Concluding observations on Latvia (excerpt on hate crime/speech) CERD, 2018

5. The Committee also welcomes the following legislative and policy measures taken by the State party:
(..)
(b) Amendments to Article 74 of the Criminal Law in 2014 to criminalize “public glorification of genocide, crime against humanity, crime against peace or war crime…”;

(..)

14.The Committee is concerned that unofficial data show a higher number of hate crimes and hate speech than are officially reported and at reports that victims of hate crimes are unwilling to report crimes to the authorities. The Committee is concerned about the use of hate speech by politicians in relation to the upcoming election. The Committee is also concerned about the use of hate speech on the Internet, and regrets the lack of detailed up-to-date information about the implementation and impact of the amendments to the Criminal Law on punishment of hate speech on the Internet (art. 4).

15. Recalling its general recommendation No. 35 (2013) on combating racist hate speech, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Review the adequacy of its current legislation in addressing and sanctioning racist hate speech and incitement to racial hatred, and ensure that the legislative framework conforms to article 4 of the Convention;

(b) Prioritize the collection of reliable and comprehensive statistics, disaggregated by the ethnicity of the victims, on reports, investigations, prosecutions, convictions and sanctions for racist hate speech, hate crimes and incitement to racial hatred, and provide such data in the next periodic report;

(c) Develop training programmes on proper methods for identifying, registering, investigating and prosecuting racist incidents, hate crimes and cases of hate speech;

(d) Ensure that all reported incidents of racist hate crimes and hate speech, and incitement to racist violence are effectively investigated and, as appropriate, prosecute and punish acts of hate speech, including those committed by politicians during political campaigns;

(e) Take measures to prevent the use of hate speech on the Internet. Provide updated detailed information on the implementation and impact of the amendments to the Criminal Law on punishment of hate speech on the Internet, in its next periodic report.


Document data: adopted 23.08.2018, public 30.08.2018. CERD/C/LVA/CO/6-12 Link:  https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CERD%2fC%2fLVA%2fCO%2f6-12 (also in Russian)

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