Monday, November 29

Pagazaurtundúa alerts that “Hispanophobia” is a hate crime “off the radar”

Citizens MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa, in a file image.

Citizens MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa, in a file image.

Almost 50% of hate crimes registered in Spain between 2015 and 2018 are related to the racism and the xenophobia; 23.47% have their origin in sexual orientation and 13.5% have people with disabilities as victims, according to data from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) collected in the ‘Cartography of hate’, a study presented this Tuesday in Madrid by the MEP for Citizens Maite Pagazaurtundúa.

Prepared together with his Office in the European Parliament, the analysis compiles 80,000 data for six European countries -Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Poland- and covers a period between January 2015 -year in which the Eurobarometer warned of a decline in tolerance levels in the old continent- and June 2020.

In the investigated stage there have been 32,226 hate incidents, 12.28% in Spain where the global trend is upward and the most unique motivation, the analysis indicates, is the “Hispanophobia”. A phenomenon “off the radar”, in the words of the Cs MEP, which some associations have detected not only in Catalonia but also in the Basque Country, and which they define as a “Subculture of hostility and aversion to Spain”.

According to reports from the Civic Observatory of Political Violence created by Impulso Ciudadano and the Movement Against Intolerance, this subculture is projected in the media, politically and socially.

Populist discourses

“The omnipresence for decades in the public opinion of identity, intolerant and populist discourses, and the political and institutional normalization of such degrading discourses has erased many crimes associated with ideological intolerance from the radar of authorities and scholars “, reads the ‘Cartography of Hate’.

It also stands out that in Catalonia, especially since the end of 2017, incidents of intolerance and political violence mostly directed at non-secessionists, although secessionists have also been harassed and attacked by other extremists. Between 2015 and 2020, this type of crime totaled 464 (34% of a total of 1,362), according to data provided by associations, NGOs and observatories.

The research includes a first approach to the phenomenon of hate acts related to covid-19 registering 70 incidents in the first half of 2020, 65 of which were attacks on people of Asian appearance. In the case of Poland, the victims were LGTBI and Jewish people, who were held responsible for the spread of the virus.

On the other hand, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights warns that 9 out of 10 people who have suffered hateful assault do not report it. This is what are called ‘black figures’, the gap between statistics and reality. “Under-reporting,” argue the study’s authors, “consolidates a level of impunity that is detrimental to the victims and chronifies the basis of prejudice.”

The European Commission will present the next December 8 a proposal to include hate crimes in the list of serious crimes against human rights. In this regard, Pagazaurtundúa defends that the Community Executive should seek “a clear definition and penal harmonization.”

“Hate speech can lead to serious human rights violations and the problem crosses national borders and therefore requires a step forward to act jointly in Europe,” said the MEP.

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