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Hate crimes on the rise in Europe: rights group

[JURIST] Hate crimes [JURIST news archive] are on the rise throughout Europe [report text; press release], rights watchdog Human Rights First [advocacy website] reported Thursday in a study examining recent hate crimes in France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Hate crimes against Muslims in London rose by approximately 600 percent following the 2005 London bombings [JURIST news archive], according to the study. It also looked into the "genres" of hate crimes, ranging from antisemitism and Islamophobia, to bias based on sexual orientation and physical or mental disability. The study found that antisemitic attackers often justify their actions as criticism of Israel and the ongoing Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive].

HRF urged European governments to implement harsher penalties for perpetrators of hate crimes, strengthen police enforcement of hate crime laws, and establish monitoring systems to provide accurate data on targeted minority groups. The report was released just before the start of an international conference on combating discrimination [press release; event website] being held in Romania by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website]. Haaretz has more.

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