ECRI 5th report on Latvia (excerpts on religion), 2018

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

I Common topics

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2. Hate Speech17

17 According to ECRI’s GPR No. 15 on combating hate speech, “hate speech” shall mean the advocacy,promotion or incitement, in any form, of the denigration, hatred or vilification of a person or group of persons, as well as any harassment, insult, negative stereotyping, stigmatization or threat in respect of such a person or group of persons and the justification of all the preceding types of expression, on the ground of “race”, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, language, religion or belief, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and other personal characteristics or status

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Hate speech in political and other public discourse

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30. Following the terrorist attacks in France (2015) and Belgium (2016), an increase in Islamophobic rhetoric and hate speech was also noted in Latvia.27 In 2015, an Islamic cultural centre was targeted with graffiti.28 In the context of discussions about Latvia accepting EU quota refugees, further Islamophobic comments were observed, also equating refugees to terrorist threats and targeting migrants in general.29

27 ENAR (2017): 10.
28 OSCE / ODIHR (2018).
29 International Federation for Human Rights / Latvian Human Rights Committee (2016).

Hate speech on the Internet

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32. Extreme examples include the case of a Latvian entrepreneur who used the Internet for inciting racial hatred against dark-skinned persons and stating that he was prepared to shoot them. In another case, comments were posted calling for the burning of persons who have converted to Islam.32 The Jewish community also informed ECRI about a number of antisemitic Internet postings.

32 LCHR (30 June 2016).


Document data: CRI(2019)1 adopted 04.12.2018 published 05.03.2019 Link: https://rm.coe.int/fifth-report-on-latvia/1680934a9f

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