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Concluding Observations, CAT/C/SWE/CO/6-7, 18 November 2014: Sweden

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations

Hate crimes

15. While noting the priority consideration given by the Equality Ombudsman and the National Police Board to combating and preventing hate crimes, the Committee remains concerned at reports of violence and criminal acts motivated by hatred towards minorities and other vulnerable groups in Sweden, including Muslims, Afro-Swedes, Roma and Jews, as well as persons belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In that context, the Committee is concerned at a series of violent attacks in Malmö and at the low level of compensation paid to thousands of Roma Swedes, whose names were registered by the police in southern Sweden owing to their ethnicity. The discrepancy between increased reports to the police of hate crimes and the decrease in the number of preliminary investigations and convictions is a matter of concern. According to reports before the Committee, during 2007, 155 cases of agitation against ethnic minorities were reported, but the Attorney General initiated proceedings against barely 6 of them (arts. 12, 13 and 16).

The Committee recalls its position that the special protection of minorities, or marginalized individuals or groups especially at risk, is part of the obligation of the State party to prevent torture or ill-treatment (see general comment No. 2, para. 21). In that respect, the State party should intensify its efforts to prevent and prosecute criminal acts motivated by discrimination, intolerance, hatred or negative stereotype by:

(a) Ensuring effective investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators;

(b) Collecting detailed information and statistics on the number and type of hate crimes, on the administrative and judicial measures taken to investigate and prosecute such crimes and on the sentences imposed;

(c) Increasing awareness-raising and information campaigns to promote tolerance and respect for diversity, as well as measures fostering a sense of security for communities at risk.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CAT-Sweden-2014-eng