Politicians fuelled rise in hate crimes after Brexit vote, says UN body

UN committee says politicians should share blame for surge in racist crimes during and after EU referendum campaign British politicians helped fuel a steep rise in racist hate crimes during and after the EU referendum campaign, a UN body has said. The committee on the elimination of racial discrimination said many prominent politicians should share the blame for the outbreak of xenophobia and intimidation against ethnic minorities. It said it was deeply concerned that the referendum campaign was marked by divisive, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric. “Many politicians and prominent political figures not only failed to condemn it but also created and entrenched prejudices, thereby emboldening individuals to carry out acts of intimidation and hate towards ethnic or ethno-religious minority communities and people who are visibly different.” More than 3,000 allegations of hate crimes were made to UK police – mainly in the form of harassment and threats – in the week before and the week after the 23 June vote, a year-on-year increase of 42%. The UN committee said it was concerned that the increase in hate crime notifications did not reflect the true extent of the problem, and that proportionately few reported cases resulted in successful prosecution. “As a result, a large number of racist hate crimes go unpunished.” The committee did not name any politicians. However, the referendum campaign threw up allegations of racism against the prominent leave campaigner and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, whose notorious anti-migrant “Breaking Point” poster was reported to the police for inciting racial hatred.
The UK government said in response to the committee that it had a “zero tolerance” approach to hate crime. “We have in place one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world to protect communities from hostility, violence and bigotry. We keep it under review to ensure it remains effective and appropriate – and recently published a comprehensive new hate crime action plan to drive forward the fight.” The committee added that the negative portrayal of minorities, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers by the UK media, particularly in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, was also a concern.

via guardian: Politicians fuelled rise in hate crimes after Brexit vote, says UN body

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s