THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
Suspected hate crimes reported to the police in Finland during 2018 totaled 910 cases, which is a 21.9% fall from 1,165 hate crimes in the previous year, according to the Police University College.
As in previous years, the lion’s share (86.8% versus 89% in 2017) of all hate crimes were motivated by national-ethnic origin (635 cases) and religion (155). That was followed by sexual orientation (73) and disability (48).
The only group that saw a rise in hate crime compared with 2017 was sexual orientation, which rose by 21.7%.
Of all national groups, the Iraqis faced the highest frequency of hate crime due to national and ethnic origin. The majority of hate crimes due to religious backgrounds were against Muslims.
“One of the biggest reasons why Iraqis saw the highest frequency of hate crime [in 2018] was because they were in 2015 the majroity of newcomers,” said W. Che, a Migrant Tales associate editor. “Vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin justified hate crimes with the support of a hostile environment against Muslims supported indirectly or directly by the police, politicians and the media.”
Twelve percent of all hate crimes reported were directed towards a member of the Roma minority. in Finland.
Jenita Ranta, a researcher at the Police University College, believed that a number of factors caused the fall in reported hate crime cases.
“The first [reason] is that hate crimes went down and that there were less of them,” she was quoted as saying in Yle. “One reason could be that people don’t report them to the police. I believe that the biggest reason is that in 2015, there came a lot of migrants and asylum seekers, which after that we saw a rise in hate crimes. Now there haven’t been so many immigrants [coming to Finland], and it could explain the fall [in hate crimes].”
According to some estimates, only one in five hate crimes is reported to the police in Finland.
Sometimes hate crimes aren’t treated as such as was the case of a Pakistani who was attacked by three Finnish youths in February 2018, who still believes that he was a victim of a hate crime.
A salient question that can be asked in light of the Pakistani case is how the Finnish police treat hate crimes.
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) highlighted the case in its 2014-2018 shadow report on Racist Crime & Institutional Racism in Europe: