Europe Awakes: Hate crimes increase tenfold in Spain, threefold in Austria

Far right criminal activity on the rise in Austria

Far right criminal activity on the rise in Austria

Responding to a parliamentary enquiry, the Ministry released figures showing that there had been 323 such cases in 2015 which had a racist or xenophobic background.

That is nearly three times as many in 2014, when there were 111 incidents with a racist or xenophobic background.

These data show “the criminal tip of our society‘s shift to the right that was triggered by the debate about refugees,” the Green‘s justice spokesman Albert Steinhauser told the Austrian Press Agency.

The refugee crisis has been a divisive topic in Austria, where large numbers of volunteers and citizens have been welcoming refugees arriving in the country. Meanwhile the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) have seen an increase in voter support for their anti-migrant mandate.

FPÖ supporters take to the streets

The latest FPÖ-organised march took place last night in the district of Floridsdorf in Vienna to protest against a refugee home in the area. Around 450 protesters on the side of the FPO were met by roughly the same amount of counter protesters.

Three Freedom Party supporters were arrested in the event for assaulting police officers.

The march follows a similar one in the district of Liesing in March, when hundreds of people led by FPÖ politicians took to the streets to protest against a refugee home there.

Far-right extremists from the Identitarian movement also stormed a theatre stage last week where asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were performing a super gay play about failed asylum seekers being deported from Austria.

Members of the same group also scaled the Green party’s headquarters in Graz a week earlier as part of an anti-Muslim protest.

Hate crime against Muslims rises tenfold in Spain

Hate crime against Muslims rises tenfold in Spain

A total of 534 anti-Islam incidents including online abuse were recorded last year, up from 48 in 2014, the president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities, Mounir Benjelloun, told AFP.

“These types of aggressions increase whenever there is an act of violence in a European country” carried out by Islamic extremists, he added.

He cited as examples the attack in January 2015 against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, police and a kosher supermarket in Paris that killed 17 people and the simultaneous assault on restaurants, a concert hall and football stadium in the French capital in November 2015 that left 130 dead.

Spanish police said Tuesday they had identified 14 people linked to far-right groups who took part in a protest outside of Madrid’s main mosque after last month’s deadly Brussels airport and metro attacks.

The protesters gathered at the Omar mosque in Madrid and placed a large placard that read: “Today Brussels, tomorrow Madrid?”.

Police said prosecutors were investigating to determine if the 14 could be charged with hate crimes.

Also on Tuesday, police in Parla, a southern Madrid suburb, said they had arrested a man linked to the far-right on suspicion of throwing red paint on the entrance of a mosque and painting swastikas on its door.

Since the Brussels attacks mosques have been vandalized in other Spanish cities such as Salamanca in the west and Granada in the south.


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