UK: Killing investigated as hate crime days after UN warning on racism


Police have arrested six teenage boys following the death of a Polish man in Harlow, with the investigation considering "the possibility of it being a hate crime". Arkadiusz Józwik was attacked just days after the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued a report noting that the EU referendum campaign "was marked by divisive, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric, and that 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."

UK: Six teenage boys arrested over death of Polish man in Essex (The Guardian, link):

"Six teenage boys have been arrested in Harlow, Essex, after an eastern European immigrant died following a brutal street attack which his brother said began after he was heard speaking Polish in the street...

Essex police, who were called to the scene shortly after 11.35pm on Saturday, said the attack on Józwik and a second Polish man who survived the assault was apparently unprovoked and that one line of inquiry was the possibility of it being a hate crime."


See also: Politicians fuelled rise in hate crimes after Brexit vote, says UN body (The Guardian, link)

And: UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Concluding observations on the twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (pdf):

"The Committee is seriously concerned at the sharp increase in the number of racist hate crimes especially in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the weeks prior to and following the referendum on the membership of the European Union held on 23 June 2016. In particular, the Committee is deeply concerned that the referendum campaign was marked by divisive, anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric, and that 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. The Committee remains concerned that despite the recent increase in the reporting of hate crimes, the problem of underreporting persists, and the gap between reported cases and successful prosecution remains significant. As a result, a large number of racist hate crimes seem to go unpunished. It also remains concerned at the negative portrayal of ethnic or ethno-religious minority communities, immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees by the media in the State party, particularly in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, as well as the rise of racist hate speech on the Internet. Notwithstanding these challenges, the Committee regrets that the State party continues to maintain its interpretative declaration on article 4 of the Convention (arts. 2, 4 and 6)."

 

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