Antisemitisme.be reported six physical assaults and four threats, and mainly targeted Orthodox Jews, as well as an incident of graffiti where a house was covered in swastikas.
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Report Data - Belgium - 2013
Racism Islamophobia Watch reported one physical assault against a Turkish boy, who was stripped naked and forced to drink beer and eat pork, and three incidents of the desecration of mosques, including one incident where pigs’ heads were left outside.
Cavaria reported seven physical assaults, including five assaults resulting in serious injuries, two of which were carried out by group and one in which broken glass was used, leading to the victim being hospitalized. The victims were mainly gay men, but also included three lesbians.
The three Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairperson‑in‑Office on tolerance and non‑discrimination made a joint visit to Belgium. Following the visit, the Personal Representatives presented their recommendations for the country, which included enhancing the relationship between law enforcement agencies and Muslim communities, police training on hate crimes and guidance on hate crime monitoring and data collection.
In its fifth report, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended that the Belgian authorities ensure that the new regulations for collecting data on racist, homophobic and transphobic incidents are applied in practice, and that they designate a contact person responsible for monitoring racist, homophobic and transphobic crimes in each police district.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published findings from a survey on experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism conducted in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey showed that many respondents have been victims of anti-Semitic violence and harassment, and feared becoming hate crime victims in the future. The survey also mapped the extent of unreported anti-Semitic hate crime. FRA recommended that EU Member States consider taking a number of steps to improve the reporting, recording, investigating and prosecuting of hate crimes.
ODIHR observes that Belgium has not reported on hate crimes separately from cases of hate speech and/or discrimination.
Where possible, data only relating to discrimination and hate speech offences are excluded. Hate crimes figures include incitement to violence based on racism or xenophobia against a group, a community or an individual.
Official figures record 60 homophobic crimes recorded during the first six months of 2013.
The Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and Discrimination (CECLR) carried out a number of activities with Belgian authorities in 2013. In Joint Circular Col 13/2013, the CECLR invited the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Interior to set up a monitoring system to analyse the statistical data on discrimination and hate crimes and the reliability of police and public prosecutor recording mechanisms.
In addition, the CECLR carried out awareness-raising activities on hate crime with magistrates, prosecutors and the police; developed and released guidance on investigating and prosecuting hate crime; developed a hate crimes checklist for police in partnership with Antwerp police; and carried out trust-building activities in partnership with local complaint bureaus to encourage the reporting of hate crime in five cities.
The ministries of Justice, Equal Opportunities and the Interior launched an Action Plan to address homophobia and transphobia.
The Holy See and the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe reported the case of a bias-motivated murder of an elderly woman in a church. Belgian authorities confirmed that the case is under prosecution and that no bias motive had been registered.