Hate crimes against migrants in Europe are seeing an alarming rise, according to a new European Union report.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Tuesday published a report that identified “serious and widespread incidents of violence, harassment, threats, and hate speech towards migrants and asylum-seekers, and their children” in 14 EU countries.
The report said that human rights activists, pro-refugee politicians, and journalists have also been targeted, while EU member states have responded very poorly to these crimes.
“Most Member States do not collect or publish statistical data on hate crime incidents against asylum-seekers and migrants,” the report stated, saying that civil society organizations are often the main sources of information.
“The victim support services that meet the needs of asylum-seekers and migrants are rare,” the agency said, adding that victims have limited access to support.
The agency also criticized how some European public figures occasionally “condone attacks” and even fuel “open intolerance” in violent speeches, decrying how this intolerance “is spilling over to other parts of society with Muslims, especially women, and people from ethnic backgrounds.”
The paper stressed that asylum-seekers and migrants “rarely” report hate crimes to the authorities due to “a lack of trust in the police and public authorities,” along with “fear of arrest, being deported or of retaliation.”
Germany sees more crimes
According to the report, the country seeing the largest number of crimes against migrants was Germany, as German parliament data shows that incidents targeting accommodation centers for asylum-seekers have “dramatically increased”.
Official figures show that Germany saw 203 incidents in 2014, rising sharply to 1,031 in 2015, and 735 so far in 2016.
However, according to a database created by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and Pro Asyl, non-governmental organizations say that “on average, refugee accommodation is affected by arson attacks every three days,” the report added.
According to these records, through this Oct. 17, there were 1,103 incidents against asylum-seekers -- 117 arson attacks, 221 violent attacks, and 765 "other attacks" -- injuring 352 refugees.
The report also highlighted that some asylum-seekers were shot dead by police officers in EU states. In October 2015, Bulgarian police shot dead an Afghan asylum-seeker after he crossed the Bulgarian-Turkish border. In September, police in Berlin killed an Iraqi refugee during an intervention. And in Italy, a Nigerian asylum-seeker who was “reacting to racist insults addressed to his wife” was attacked and killed with an iron pole.
“Attacks against Muslim women are reported in Austria, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Slovakia,” said the report.
“In the case of Slovakia, a Somali Muslim woman was attacked six times during one year,” it added.
Source: Anadolu Agency