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Canada police report 35 percent increase in hate crimes

Canadian police reported a 35 percent increase in hate crimes [materials] from 2007 to 2008, according to a report released Monday. During 2008, police reported 1,036 total hate crimes, with 55 percent motivated by race, 26 percent motivated by religion and 16 percent motivated by sexual orientation. That is up from the 785 total hate crimes reported [materials] for 2007. Increases occurred among all groups, with the number of hate crimes related to sexual orientation more than doubling. In addition to the increase in the number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, the report also found that almost 75 percent of these crimes were violent and that men were overwhelmingly the targets of the violence. Hate crimes based on race were violent 38 percent of the time while those based on religion were violent 25 percent of the time. Blacks were the most frequently targeted racial group, while members of the Jewish faith were the most frequently targeted religious group.

Last November, the FBI [official website] reported a two-percent increase [JURIST report] in the 2008 Hate Crimes Statistics [report; press release] for the US, which marked the biggest increase since 2001. Increases were reported in crimes based on race and religion, while crimes motivated by sexual orientation remained at about the same rate as in 2007. Last October, US President Barack Obama signed [JURIST report] into law a defense appropriations bill containing a measure extending the definition of federal hate crimes to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act [S 909 text], passed the US Senate and House of Representatives [JURIST reports] as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (NDAA) [HR 2647 materials].

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