Europe

Austria: Nearly 2,000 racist incidents occurred in 2018

Number of racist incidents rises from 162 in 2017, according to recent report

Askin Kiyagan   | 21.03.2019
Austria: Nearly 2,000 racist incidents occurred in 2018

VIENNA 

A total of 1,920 racist incidents took place in Austria last year, a report released on Thursday said. 

Nearly 60 percent of racist and hate-based incidents in the country occurred online, Austria-based Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work (ZARA) said.

Some 1,164 racists posts were shared on social media and other online platforms, it added.

There were 16.3 percent racist attacks in public places, with 7.9 people subjected to racist treatment in the service and entertainment sector.

Also, 4.6 percent of racist and hateful discourses occurred in print media and politics.

The Security Directorate was the state institution where racist treatment occurred the most (4.3 percent).

Last year, police took legal action against only eight racist attacks out of 83 which were reported. Police regarded racist incidents as ordinary crimes, according to the report.

At least 1,528 racist incidents among 1,920 were reported by a third party and the actual victims preferred to stay silent because of thoughts like “these things happen,” or “reporting doesn't change anything". That is why, the report said, the actual number of racist incidents could be much higher.

On the other hand, there was an increase in sensitivity against racism and civil reactions as 80 percent of the reports were filed by a third party.

ZARA's president Dieter Schindlauer said racism is present in every facet of life, however, this year they were particularly interested in police attitudes toward racist incidents.

Faika El-Nagashi, a parliamentarian from the Green party, said: “Hate speech and racist discourses in politics are particularly aimed at Muslims and refugees."

The discriminatory, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies of the far-right government in Austria, which had been in power for over a year, led to a dramatic increase in racist incidents, according to recent figures.

ZARA has been working for 20 years to contribute to a society without racism.

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