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JewishJournal.com

January 9, 2013

No hate crime conviction in Malmö in two years, despite record number of incidents

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/no_hate_crime_conviction_in_malmoe_in_two_years_despite_record_number_of_in

Jewish Community Center in Malmo, Sweden, on Sept. 28. Photo by REUTERS/Drago Prvulovic/Scanpix Sweden

Jewish Community Center in Malmo, Sweden, on Sept. 28. Photo by REUTERS/Drago Prvulovic/Scanpix Sweden

Despite a record number of complaints about hate crimes in the Swedish city of Malmö, not a single person was convicted of such offenses in over two years, according to a recent report.

The local daily Sydsvenskan on Jan. 7 reported that in 2010 and 2011, the Swedish court system did not convict anyone of hate crimes despite a record-number of 480 complaints about such incidents reported in those years.

In total, only 16 cases formed the basis for an indictment, none of them over anti-Semitic behavior.

Approximately 700 Jews live in Malmö, amid tens of thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries. The Jewish community’s leaders say a few dozen anti-Semitic attacks occur here annually.

[Related: Why the fate of Malmö’s Jews matters]

Unidentified individuals detonated an explosive charge in front of the Malmö Jewish Community Center in October and broke the building’s door. Police have no suspects in connection with the attack.

According to members of the community, most anti-Semitic attacks are perpetrated by Muslims, though Malmö Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has denied this.

He advised Jews who want to be safe in Malmo to reject Zionism, which he listed along with anti-Semitism as an unacceptable phenomenon. Reepalu has also said the Jewish community had been “infiltrated” by anti-Muslim agents.

Hannah Rosenthal, the United States former special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, last year accused Reepalu of not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism.

According to Sydsvenskan, a total of 4,590 hate crimes were reported to the police in the whole of Sweden in 2012.

Hate crimes are not a punishable category in the Swedish penal code but are considered an aggravating circumstance that can lead to tougher sentencing.

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