Hate crimes surge in Britain
Hate crimes surge in Britain
There were 80,393 offenses in 2016/17, a rise of 29 percent from the year before. In the same period, hate crime prosecutions dropped to 14,480 from 15,442, a fall of 6.2 percent, according to Home Office data.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate Crime, said in a statement to Arab News: “Police forces are making themselves more visible and accessible to local communities to ensure victims or anyone feeling vulnerable has the confidence to come forward.”
“We can do better at securing convictions,” Hamilton admitted.
“Nobody should have to face hatred because of who they are.”
Shaista Aziz, a British-Muslim journalist and founder of The EveryDay Bigotry Project, a digital anti-racism platform, said: “‘Today’s data showed a correlation between political events and terrorism attacks and peaks in reported hate crime.
“Many of the victims that I work with have not reported their hate crimes to the police because they may not have a witness to the crime or because they do not have confidence in the police or, even more worryingly, they say that these racialized incidents of hate are part of their daily lives.”
Fiyaz Mughal, founder of the hate crime reporting site Tell MAMA, told Arab News: “This is concerning. We know that the Crown Prosecution Service does a sterling job in sending out a message – where crimes have taken place and it is in the public interest to prosecute, they will do so with vigor and energy.
“The CPS will be reviewing their prosecution rates though there may be something in the hate crimes which relate to the online world which are much more difficult to get evidence on.”
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “The drop in referrals recorded last year has impacted on the number of completed prosecutions and we are working with the police at a local and national level to understand the reasons for the overall fall in referrals in the past two years.”
Saunders added that more than half of 2016-17 cases involving hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity saw sentences “uplifted.” This means that the courts passed increased sentences in more than 6,300 cases.
Rohingya refugees rescued after drifting at sea for 9 days
BIREUEN, Indonesia: A Rohingya Muslim man among the group of 76 rescued in Indonesian waters in a wooden boat says they were at sea for nine days after leaving Myanmar, where the minority group faces intense persecution, and were hoping to reach Malaysia.
The eight children, 25 women and 43 men were brought ashore on Friday afternoon at Bireuen in Aceh province on the island of Sumatra, the third known attempt by members of the ethnic minority to escape Myanmar by sea this month. Several required medical attention for dehydration and exhaustion, local authorities said.
Fariq Muhammad said he paid the equivalent of about $150 for a place on the boat that left from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where a violent military crackdown on the minority group has sparked an exodus of some 700,000 refugees over land into neighboring Bangladesh since August.
The refugee vessel was intercepted by a Thai navy frigate and later escorted by a Thai patrol vessel until sighting land, said Fariq. The group believed the Thais understood they wanted to reach Malaysia and were dismayed when they realized they were in Indonesia, said Fariq, who gave the identification numbers of the Thai vessels.
“We were forced to leave because we could not stay, could not work so our lives became difficult in Myanmar. Our identity card was not given so we were forced to go,” he told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Local officials and a charitable group are providing shelter and food for the refugees. The International Organization for Migration said it has sent a team from its Medan office in Sumatra, including Rohingya interpreters, to help local officials with humanitarian assistance.
Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and denied citizenship, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional alarm.
In April, there has been an apparent increase in Rohingya attempts to leave the country by sea. An Indonesian fishing boat rescued a group of five Rohingya in weak condition off westernmost Aceh province on April 6, after a 20-day voyage in which five other people died.
Just days before, Malaysian authorities intercepted a vessel carrying 56 people believed to be Rohingya refugees and brought the vessel and its passengers to shore.
Mohammad Saleem, part of the group that landed Friday in Aceh, said they left from Sittwe in Rakhine state, the location of displacement camps for Rohingya set up following attacks in 2012 by Buddhist mobs.
“We’re not allowed to do anything. We don’t have a livelihood,” the 25-year-old said. “We can only live in the camps with not enough food to eat there. We have no rights there.”