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Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region

Incidents and Responses
Annual Report for 2012

Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region – Incidents and Responses is prepared annually by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as a part of the OSCE’s efforts to combat hate crimes.

What is a hate crime? A “hate crime” or “bias crime” describes a type of crime, rather than a specific offense within a penal code. The term describes a sociological concept, rather than a legal definition.  Hate crimes always comprise of two elements: a criminal offense committed with a bias motive. If there is no base offense, there is no hate crime.

The target of hate crime may be one or more people, or it may be property associated with a group that shares a particular characteristic. The perpetrator might target the victim because of actual or even perceived affiliation with the group.  A protected characteristic is a common feature shared by a group, such as race, language, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or any other similar common factor that is fundamental for the identity.

The report is based on the data received from the 40 participating States who responded to a request for information by ODIHR, as well as on reports of hate crime incidents from 149 NGOs across the region.

Authorities responsible for hate crime data collection are Law-enforcement bodies, Prosecutor’s Offices, Interior Ministries, Ministry of Justice, Statistic offices, Intelligence agencies and other institutions. National point of contact in combating Hate Crime NPCs in Armenia is the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Armenia no official data on racist or xenophobic hate crimes were reported to ODIHR. However Open Society Foundation-Armenia reported one case on physical assault based on race and xenophobic attitude.

No official data on crimes motivated by bias against LGBT people were reported to ODIHR as well. However, Open Society Foundation- Armenia, “Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO and ILGA-Europe reported two physical assaults, one against a group and one against several transgender people; as well as one arson attack against a gay-friendly bar. “Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO reported a further attack on “Diversity” march by a certain group.

Read the report here.

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