were at his bedside last night.
Police described Mr Robertshaw’s condition as “serious but stable”. The Daily Post reports a friend of Mr Robertshaw said: “We don’t know how he is. We are trying to get in touch with the family. They are on their way down to Birmingham. Three others were taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd and one has been released from hospital. I think it’s awful.” Two police officers called to the scene were also treated at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
© Pink News
Jewish School in Antwerp Targeted by Anti-Semites (Belgium)
A Jewish school in Antwerp, Belgium was targeted by anti-Semites over the weekend. Police have opened an investigation.
30/3/2014- Antwerp, Belgium, a center of the world diamond business, has a substantial hareidi community, and has the reputation of being a “quiet” city when it comes to anti-Semitism. But that quiet was broken Sunday, when members of the community found anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on a building containing a Jewish school. The school, operated by the local Vizhnitz Hassidic community, had swastikas and the name “Hitler” scrawled on it. Parents who brought their children to school Sunday morning were shocked at the sight, with the graffiti apparently scrawled on Saturday night. Police were called and arrived quickly, and opened an investigation. So far there are no leads, police said. Despite its “quiet” reputation, such incidents are not unheard of in Antwerp. Four months ago, a Jewish man was attacked as he walked in the street on Shabbat by a local Arab. Several Jews who were in the area at the time rushed to his aid, detaining the attacker, who was later caught. The Jewish victim was lightly wounded.
© Arutz Sheva