Headlines 25 September, 2015
Czech Republic: Attacks on Muslims rising
Women with headscarves have become targets of abuse
25/9/2015- The number of incidents provoked by hatred of Muslims has been rising in Czech Republic, In Iustitia organization director Klára Kalibová has told the Czech News Agency. Last year, the organization registered 10 such incidents, this year it has been 23 already, which is more than a 100-percent rise, while most of them have occurred sine June, that is roughly since the beginning of the refugee crisis, she added. The assaulters have been motivated by racism rather than by their fear of Islam, Kalibová said. “Since June, we have also monitored a number of attacks on non-Muslim women who where wearing a scarf on their heads for some reasons and who have become a target of verbal and physical violence, such as ripping of the scarf,” she said.
In connection with the refugee crisis, the number of attacks on and threatening of the organizations aiding refugees or linked to foreigners in general has been rising. “No one has become a target of physical violence yet, but the offices of the Prague Multicultural Centre have been assaulted,” Kalibová said. Arab studies scholar Milos Mendel said in an Internet interview last week that almost anything can be said about Islam and its followers in the CzechRepublic without risking a criminal prosecution on suspicion of defamation of a nation or group of persons and their faith as well as incitement to hatred. If similar defamatory statements were uttered on Judaism and its followers, the perpetrators would be brought to court for promoting ant-Semitism, he added.
Kalibová said she considered this view speculative. “However, it is true that we are culturally more sensitive to manifestations of anti-Semitism than to symptoms of any other hatred,” she admitted. In Iustitia, which has been monitoring expressions of racial and religious hatred, registered ten attacks on Muslims and three on Jews last year. None of them has ended up in penal proceedings yet. This year, it registered also three attacks on Jews, apart from 23 on Muslims. Kalibová pointed out that the Muslim community settled in the Czech Republic traditionally did not want to make problems and draw attention.
A certain breakthrough in its approach was last year's police raid on the Muslim centre in Prague. “The religious freedom of the people gathered there was violated. They sought support in legal mechanisms inspecting the police steps, but failed. It considerably affected their trust in the police,” Kalibová added. The Muslim Communities' Headquarters filed a legal complaint over the raid by the Squad for Uncovering Organized Crime (ÚOOZ), but it at the same time asked for court proceedings to be held behind closed doors.
© The Prague Post
Planned German refugee shelter hit by suspected arson attack
German police say there has been a fire at planned refugee accommodation in the southwest of the country. Meanwhile, a Syrian refugee is reportedly being questioned over alleged links to the jihadist group 'IS.'
21/9/2015- Police in the southwestern German city of Heilbronn said on Sunday that a fire broke out overnight at a sports hall that was to be used to house refugees in the nearby town of Wertheim. No one had been in the hall at the time of the fire, but the blaze had made the building structurally unsound and unfit to enter, they said. They said they suspected the fire had been lit deliberately. Germany has experienced a number of arson attacks in recent months on buildings that have either housed refugees or were planned to be used for this purpose.
'No more room'
The accommodation in Wertheim had been intended for around 400 refugees, who must now be housed elsewhere. "No more refugees will come to Wertheim, as there is no additional emergeny accommodation," said Herman Schröder from the state of Baden-Württemberg, where Wertheim is located. The mayor of Wertheim, Stefan Mikulicz, had earlier warned against allowing more refugees to be housed in the town, where 600 are already accommodated in another shelter. Mikulicz said people helping with refugees in the town were at the end of their strength.
Police probe jihadist links
A German newspaper has meanwhile reported that police are questioning a Syrian asylum seeker on suspected links with the jihadist group "Islamic State." The man, who is staying at a refugee home in the northeast region of Brandenburg, had allegedly told others staying at the center that he had fought with "IS" and killed several people, the paper "Welt am Sonntag" said. Other residents had secretly filmed him making the claims, the report said, leading to the police probe. A federal police spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny the report. Some in Germany have expressed fears that Islamist militants could be infiltrating the country amid the current huge influx of refugees, although there has so far been no concrete evidence that this is the case.
© The Deutsche Welle.
Germany: Left Party and a refugee home suffer attacks in neo-Nazi heartland
The offices of Die Linke – Germany's radical left party – were attacked on Sunday evening in Freital, the Saxonian town which stood at the centre of anti-refugee protests in recent weeks.
21/9/2015- According to police the attack took place at around 11 pm, when a loud bang was heard in the vicinity of the office. Closer inspection showed that a window pane had been broken in the blast, but no injuries were reported. Police could also provide no further information about possible suspects. This is the second attack on Die Linke in Freital in the past two months, after an explosive was set off under local party chair Michael Richter's car in July. Freital became synony-mous with anti-refugee protests earlier in the year, when in June 160 demonstrators tried for three days to prevent refugees from entering a hotel they were being housed at in the town.
The attack on the Linke offices followed a similar incident at a refugee home in Freital on Saturday evening, when a firework was set off at the window of the building. The resultant detonation broke a window pane without causing injuries. Also in Baden-Württemberg, an arson attack on an as yet empty refugee home on Saturday night left the building unusable. The refugee centre in the town of Wertheim was in a sports hall which had been converted for the purpose and contained 330 beds. Police found evidence of a break-in at the back of the building. The mayor of Wertheim, Stefan Mikulicz of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said that he was deeply disturbed by the attack. Mikulicz said that he had pleaded with the state government for more support for the town, arguing that the voluntary workers supporting refugees were under unbearable strain. The town of 22,500 inhabitants has taken in 900 asylum seekers so far, with another 400 expected in the coming weeks.
© The Local - Germany
Germany/UK: T-shirt reading "WE KILL THE GYPSIES" for sale online by Zazzle
22/9/2015- At 15:12 CET today the Czech edition of news server Romea.cz reported that the German-language pages of the Zazzle online retailer were offering a T-shirt reading "GYPSY HUNTER BADGE - WE KILL THE GYPSIES". Zazzle is one of the biggest, must progressive firms in its field, offering customers the opportunity to create their own logos for placement on T-shirts or other items and then to sell their creations through the firm's online store. There are probably problems with controlling what turns up on the firm's website in terms of customer designs. News server Romea.cz sent questions to the media department of Zazzle about the T-shirt and their control process which have yet to be answered. Zazzle was established in 1999 and has won many awards. It has been invested in by John Doerr, a Google investor and member of a panel of independent experts who advises US President Barack Obama and by Ram Shriram, another Google investor and manager. At approximately 17:30 CET the T-shirt disappeared from the website. We do not know to what degree the questions sent to Zazzle by news server Romea.cz affected this because we have yet to receive a response from the retailer.
UK: Man denies inciting racial hatred before planned Golders Green march
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 22 from Yeovil, denies charges related to Twitter postings before a planned neo-Nazi rally in Jewish area of north London.
21/9/2015- A 22-year-old man has denied inciting racial hatred before a neo-Nazi rally that was scheduled to take place in the Golders Green area of north London. Joshua Bonehill-Paine, from Yeovil, Somerset, is charged with publishing or distributing written material intended to stir up racial hatred. It is alleged he posted links on Twitter in June to the material before a rally that organisers planned to hold in Golders Green, famous for its Jewish community. The rally was later moved to central London. Bonehill-Paine loudly said he was “absolutely not guilty” when he appeared at Southwark crown court in London on Monday morning. Wearing a blue shirt and black and white checked jacket and sporting a beard, he listened intently to the short hearing as he sat next to a uniformed officer. He was remanded in custody to appear at the same court for trial. A provisional date of 14 December was arranged.
© The Guardian
UK: Police treating Coleraine incident as hate crime
21/9/2015- Police are treating graffiti daubed on a wall in Coleraine saying ‘no refugees welcome’ as a hate crime. The graffiti was sprayed on a wall of the Salvation community church on the Ballycastle Road. Inspector Donna Bowden said: “We are treating the matter as a hate crime. “Anyone with any information that may assist our investigation is asked to call police on the non-emergency 101 number. Or you can contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.”
© The Coleraine Times
UK: Nigerian preacher is robbed and hit with glass bottle in Glasgow racist attack
David Adetoro, 46, was walking along Bardowie Street to his local church in Ashfield Street, when two men threatened him at around 11.35pm last night.
19/9/2015- A Nigerian preacher was robbed and hit with a glass bottle in a racist attack which police are treating as a hate crime. David Adetoro, 46, was walking along Bardowie Street to his local church in Ashfield Street, Glasgow, when two men threatened him at around 11.35pm last night. One of the men was brandishing a glass bottle and hit the preacher with it. The victim was also punched before his assailants made off with his rucksack which contained his Bible and personal possessions but no money. The pair made reference to Mr Adetoro's colour during the attack. Police are appealing for information about the incident which happened in the Saracen area of the city.
Detective Constable Alan Watt said: "The man had got off the bus on Saracen St and was heading to his local church in Ashfield Street, when he was attacked by the men. They stole his rucksack which, although it had no money inside, did contain personal possessions including his Bible. "On checking CCTV we can see the two suspects hanging about in Saracen St a short time before the attack. I would appeal to anyone who recognises their description or who has information that will help officers with their enquiries to contact the Community Investigation Unit at Pollok via 101. "I am keen to hear from the driver of a grey 'Hackney' taxi who was seen on CCTV just passing the men on Bardowie Street just before the attack."
The suspects are described as white and in their late teens. One is described as of medium to heavy build, with a short dark crew cut hairstyle and was wearing a grey hooded top, black tracksuit trousers and white trainers. The second man is of slim build with short light brown hair and was wearing a black hooded top and red tracksuit bottoms.
UPDATE: Schoolboy, 15, and 17-year-old quizzed over hate crime attack on Nigerian preacher
20/9/2015- Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with an alleged attack on a Nigerian preacher. The 46-year-old man was walking along Bardowie Street to his local church in Ashfield Street, Glasgow, when he is said to have been robbed and hit with a glass bottle at around 11.35pm on Friday. The incident was being treated as a hate crime as a reference to the man's colour was alleged to have been made during the attack. Police said a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested and detained in police custody in connection with the incident. Both are expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.
© The Daily Record
UK: "Why was I born a Jew?" - Mother's agony as son is bullied because of his religion
Debby Taylor's son was punched in the face by a classmate when he was 16 and now she is highlighting the impact of anti-semitism as attacks double in a year.
20/9/2015- When he was 16, Debby Taylor’s son asked: “Mum, why was I born a Jew?” The dismay in his words left her numb and, sitting in her Aberdeenshire home, she was reminded that Scotland is not immune to the evils of anti-semitism. The question had been prompted by an incident a few days before when her son was punched in the face by a classmate. When Debby picked him up from a party, his nose had been bleeding but he didn’t want to discuss what happened. Later that night, his attacker told him on Facebook that if he went to police, he was going to kick Debby “in the ovaries, so she doesn’t produce any more f****** Jews”. He was hit again by the same boy a few days later.
Debby said: “It was heart-rending for my child to say, ‘Why was I born a Jew?’ What do you say to a young man when he asks that? You think you are safe, yet he was hit simply because of religion.” On another occasion a boy shouted at him from a window and called him a “f****** Jew”. Debby approved when the teacher insisted that the boy write him a letter of apology and she believes that the offender learned from it. That was in 2008 but Debby says her son has considered leaving Scotland many times since. Police Scotland have spent the last week looking at the issue of anti-semitism as part of their campaign against all hate crime targeting minorities because of race, religion or disability.
The number of anti-semitic attacks reported in Scotland has doubled in 12 months. Last year there were 31, the year before just 12. Of the incidents reported last year, 21 were in Glasgow, up from just two the year before. There are 5887 Jewish people in Scotland – just 0.1 per cent of the population. But Jews are cited as being the victim in four per cent of our hate crimes. Police are keen to emphasise that this is not a widespread issue in Scotland but they want to ensure that complacency doesn’t make it become a bigger problem. Social media have given rise to bedroom bigots who feel that they can use it to channel an endless stream of bile.
Debby said she often feels overwhelmed by the anti-semitism she sees online. She said: “It is horrible and because it is faceless, there don’t seem to be any boundaries. “You regularly see ‘f****** Jew’. It is on the web all the time. You are being told you are a dirty Jew. It is insidious.” Perpetrators of such vile abuse can be traced by police. They will be warned first by letter and if that is ignored, they will be charged. Growing up in the north-east, Debby remembers incidents of prejudice, like a boy in her class refusing to lend her an eraser because “you’re a Jew”. But most of the children treated her like anyone else.
In the late 80s when her father Albert Jacob, a Zionist, spoke out against the twinning of Dundee with the Palestinian town of Nablus, “Jacob must die” was scrawled across the synagogue and a swastika was daubed on her grandfather’s door. Debby believes the police are now doing their best to tackle any such incidents.
She said: “I think that people need to work with the police. “If you don’t report to the police, nothing will be done. In all walks of life, including among employers, there needs to be zero tolerance. ”Hate crime makes you feel powerless, silenced, threatened, bullied, alienated and marginalised and that is not acceptable.”
Superintendent Ross Aitken of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities team said that the incidents rise with Israeli incursions into Gaza. He said: “The problem is that you get people who conflate the politics of the Middle East with religion. “People need to realise that Scottish Jewish people are not responsible for the domestic or foreign policy of the Israeli government. “Some people with a predisposition for anti-semitic behaviour jump on to that bandwagon and use it as a platform. They are using the actions of the Israeli military as a trojan horse to legitimise their argument, where they occupy an extreme right-wing viewpoint in any case.” It is certainly not anti-semitic to criticise Israel and many Jews have been the strongest critics of all.
But Aitken says it’s important for Scots to be aware that anti-semitism is an issue in Scotland, however small. He said: “Sadly we are not exempt from anti-semitism and it is absolutely something we need to take cognisance of. “People mistakenly believe that this is some kind of German wartime issue that is not relevant in contempo-rary Scotland but from a policing perspective, that is not the case.” Police Scotland take online hatred seriously and have invested £1.5million in a new cybercrime hub. Aitken said: “People think that they can post what they want and be anonymous. That is not the case, we will trace anyone posting hatred of this kind and we will deal with them.” But he said if victims of hate crime, such as anti-semitism and Islamaphobic abuse, didn’t come forward, the problem would remain largely hidden. And those in minorities sometimes fail to acknowledge that they are victims.
He said: “It is a drip, drip effect. People in the Jewish and the Muslim communities become desensitised to what is hate crime and it will take a lot before they report it. We want them to know that they don’t need to put up with behaviour that others in the larger community wouldn’t tolerate.” And Aitken warns it is important that people are conscious that their behaviour and comments could be offensive. He said: “A person might make a joke about a Jewish person and there may not be malice on their part but it is the perception of the victim that is the critical component in hate crime.” But he maintains it remains a minority who perpetrate anti-semitism. Aitken added: “By and large people in Scotland are genuinely decent people and you just need to look at our history to see that we are welcoming and tolerant. “But there is still a lack of awareness of this issue and it is important we recognise it.”
© The Daily Record
Headlines 18 September, 2015
Violence towards refugees reported around EU
While in many European countries there have been large pro-refugee demonstrations, the European news media are also reporting an increasing amount of aggression and violent attacks being carried out towards the asylum seekers.
17/9/2015- Most attention has received Germany, where numerous attacks by far-right and neo-Nazi groups have been reported. Worst ones were arson attacks to two refugee shelters that left five people injured at the end of last month. Around the same time there were also large protests near the city of Dresden in Eastern Germany, where reportedly close to thousand protesters shouted anti-refugee slogans before clashing violently together with the police, injuring 31 officers.
After the British government announced that UK will be taking in 20 000 refugees, far-right extremist groups posted threats and degrading images online. Some of these groups are international and have already committed violent attacks towards the refugees in other European countries.
In Denmark, the national security and intelligence service PET warned last week that the increasing flow of refugees may provoke certain groups in the country to turn aggressive. Already Denmark has experienced few arson and vandalism attacks towards Muslim and asylum centers in recent weeks.
Sweden experienced an arson attack yesterday as a youth refugee shelter was set on fire during the night. No one was killed but some minors experienced breathing problems after inhaling smoke. The local media has also reported refugee children gone missing, which has risen a fear of human trafficking.
In the neighboring country Finland, a vandalism attack took place during last weekend. Windows were broken and Nazi signs painted on a housing for foreign students that was also accommodating refugee children.
Governments responding to the issue
The governments in Europe have generally condemnded all aggression towards the refugees very strongly. For example Germany’s Angela Merkel called the message of the violent groups ‘disgusting’. Finnish prime minister Juha Sipilä even publicly offered his own house to be used as an accommodation for the refugees and said how Finland closeting itself would be fatal for the nation. At the same time many countries are also posing stricter boarder policies. This began last weekend as Germany started doing checks on its boarder with Austria. This week Austria, the Netherlands and Slovakia have introduced control on their boarders as well. Denmark on the other hand removed boarder control last week to allow the many refugees that are heading to Sweden to pass freely.
© The Typewriter
Poland abandoning hundreds of victims of hate crimes
17/9/2015- Poland’s legal system falls dangerously short when it comes to protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and other minority groups from hate crimes, Amnesty International said in a new report today less than two months ahead of general elections. Targeted by hatred, forgotten by law shows how the state has excluded whole communities from hate crime legislation, including homeless people, people with disabilities and the LGBTI community.
“Poland has a two-tiered legal system that protects some minority groups but leaves others to fend for themselves. If you are a gay man or woman, a person with a disability or a homeless person in Poland and attacked because of who you are, the police will just treat it as an ordinary crime, not as a hate crime – this dangerous protection gap must be closed immediately,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination in Europe and Central Asia. The LGBTI community in Poland faces widespread and ingrained discrimination across the country. While there are no reliable official statistics, Campaign against Homophobia, a major Polish LGBTI organization, recorded at least 120 homophobic or transphobic hate crimes in 2014 alone, though the true figure is believed to be much higher.
In the city of Szczecin, members of the LGBTI community spoke of living in fear since a 20-year-old gay man was brutally beaten to death after leaving a gay club in January 2014. His body was found on a nearby construction site with his face covered in bruises and his trousers pulled down – the eventual cause of death was drowning, as his face had been pushed into a puddle repeatedly. Authorities ignored the possibility that the killing could have been motivated by homophobia and the court treated the attack as a common crime when it convicted the two men responsible.
In December 2014, Dariusz, an anti-Nazi activist and street artist, was kicked and spat on in front of one of his murals depicting a rainbow in Zywiec, while verbally abused as a “faggot whore”. But in the written record of the judgment against the man responsible, the insults are simply called “vulgar”, with no mention of a homophobic motive. Poland has also seen a number of vicious beatings of homeless people over the past years. But despite some of the attacks were at least partially motivated by the victims’ socioeconomic status, they have been treated as ordinary crimes by the police. Stanis³aw, a homeless person living in Rzeszów, was beaten up and set alight in October 2012. Although the perpetrators acknowledged they had attacked other homeless people out of “boredom” in the past, the sentence did not reflect the gravity of the motivation.
“Poland has taken some commendable steps to tackle hate crimes motivated by racism and xenophobia. But it is difficult to swallow that other minority groups who live with the same daily fears and harassment have not been given the same priority,” said Marco Perolini. “Poland has obligations under international law to ensure that all minority groups are equally protected from discrimination. The fact that authorities are failing to do so is actually discriminatory in itself.” The protection gap means that there are no institutional mechanisms – like specialized prosecutors or police coordinators – to deal with attacks based on discrimination along the lines of disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or social and economic status. Nor are there any efforts to develop effective policies to prevent these hate crimes, investigate all cases and prosecute those responsible.
Poland lacks a systematic effort to collect data on attacks against these groups by the state, meaning that authorities have no way of knowing the scope of the problem. Efforts to reform the criminal code have stalled, despite a bill being tabled in 2012 to protect LGBTI individuals, people with disability or older people from hate crimes. The proposal has met furious resistance from some parts of Polish society, with one MP in 2015 calling it an attempt “to introduce a sick ideology of gender which promotes sexual pathologies”. The issue is likely to remain contentious ahead of Poland’s general elections on 25 October this year. “Poland must once and for all take concrete steps to ensure that all minority groups in the country receive the same protection by law. The next government and parliament must make human rights a priority, and top of the list should be to end discrimination. No person in Poland should have to live in fear of violent attacks just because of who they are,” said Marco Perolini.
© Amnesty International.
Poland: Anti-refugee protesters kick dark-skinned pedestrian in Warsaw
Refugee opponents outnumber supporters in rally
12/9/2015- Thousands of people joined anti-refugee protests in three central European capitals on Saturday after leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia opposed an EU plan to fix refugee quotas, while violence against refugees has been displayed once again when a dark-skinned pedestrian was punched by anti-refugee protestors in Warsaw. A Reuters photographer saw several members of the demonstration, which gathered a few thousand people in total, break away from the crowd and start punching the dark-skinned passer-by before the security guards pulled them away.
Organised by, among others, far right groups Ruch Narodowy and ONR, the protests saw a few thousand people chanting "The whole of Poland sings with us," "Stop the Islamisation of Europe," and anti-EU obscenities. In the Polish capital Warsaw, nearly 5,000 people, many chanting anti-Islamic slogans, marched through the city, an AFP correspondent also said. "Islam will be the death of Europe", one of the banners said. Organisers claimed the demonstration drew 10,000 people but police refused to confirm the figure. "We're here so that the government hears our voice and abandons any plans to welcome Muslims," one of the organisers told the crowd after starting the march with prayers which identified the participants as Roman Catholics.
Another thousand or so joined a counter-demonstration in favour of welcoming refugees to Poland, a strongly Catholic EU member state which has a population of 38 million and has seen virtually no refugees arriving, despite Europe experiencing its biggest movement of people since World War II. Around 1,500 anti-refugee protestors also rallied in the Slovak capital Bratislava, some holding up banners reading: "You're not welcome here so go home", an AFP correspondent said. Another said: "Multiculturalism is a utopia, don't open the borders". The rally was organised by the far-right "Our Slovakia" party, led by Marian Kotleba.
Unlike neighbouring Austria and Hungary, Slovakia -- a eurozone member of 5.4 million people -- has seen few refugee arrivals this summer.
Police in the Czech capital Prague said some 800 people protested against the arrival of refugees, holding up banners saying: "Send them back!" and "Protect the borders". Demonstrators called on the Czech government to resign and for a withdrawal from the European Union which it joined in 2004. Elsewhere another 200 people staged a counter-demonstration in support of welcoming refugees in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.5 million and has seen few new arrivals in recent months. All poorer members of the EU, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Friday ruled out accepting refugees under a compulsory quota system outlined by the European Commission, rejecting German pleas for European solidarity in tackling the crisis. The European Union's 28 interior ministers are to meet on Monday to discuss a the EC plan which involves a quota system for distributing 160,000 refugees around the bloc.
© The Daily Sabah
UK: Homophobic and racist attack on 16-year-old boy in Leamington
Warwickshire Police said the incident was being treated as a "hate crime" after the boy was left with cuts and bruises.
15/9/2015- A 16-year-old boy was subjected to a suspected homophobic and racist attack in Leamington. The teenager was attacked on the canal towpath at Eastnor Grove, as he made his way home shortly before midnight on Saturday. A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said the incident was being treated as a “hate crime”. She said: “We are investigating an incident of hate crime which occurred at 11.50pm on Saturday, September 12 on the canal towpath at Eastnor Grove, Leamington. “A 16-year-old boy was verbally assaulted using homophobic and racist language and then assaulted. He suffered minor injuries.” Police said it was unclear if a weapon had been used during the attack.
Daniel Browne, director of the town’s Warwickshire Pride festival which celebrates the LGBT community, hit out at the attack. Speaking on Sunday, Daniel, who won an award at the Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire Awards for his work, told the Telegraph: “The incident last night could have easily been worse. It could even have been a murder. “The victim is very lucky to have escaped with only a few cuts and bruises. “Not only was this attack homophobically and racially motivated, it was also planned.” He added: “Homophobic and transphobic incidents are clearly on the rise in Leamington. “Despite there being a Pride event that celebrates diversity and LGBT culture, in many ways the town is going backwards. “Something needs to be done to raise awareness of what LGBT people are going through.
“I will be contacting the police, the council and my MP to discuss these incidents and request their assistance in doing something to support local LGBT people and raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia.” Mr Browne also said he planned a protest rally to raise awareness of problems members of the local LGBT community were faced with. He said: “I am now also planning on organising an equality rally, which will be a peaceful protest in Leamington where LGBT people and anyone who supports LGBT people and equality can come together to raise awareness of these issues.” Anyone with information about the attack is urged to contact Warwickshire Police by calling 101.
© The Coventry Telegraph
UK: Syrian refugees targeted for violence by far right
Hard line activists post vile images of dead Syrian child and call for refugees to be massacred
12/9/2015- Sick far-right extremists are plotting violence against Syrian refugees heading for sanctuary in Britain. Days after the Government said 20,000 migrants could come here, a trail of hate has been traced from Hungary to the groups across the UK. A source said: “These people eat, sleep and breathe racism. “To them, mass immigration on the scale David Cameron has signed up to is like a red rag to a bull. They are highly dangerous.” One group, Misanthropic Division, posted a digitally altered version of the shocking photo of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach. Trawling vile websites, our investigators found a Europe-wide movement called Blood and Honour, an umbrella organisation for British racist groups such as the National Front and National Action. A source said: “They talk online and at meetings about killing non-whites. “The groups exists solely to promote hatred and violence towards them.”
Our investigators also tracked down a UK rock band with links to Blood and Honour. Redneck 28 have played at many of the group’s rallies and can be seen in photographs giving Nazi salutes. At one rally they were photographed with two people in Ku Klux Klan robes. Blood and Honour caused outrage last month when it staged an Adolf Hitler bus tour from Budapest in Hungary to his birthplace in Austria. One Hungarian-based activist, Tompos Von Wewelsburg, called for Syrians to be massacred. Alongside a mocked-up picture of a dinghy being fired on by a warship, he wrote: “Invaders are not welcome.” German expert Dr Fabian Virchow told a parliamentary inquiry Blood and Honour was linked to the notorious National Socialist Underground group. NSU’s last member is facing trial for killing 10 migrants.
Blood and Honour activists in the Czech Republic have been charged with attempted murder following arson attacks on ethnic minorities. There are now fears the group’s UK arm will focus its hatred on Syrians coming here. A UK intelligence source said: “To their friends these people may seem normal but they have a sinister side. Some seek out opportunities to victimise anyone they consider foreign.” Confirming their involvement in the far right, one Redneck 28 member said: “I’d be a fool to deny it, but I need my name left out of it. I need to keep myself protected.” Two other members refused to comment.
© The Mirror
Headlines 11 September, 2015
UK: Neo-Nazi jailed for attempted beheading in Lee Rigby revenge attack
Zack Davies nearly severed dentist Dr Sarandev Bhambra's hand with a machete during attack at a Tesco supermarket in Wales.
11/9/2015- Zack Davies, 26, hacked at Dr Sarandev Bhambra, 24, with a machete, severely injuring the dentist who was in the shop on his dinner break and singled out only because of his race. Davies, from Mold, North Wales, slashed his victim across his back and head, almost severing Dr Bhambra's left hand and leaving him with "very severe" injuries. Witnesses reported seeing a white man chasing an Asian man through the store with a machete and claw hammer. Davies was only stopped when a member of the public, former soldier Peter Fuller, stepped in. He was arrested after the attack at the Tesco supermarket in Mold on January 14.
Davies was said to have been obsessed with Nazi ideology, with associated literature found in a later police search of his home. Posters relating to the 2013 murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists were also discovered along with photos and videos of him posing before a Nazi swastika and the flag of far-right group National Action. Davies admitted wounding with intent but was found guilty of attempted murder after a trial in June. Today at Mold Crown Court Judge Rhys Rowlands sentenced him to life with a minimum of 14 years in jail before he can apply for parole. Outside court Dr Bhambra, a Sikh born in Leeds, branded Davies a "coward" who, armed with weapons, attacked him from behind.
He said if the attack had been committed by a non-white person it would have been treated as an act of terrorism. Gareth Preston, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Cymru-Wales, said: "This was a vicious, racist attack upon Dr Bhambra which has left him with life changing injuries. "When the prosecution team reviewed the evidence from a number of witness accounts and from CCTV of the incident, Zack Davies's intention to cause extremely serious or even fatal injuries to Dr Bhambra was abundantly clear. "It was also clear from the evidence that the heroic actions of Peter Fuller may well have prevented this horrific attack from having a fatal outcome.
"I would like to thank all those who helped the prosecution team build a strong case against Davies, especially all those who provided statements to the police or appeared as witnesses during the trial. "Finally, we should acknowledge that whilst the criminal justice process is concluded with today's sentencing, Dr Bhambra continues to deal with the consequences of this terrible incident. We hope that today's sentencing will be of some assistance to him as he seeks to move forward with his life." Dr Bhambra said he will "never understand" racial hatred and hoped to return to work in the near future.
© The Belfast Telegraph
UK: Gay man runs from homophobic yobs; police step up patrols after second hate crime in days
A man had to escape from homophobic yobs as he left the Metrolink at Monsall on Tuesday night
10/9/2015- Police are stepping up patrols around north Manchester tram stops after the second hate attack in days. On Tuesday night a man had to flee from homophobic yobs as he got off the Metrolink at Monsall. At around 11pm he was leaving the tram when two men approached him and asked if he was gay. When he said yes, they shouted ‘queer b*****d’ and started throwing objects at him. Only when a passing woman shouted at them to stop did he manage to get away - but not without suffering a cut to his face, possibly as a result of falling over in his desperation to escape. Police are now investigating, stressing they take hate crimes extremely seriously. It comes after a teenager was subjected to a horrific anti-semitic attack at Bowker Vale tram station in Crumpsall on Saturday - sparking public outcry.
Moshe Fuerst, 17, fell into a coma and suffered a bleed to the brain in the brutal assault, in which his attackers also hurled anti-semitic abuse. Three other young Orthodox Jewish men were all also injured in the attack. Two 17-year-old boys have now been arrested at addresses in Whitefield and Derbyshire on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder in connection with the incident. A third boy, also 17 and who lives at an address in Prestwich, has been arrested today (Thursday) on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder after he presented himself at a local police station. The arrest is also in connection with an incident at Bowker Vale.
Police have also issued an urgent appeal for witnesses to the attack. Although Moshe and his friends were verbally abused on the station platform they tried to run away and were attacked in the nearby Middleton Road area. It is hoped drivers on the busy route into Manchester may have seen the incident. Amanda Bomsztyk, Northern Regional Director of the Community Security Trust (CST) said: “We would like to thank Greater Manchester Police for its prompt action in this particularly serious and worrying incident.
“There is far too much Anti-Semitic abuse and violence, and we hope these arrests will send a strong message, providing some reassurance to the Jewish community.” Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “These arrests demonstrate that the police are taking this incident very seriously which I hope gives reassurance to the Jewish community and the wider public. “I would urge anyone with information about this incident to come forward and report it to police.” Synagogues have since stepped up security after the Community Security Trust, which works with police to protect the Jewish community, sent out an alert.
© The Manchester Evening News.
UK: Matson man killed himself after cruel bullies called him names whenever he left home
7/9/2015- A vulnerable and innocent man killed himself after cruel bullies made his life a misery by calling him names whenever he left his home, an inquest has heard. Tragic Michael Bevan, 46, had learning difficulties but became reclusive after vile tormentors shouted 'paedo' and other names when he went outside. His mother said he was driven to despair by the daily taunts and woken by people banging on his door at night. But his family say Michael - who had never been in trouble with the police - was unable or too scared to speak out and never received the support or help he needed.
He was found hanged inside his home in March after his family raised concerns and police broke in. He had put two ligatures around his neck. An inquest heard that Michael, who lived alone and had no job, had also split with a troubled girlfriend. After the inquest Michael's mother, Roseanna, added: "Our son experienced daily taunts. "He was called horrible names and he would wake up in the night to people banging on his door. He was unable or too scared to speak out. "We have lost our son. He was driven to the depths of despair by the constant mental torture he suffered. Their actions have had devastating consequences. "He was unable or too scared to speak out. These cowards are people who hide behind closed doors and computers.
"I hope the people calling him names are ashamed of themselves - they pushed my son to his death. "I just hope they will be shamed into coming forward and admit what they have done. ''He was a quiet lad who wouldn't hurt a fly - bullies need to be punished if similar suicides are to be prevented. "He would give his last penny to someone who needed it. He was such a decent man. "We urge all those being bullied to speak out, join together and make a stand to stamp out the utterly vile, cruel and unacceptable part of society today."
In a statement, his mother Roseanna revealed to the inquest the family's heartbreak at his decision to end his life without coming to them for help first. She said: "I am devastated by Michael's death and I have thought long and hard about why he might have done this as he did not leave a note. "I believe he was bullied by his nearby neighbours who tormented him because he kept himself to himself. "Michael made no complaints to us or the police and therefore we were unable to help him. "It was playing on Michael's mind and I can only think that it became too much for him."
Detective Inspector Hannah Mackie told Gloucester Coroner's Court that the family had raised concerns that Michael was being bullied. But investigating officers had been unable to discover any more about the accusations as witnesses were unwilling to name potential bullies. Michael was found dead at his home in Matson, Gloucester on March 7 and a post-mortem found the cause of death was hanging. Gloucester senior coroner Katy Skerrett concluded that Michael had intentionally killed himself. She said: "There was no suicide note left but we know he had been seeing a girl called Angela who was suffering mental health problems and had ended the relationship. "Family have also raised concerns Michael was being bullied. He made sure his house was very secure before taking his life, he did not intend on being disturbed, that's a very pertinent point."
His brother, David Bevan, added: "He couldn't leave the house without being called a 'paedo' which wasn't true at all. "No one was ever brave enough to say anything to me when I went around there. I hope they are ashamed of what they have done." Joy Hibbins, founder and director of Suicide Crisis, said charity staff are "extremely sad and sorry to hear of the distressing circumstances" surrounding Michael's death. She said everybody needs to be aware of the risk of suicide, especially if a person is being targeted because they have a disability. "We need to create zero tolerance of disability hate incidents and hate crime. It has its roots in stigma and discrimination, and in the targeting of vulnerable individuals. "We have heard of other cases where people have been targeted because they have a disability, whether it is a learning disability, mental health diagnosis, or a physical disability."
© The Gloucester Citizen
Britain: Where Muslim women are spat on, punched and covered in faeces
Muslim hate crime has soared by 70 per cent in London and majority of victims are female. Radhika Sanghani hears horrific stories of Islamophobia from British women and asks why they're being targeted
By Radhika Sanghani
7/9/2015- I’ve been spat on in the street when I’ve worn my headscarf,” Sara Khan tells me. “I’ve been called ‘Osama Bin Laden’s wife’. I’ve had people come right up to my face effing and blinding – even when I was pushing my six-month-old daughter in her pram". Khan, who heads up anti-extremist organisation Inspire, is a female victim of Islamophobia in Britain. “It’s shocking. You’re just minding your own business. It’s completely unprovoked," she adds. "It tends to happen after a terrorist incident, and you think, 'what have I done?' You feel angry you’re being associated with terrorists and extremists, but you also feel sad. It’s very dehumanising.” Khan also tells me about one friend who had dog faeces put on her head, and another who was waiting at a bus stop, listening to her iPod and wearing a headscarf, when a man suddenly punched her. She was left with a black eye.
These are not isolated incidents. The Metropolitan Police has just released new statistics showing anti-Muslim hate crimes in Britain have risen by 70 per cent in the past year. Tell Mama, an organisation that monitors Islamophobic attacks, says 60 % are directed at women, and happen on the street - as opposed to online. Founder Fiyaz Mughal explains: “It’s because the more physical, abusive ones [attacks] are directed at visibility - which means the hijab (headscarf) and the niqab (full-face veil).” It means that women become obvious targets for racists – something Malaika Kayani knows well. She converted to Islam around eight years ago, and tells me she’s regularly experienced Islamophobia where she lives in Nottingham. “I’ve been on the bus and had people refuse to sit next to me when I’ve had my scarf on. I was walking with a friend once, when a man on a bike slammed his brakes and tried to ram it into us," she tells me.
"I’ve had people swearing at me and insulting me. You don’t need to always hear what they say because they look at you like you’re pure filth.” The abuse became so bad it’s partly why she no longer wears a headscarf. Mussurut Zia, of the Muslim Women’s Network, explains: “Modesty in Islam isn’t just about the clothes you wear – it’s your behaviour and what you say as well. [If a Muslim woman was attacked] she wouldn’t raise her voice. “She wouldn’t scream. She wouldn’t yell, she wouldn’t swear. They’re all the things you’d expect someone to do if they were in danger. But a Muslim woman wouldn’t because it’s not part of her faith.” But scarves and veils aren’t the only reasons Muslim women are targeted more than men – another big factor is attitude.
As a convert this is something Kayani has had to learn. She once swore back at a racist who insulted her, but immediately regretted her actions. Now she tries to react calmly whenever she’s a victim of hate crime, just like most of the Muslim women in her community. “We know being seen as a Muslim in public will have its challenges,” she says. “So there is a little anger [about Islamophobia] but for the most part there’s an acceptance. Some women see it as a test of their faith. “We Muslim women try to be modest and demure – not just in dress but behaviour. We’re less likely to respond. "It’s about not shaming yourself in public.” Mughal says that perpetrators know Muslim women won't react, especially if they’re fully covered up: “They believe there’s a sense of passivity around a woman wearing a niqab – that she won’t do anything or respond. But some women also say it’s a misogynistic targeting that comes from men.”
This is something Khan strongly believes – to the point where she thinks that authorities should classify Islamophobia against women as a form of violence against women: "I've always felt there’s an overlap between Muslim hate crime and violence against women," she explains. "There’s definitely a gender element to it, with racists thinking, ‘It’s OK because she’s a woman and won’t say anything or do anything’. “Women fear it. Whenever there’s a terrorist attack, you think, 'will I be attacked too?'” This is the reality for thousands of Muslim women living in Britain. They are targets for racism purely because of their clothing, their demeanour and their gender. All they can do is report any incidents that happen to them – and many don’t.
Mughal urges Muslim women to speak to the police if they are attacked: “Something can potentially be done, but there’s also a sense of unburdening yourself of that incident.” But Zia thinks the only real way to tackle Islamophobia is by changing British perceptions towards Muslims. “People think that women in full-face veils can’t speak English, but that’s simply not true. They think that women who wear the full-face veil are subservient. That they’re a danger; that they won’t interact with society. “We all need to have some responsibility in dispelling these myths and stereotypes. We need to get rid of the fear before we can live in far more tolerant society.”
© The Telegraph
UK: Hate crimes against Muslims soar in London
816 Islamophobic offences recorded across UK capital - up over 70% on last year - with women wearing veils most vulnerable.
7/9/2015- The number of hate crimes against Muslims in London has risen by almost three quarters in a year, according to police figures, with women who wear veils particularly vulnerable. There were 816 Islamophobic offences recorded across the city in the 12 months up to July this year, compared with 478 for the previous 12 months. The overall rise was just over 70%, the Met said, but some boroughs reported figures more than double those of last year. In Merton, the figure rose by 262%, from eight to 29, while in Richmond-upon-Thames nine crimes were reported, compared with just one for the previous year.
Fiyaz Mughal, from Tell Mama, an organisation that monitors Islamophobic incidents, said about 60% of victims were women who wear a headscarf or hijab. He told the BBC: “We also realised quite early on that women who wear niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents – there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator.” The Met attributed the increase part to a willingness of victims to report crime and an awareness of police staff in being able to identify those particular offences. The force said events around the world and holy days can also influence a rise in hate crime incidents as more officers are on patrol and victims may be more likely to report crime.
Commander Mak Chishty said: “We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders. Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police. We have more than 900 specialist officers across London working in our community safety units who are dedicated to investigating hate crime. “We are always seeking ways to increase reporting and work with a number of third-party reporting sites, such as the CST, so that victims who feel unable to approach police direct can report crime to non-police organisations and individuals. Victims of hate crime can in addition now report online on the Met’s website. “No one should suffer in silence, so please report hate crime to us as soon as possible so we can act.”
© The Guardian
UK: Hate crimes against London's Jewish community surge by 93%
7/9/2015- Hate crimes against London's Jewish minority have surged over the last 12 months with an increase of 93.4% according to figures from the Metropolitan police. In the 12 months from July 2014, police recorded 499 anti-Semitic crimes in London compared with 258 in the same period the preceding year. The boroughs worst affected were Hackney and Barnet where respectively 122 and 120 instances were reported. In a statement to IBTimes UK, the Met attributed the rise to several factors, including increased reporting, but said that greater focus on the capital's 250,000-strong Jewish communities in the wake of events elsewhere had led to the spike. "In light of recent world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious," the Met statement said. "Local neighbourhood policing teams are providing a more targeted presence in key areas at key times, such as school routes, holy days and prayer times to give extra reassurance."
Commander Mak Chishty, MPS hate crime lead, said: "We will not tolerate hate crime and take positive action to investigate all allegations, support victims and arrest offenders. "Victims of hate crime must be assured that they will be taken seriously by the police," he added. A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which works to combat anti-Semitism in the UK, told IBTimes UK that, while numbers fluctuated, 2014 was a "record high" for anti-Semitic hate crime. He said this was due to "big trigger events" including the Israeli war in Gaza and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, which led to increased reporting. He explained that between 2010 and 2013 anti-Semitic crime had fallen, but that generally there had been an increase from 2000.
Islamophobia and crimes against London's Muslim minority have also increased significantly in the same period. There has been a 71% rise according to the Met, with 816 offences recorded in the last 12 months, compared with 478 offences a year ago. The police have said Muslim women are most likely to be targets of hate crime: "There are a number of reasons why Muslim women are targeted more than men. Their physical attire obviously says they are Muslim, they are normally by themselves and with children, and the cowardice shown by perpetrators is that it is easier to attack a woman with children than it is a man," the Met said.
© The International Business Times - UK
UK: Four Jewish boys badly beaten in antisemitic attack in Manchester
7/9/2015- A teenage boy was battered unconscious and three young men were also assaulted during an anti-Semitic attack at a tram stop, police say. The four victims were injured by three thugs at Bowker Vale Metrolink station in north Manchester at around 11.30pm on Saturday night, September 5. Officers are treating the incident as a hate crime. The worst affected was a 17-year-old, who lost consciousness during the attack and remains in hospital suffering from a suspected bleed to the brain. Police are treating the serious assault as grievous bodily harm with intent. Three others, aged 18, 18, and 20, were also attacked during the incident. Forensics teams remained at Bowker Vale stop on Monday morning and tram services travelling towards Bury were unable to call at the station. The stop was reopened shortly after 11am. Police believe that three men were responsible for the attack. They approached the four victims then verbally and physically assaulted them.
© The Manchester Evening News.
France: Jewish teen assaulted near Paris, called 'dirty Jew'
The victim, identified as Ruben Am, 18, sustained several cuts to his face from the hits.
10/9/2015- A Jewish teenager reported being assaulted near Paris by three men who hit him and called him a “dirty Jew.” The incident occurred on Tuesday in Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris, according to a report published Thursday by the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, a French watchdog group. The victim, identified as Ruben Am, 18, sustained several cuts to his face from the hits, BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan wrote. According to the BNVCA report, Am said he had been approached near the Robespierre metro station by a tall black man who asked him for a lighter. Then the man asked Am about his religion. Feeling threatened, Am said he was a Moroccan Muslim. But the interlocutor punched him in the face, saying he could not be Muslim, as he attended the Daniel Mayer Jewish vocational school. He also called Am “a dirty Jew,” the report said, and was joined by two other men, also black, who covered their faces with their hoodies. The three then fled the scene.
Also Tuesday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on French Jews — who in recent years have been immigrating to Israel in record numbers, partly because of anti-Semitism — to stay in France, where he vowed authorities will protect them from anti-Semitic attacks. “The fears are present, how can we deny them,” Valls said during a speech in honor of the Jewish New Year to several hundred people at the Synagogue of Nazareth in Paris. “No one will condemn those who leave for Israel but they belong here.” In 2014, nearly 7,000 French Jews left for Israel, or made aliyah – more than three times the number in 2011. Valls, whose wife is Jewish, was making his fourth consecutive Rosh Hashanah address before members of the Jewish community. “We will not tolerate any word, any act, this inalienable right to practice their faith, or not to,” said Valls, who warned that “without Jews, France will lose it essence.”
© The Jerusalem Post
Germany: Far-right demo disrupts arrival of migrants in Dortmund
Far-right extremists tried to disrupt the arrival of nearly 1,000 refugees in the city of Dortmund in western Germany last night. The police made several arrests.
6/9/2015- Germany's approach to Europe's migrant crisis has widely been celebrated as a success. With Chancellor Angela Merkel easing travel conditions and scores of Germans welcoming refugees with care packages and applause at train stations, the country showed itself prepared to welcome thousands of new arrivals in the coming days. But the latest events did not fail to attract the attention of Germany's far-right. While a train carrying almost 1,000 migrants arrived at the central station in Dortmund in western Germany on Saturday night, 26 supporters of the far-right party "Die Rechte" staged a protest rally.
Arrests and injuries
The group moved through the city center and later defied police by trying to enter the train station itself, leading to clashes with about 30 left-wing activists there. Bystanders were also caught up in the violence, with three police officers and one bystander suffering injuries. Authorities made four arrests, during which they reportedly had to resort to the use of pepper spray. Meanwhile, local officials tried to make sure that refugees arriving at the station did not witness the clashes.
In a separate incident in the city, a fire broke out in a disused school building earmarked for use as a refugee home. Police are investigating it as a potential arson attack. Dortmund expects the arrival of roughly 1,400 refugees this weekend alone.
© The Deutsche Welle.
Headlines 4 September, 2015
German police say five people hurt in fire at refugee shelter
4/9/2015- German police said on Friday five people were injured when a fire broke out at a refugee shelter in the town of Heppenheim in the West German state of Hesse. There was no immediate indication of how the blaze began. Germany, which expects the influx of refugees and migrants to quadruple to about 800,000 this year, has witnessed more than 100 arson attacks on asylum shelters in recent months. "One resident who tried to rescue himself by jumping out of a window from the second floor was seriously wounded," police spokeswoman Christiane Kobus said in a statement. Four people were slightly injured by smoke poisoning, she said.
More than 60 refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Ethiopia were accommodated in the three-storey residential building. "The fire was extinguished quickly. According to initial findings, the fire emerged behind the entrance door for unknown reasons," Kobus said. Police and state prosecutors had started an investigation into the cause of the fire, she said. Most of the recent attacks on asylum shelters in Germany have been on empty buildings slated to become shelters. However, politicians have warned that it was only a matter of time before refugees might be hurt. Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The crisis has strained the European Union's asylum system to breaking point, divided its 28 nations and fed the rise of right-wing populists.
Germany: Expanding far-right networks coordinating refugee attacks, claim security experts
3/9/2015- Expanding far right networks are coordinating arson attacks on refugee hostels in Germany, security experts told Der Spiegel. In recent months there have been escalating numbers of attacks on asylum centres in Germany as well as assaults on refugees. An arson attack on a planned asylum hostel in Nauen on Monday, outside Berlin, was the fifth in the country in a week. "The continuity and number of attacks can't be explained except by assuming organized structures," Fabian Virchow of the Working Unit Neo-Nazism at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, told the magazine. Speaking after neo-Nazi protesters clashed with police outside a new asylum centre in Heidenau near Dresden in August, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "full force of the law" would be felt by those who insulted or attacked refugees in the country.
More than 800,000 refugees are expected to arrive in Germany this year, with many welcomed and German authorities overwhelmed by donations from the public. However, there has also been an upswing in racist violence, with 173 attacks against immigrants accommodation recorded in the first six months of 2015, three times as many as during the same period the previous year. Earlier this year the German Interior Ministry said there was no evidence the attacks were centrally coordinated. But German security forces faced serious criticism for failing to recognise the existence of far-right terror cell the National Socialist Underground, which carried out a series of racist murders between 2000 and 2006, and experts argue that there is evidence of centrally controlled networks spreading far right terror. Andreas Zick, head of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research into Conflict and Violence at the Bielefeld University, told the magazine his research had uncovered "right-wing cells that can strike in a guerilla-like manner and which are networked with one another".
Investigators are probing far-right group the Third Way, that has allegedly coordinated anti-immigrant activism and attacks in towns across Germany, and distributed a booklet advising groups on how to campaign against the establishment of asylum centres. In hotbeds of anti-immigrants sentiment there has been surging support for far-right parties. In Saxony, where 42 of the violent attacks against refugee centres took place in the first half of 2015, the National Democratic Party (NPD) recently outpolled the centre-left Social Democrats, and protests by populist anti-immigrant group Pegida drew tens of thousands in state capital Dresden. The state's economy minister Martin Dulig said on Wednesday, 2 August 3 the increase in racist violence threatens "an economic disaster if hatred of foreigners destroys the image of a Saxony that is modern and open to the world".
© The International Business Times - UK
Eastern Germany a hotspot for attacks against refugees
A record influx of refugees to Germany has cast an ugly spotlight on its formerly communist east, which has been rocked by a disproportionate wave of racist protests and hate crimes.
3/9/2015- Small towns such as Heidenau and Freital have earned nationwide notoriety as neo-Nazis and angry residents have hurled abuse at people fleeing war and misery -- and rocks at police sent to protect those seeking a safe haven. Arson attacks against refugee shelters, and swastikas scrawled on their walls, have brought back dark memories of xenophobic violence that flared at the time of Germany's reunification a quarter-century ago. In the turbulent early 1990s -- when East Germans got their first taste of democracy, but also faced economic collapse and uncertainty -- the frustration exploded in sometimes deadly mob attacks against asylum shelters.
Leaders of the five eastern states have this week insisted that the resurgence of racist violence has hit all areas of Germany, not just theirs, as Europe's top economy expects a record 800,000 asylum requests this year. They have cautioned against "stigmatising" the east, which despite a multi-billion-euro infrastructure overhaul still lags the former West in wealth, jobs and opportunities more than 25 years after the Berlin Wall fell. In the far-right hotspot state of Saxony, the upsurge of violence now threatens "an economic disaster if hatred of foreigners destroys the image of a Saxony that is modern and open to the world," its economy minister Martin Dulig warned on Wednesday.
- 'No east-west conflict' -
Chancellor Angela Merkel -- who grew up in the East -- has vowed "no tolerance" against racists, but she ducked the regional question Monday by saying: "I don't want to turn this into an east-west conflict." The data, however, has painted a disturbing picture -- of all racist attacks recorded by the government last year, 47 percent were in the east, home to just 17 percent of Germany's population. And of the 202 known violent attacks against refugee shelters in the first half of this year, 42 took place in Saxony alone. Saxony's state capital Dresden was also the birthplace of the far-right PEGIDA movement, short for "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident", whose flag-waving marches peaked at 25,000 people early this year.
The anti-immigration movement only fizzled after its founder Lutz Bachmann posted pictures of himself sporting a Hitler moustache and hair-do on Facebook, sparking media outrage and a leadership split. "For months now, Saxony has been the most unpleasant German state. It made headlines with PEGIDA, right-wing extremism and attacks on refugees," judged Hamburg-based liberal news weekly Die Zeit. "Isn't it time for a 'Saxit' -- the exit of Saxony from the Federal Republic?" it asked, only half in jest.
- 'Furious and frustrated' -
Dresden has long been an iconic city for German neo-Nazis embittered by the Allies' aerial bombing of the Baroque city centre in World War II. Historians point at other roots of entrenched far-right sentiment in the east, the only part of Germany where the neo-Nazi National Party of Germany (NPD) has seats in a state assembly and in many town halls. While West Germany was credited with dealing relatively openly with the Nazi era and Holocaust, the East German regime resisted "de-Nazification" in the Cold War and painted the Third Reich as an outgrowth of Western capitalism. It termed the Berlin Wall it erected in 1961 to stop a massive popular exodus an "anti-fascist" rampart.
The foreign-born population was minimal, with the largest group some 60,000 labourers from "socialist brother state" Vietnam, who would bear the brunt of racist attacks after the Wall fell. It was a time for East Germans when "an entire generation of people were economically disempowered, and the youth were without direction, furious and frustrated," said Hajo Funke of Berlin's Free University. It was this disenchanted "brown" youth culture that, in the eastern state of Thuringia, spawned three neo-Nazis whose bloody crimes, when they finally emerged in 2011, would shock Germany. The trio formed the National Socialist Underground -- a secret extremist cell that laid bombs and shot dead nine people with migrant backgrounds as well as a policewoman, in post-war Germany's worst racist killing spree.
Denmark: Muslim graves attacked
2/9/2015- More than 50 Muslim graves have been desecrated in the Danish city of Odense, just three months after a similar incident in the country, police sources and Danish media reported Tuesday. At a time when Islamophobic sentiments and attacks were raging all across Europe, the latest attack in Denmark, according to Danish media, is believed to have been carried out with ax by unknown number of attackers over the weekend. According to the Danish daily Berlingske, police were yet to make an arrest in the incident that left dozens of gravestones destroyed or damaged. Bosnian Mirna Ugljen told DR television Tuesday that she was shocked to see the cemetery vandalized where her father had been resting since 17 years. "When we came to visit my father, we were shocked. They are dead and cannot hurt anyone. Leave them alone," Ugljen said.
Danish Minister of Justice Soren Pind condemned the incident on Twitter. "Stop this. As Denmark, we do not want to walk on such a path," he tweeted in Danish language. In a similar incident, about 50 Muslim graves were desecrated in the western Copenhagen suburb of Brondby. Gravestones destroyed or damaged. Bosnian Mirna Ugljen told DR television Tuesday that she was shocked to see the cemetery vandalized where her father had been resting since 17 years. "When we came to visit my father, we were shocked. They are dead and cannot hurt anyone. Leave them alone," Ugljen said. Danish Minister of Justice Soren Pind condemned the incident on Twitter. "Stop this. As Denmark, we do not want to walk on such a path," he tweeted in Danish language.
Denmark: Hundreds support vandalized asylum centre
As many as 2,000 people turned out on Sunday to create a human 'joy ring' around an eastern Jutland asylum centre that was vandalized earlier in the week.
30/8/2015- One 26-year-old vandal might have wanted to scare the residents of the Lyngbygård asylum centre in eastern Jutland, but hundreds of other Danes want the asylum seekers to feel safe and welcome in Denmark. The 26-year-old man is suspected of setting fire to a minibus used by the centre and painting a swastika, the initials of a far-right nationalist movement and the words ‘first warning’ on the centre’s garage. On Sunday, the local community came out in large numbers to show the asylum seekers that the vandal did not represent the majority of Danes. An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people participated in a sympathy demonstration dubbed a ‘joy ring’ around the centre. Among the participants were priests from several area parishes.
“One of the most important things is to bring a good atmosphere back to Lyngbygård. It’s been really stressful out here,” Ina Dulanjani Dygaard, one of the organizers behind Sunday’s event, told Ritzau news agency. “The residents are scared – some of them are scared for their lives,” she added. Another organizer, Jette Aarøe Clausen, said it was important to counter the vandal’s hateful actions. “The message the perpetrator tried to send was that asylum seekers aren’t wanted here. The counter message we wish to send today is that we want to be a land in which there is room for refugees,” she said. Thursday’s fire and vandalism at the centre marked the third time it had been targeted in recent months.
The suspect in the case was arrested late on Thursday and made an initial court appearance on Monday in which it was determined that he would be held on remand for the next four weeks. According to public broadcaster DR, the man is a known figure in the Danish far-right who has expressed anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook.
© The Local - Denmark
Ukraine: Queer Home Kryvbass was attacked
Yesterday around 20:30 in the evening, unidentified men in masks attacked a Queer Home Kryvbass.
31/8/2015- The attackers threw smoke bombs at the community center and destroyed the premises. During an attempt to stop criminals one of the center visitors was attacked and stunned. At the moment he is in the emergency department, the information about his condition is being clarified. A day earlier, on the night from 29 to 30 of August closed LGBT party was attacked in Kryvyi Rih. About 2 o'clock after the midnight the door of the cafe, where a closed event was held, was knocked down and about 20 men in masks broke in and beaten up the visitors. Witnesses said the attackers were in the T-shirts with symbolic of the Right Sector. The police officers arrived at the crime scene and almost everyone of the attackers were released. Protocols for the entire brotherhood were written by Anton Kravchenko, the leader of Kryvyi Rih automaidan. In the autumn of 2014 Anton Kravchenko was one of the attackers on the prosecutor and he featured in court proceedings as a defendant. One of the main functions of the state is to protect its citizens. UPO "Gay Alliance Ukraine" appeals to the law enforcement authorities with a demand not only to punish those responsible for today's incident, but also to take all possible measures to protect the life, health and fundamental rights of the citizens of Ukraine.
© Gay Alliance Ukraine
UK: Shopkeeper attacked by shoplifter in hate campaign
1/8/2015- When Faryad Hussain caught a young man stealing wine from his Dalry newsagents while high on drugs, he decided to give the culprit a second chance and not press charges. But because the incident had already been reported to police, a prolonged campaign of “terrifying” physical and verbal abuse from the youngster and his father ensued as a result. The young man threatened to slit the throats of Mr Hussain’s wife and their 13-year-old son – and his father even smeared faeces on the shop shutters on two separate occasions. They put glue in the locks of the shutters every couple of days and repeatedly shouted abusive racist remarks. In one shocking incident, he was attacked on the street by the shoplifter and two friends – and when a passerby came across the scene, he joined in, attacking him with his walking stick.
In other occasions, the younger criminal would taunt the family by insinuating that he would slit their throats, by moving his hand across his own throat. And a wheelie bin was pushed up against the back of the shop on Caledonian Crescent and set alight. The stress and fear was so intense that Mr Hussain, 40, suffered a heart attack and ended up in hospital for a week. Mr Hussain’s wife Shamim was too terrified to be in the shop by herself and the couple feared for the safety of their three young children. Mr Hussain had been running the shop for 15 years, but he never experienced anything like this before. Speaking about the night he was attacked outside his shop, where he was pushed to the ground and kicked in the head and stomach, he said: “I was in the shop and he was shouting and swearing asking me to come outside the shop. I didn’t want to fight. But then he attacked me. There were I think five people involved. There was a man just walking by with a walking stick and he started joining in. He started hitting me with his walking stick.”
The man’s father was caught on CCTV twice over the space of three days, smearing faeces on the locks and shutters. “It’s so disgusting, it’s
totally revolting,” said Mrs Hussain, 39. “I couldn’t stay in the shop by myself, I was too scared. There was so much stress it was just unbelievable. My husband’s health started to go down, his blood pressure was high because of the stress, he suffered a minor heart
attack. It was just terrible.” When Mr Hussain returned to work after a week in hospital, police issued him with a body camera to help record evidence if anything else happened. The camera helped to reassure Mr Hussain and he felt that it prevented further incidents from happening. He and his family said they are very grateful to the police for their support throughout the ordeal, which lasted several months over the summer of 2013. The offending family – who lived just across the street from the shop – was evicted from the flat by housing association Dunedin Canmore.
The men, who were aged 63 and 25, were arrested and charged over the campaign of hate crime. The older man was fined, while his son – who was charged with a variety of other crimes – was jailed for 18 months. Mr Hussain said: “I used to think I didn’t want to waste court time or police time. After his stealing we gave him a chance. He stole in front of us and I gave him a warning – I thought maybe he would take a lesson.” Mr Hussain said it was particularly difficult to handle the abuse, given that he had given the man a chance to change his ways. And although he used to “not want to make a fuss”, he is now keen to encourage any hate crime victims to come forward. “The police were so good, they used to come into the shop just to see if we were okay. We are grateful,” he said. His wife agreed, adding: “We would say to anyone, involve the police no matter what. The police do take these incidents seriously. Don’t just ignore it.”
Mr and Mrs Hussain were also given the contact for an Asian association to provide an additional person to turn to. The couple, who live in Sighthill, no longer run the shop in Dalry as they said the business was not faring well against the competition of larger supermarkets. Mr Hussain now works as a shop assistant in Broomhall. Inspector Tom Galbraith, of Police Scotland’s Prevention, Intervention and Partnership unit, described Mr Hussain’s ordeal as a “horrific set of circumstances”. And he revealed that of the 455 hate crimes which were committed in the Capital between April and July this year, the vast majority were racially-motivated. He and his team, which is based in the West End of the Capital, monitor hate crime on a daily basis.
Insp Galbraith said: “In Mr Hussain’s case we offered crime prevention advice and also issued him with a body camera so we had every opportunity possible evidentially so we could catch those responsible. “Not only do we want to encourage victims of hate crime to report it but there’s a huge onus on bystanders to report it as well. It’s important that we use everything we can to tackle hate crime. Sometimes when hate crime occurs the victim is on their own, so we need evidence to corroborate. “The preventative element is really to make sure that everything from CCTV to the layout of the shops is used. When we are encouraging victims to come forward, we want them to have confidence in a system that goes from start to finish.”
As part of Police Scotland’s ongoing hate crime awareness campaign, a strong focus is being put on education of young people. Insp Galbraith added: “The emphasis on schools is really important, along with generic bullying. We use tools such as showing real footage of real incidents which really brings it home to them.” He said it was vital that all communities work together to stamp out hate crime on any minority groups. To tackle the issue, more than 30 remote reporting sites have now been set up at community centres and faith establishments to help encourage victims to come forward.
Another high-profile example of hate crime was the shocking attack on Chinese takeaway owner Jie Yu in West Pilton last year. Father-of-three Mr Yu suffered a near-fatal stab wound after pursuing a group of young men who had stolen his car from outside his premises. James Hogg and Gary Reid are currently serving eight and seven-year sentences respectively for the attack. Reid – whose older brother John Reid, was jailed in 2010 for the high-profile killing of Chinese takeaway driver Simon San in Lochend – pleaded guilty to attempted murder with racial aggravation. Mr Yu had brutal wounds in his neck, chest and stomach but has since made a good recovery.
Challenging negative stereotypes
Police Scotland is now in the third week of a month-long hate crime campaign. Incidents are historically under-reported and can range from violent physical attacks to verbal abuse, criminal damage or online bullying. Each week of the campaign focuses on a different minority group – and from today, those targeted because of their race come under the spotlight. Officers hope that the campaign will lead to a spike in reports and an increased awareness about hate crime. More than 30 third-party reporting sites have been set up across the city to give victims an alternative way to report crimes if they feel uncomfortable going directly to police. These range from faith centres to charities and community centres, and now also include charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC). Dee Matthew, the organisation’s education co-ordinator, delivers anti-racism educational workshops across Scotland.
She said the charity was keen to challenge negative stereotypes about immigration, asylum seekers and refugees or Islamophobic opinions. “Not challenging these myths can lead to prejudiced thought and discriminatory action towards minority ethnic communities and manifest into hate crime,” said Mrs Matthew. “We know that all hate crime is massively under-reported and victims of racist attacks feel intimidated to step forward and report these instances or they feel frustration that nothing will be done. “SRTRC would encourage anyone who has been a victim of racist or religiously motivated hate crime to seek the support they need and report in a way they feel comfortable. “If hate crimes are not reported then the scale and magnitude of the problem will remain hidden. No-one is born racist, prejudice is learned from early on in the life cycle.”
Victims can also use the hate crime reporting form on the Police Scotland website, or victims can take the traditional route of dialling 101. People are invited to get involved in the campaign by following Police Scotland on Twitter and Facebook, using #HateCrime and #ReportIt.
© The Edinburgh Evening News