Unia welcomes conviction for vandalism in Jewish district
Unia welcomes the conviction by the Antwerp criminal court of the man who plagued the Jewish district. Unia believed there was a clear hatred motive behind his actions, which is why it joined the action as a civil claimant. Unia regularly draws attention to the need to investigate cases of anti-Semitism or holocaust denial.
‘We felt that these actions were clearly driven by hatred. The man was specifically targeting Jews and their faith. With his destructive rampages, he was guilty of harassing the Jewish community. In addition, we believed that his vandalism offered very clear proof of incitement to hatred or violence against that community. The judge agreed with our arguments,’ says Unia director Els Keytsman.
Fifty-six reported incidents
More anti-Semitic and holocaust denial incidents were reported to Unia in 2017. ‘In total, we counted 56 incidents, mostly abuse and threats. On four occasions we had to work with people who had been targets for violence because they were Jewish,’ says Keytsman. ‘Unia is also a civil party in a case that starts this year: that concerning the deadly attack on the Jewish Museum on 24 May 2014.’
The man has now been given eighteen months in prison, eight of which are suspended, and a suspended fine of 1,600 euros. ‘Reporting hate incidents makes sense, as this judgment underlines.’
Unia reacts to the report on discrimination by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
Out of all survey-respondents of North African and Turkish origin who experienced discrimination in the past year in Belgium, 20% said it had occurred on the job market, while the European average on this point is 12%. This figure was brought to Unia’s attention in the Second EU-MIDIS report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
More employment discrimination cases reported to Unia in 2017
Last year Unia opened a total of 2,017 cases of situations where people felt they were the subject of discrimination. This represents a 6% increase over 2016 (1,907 cases). Instances of employment discrimination were the most frequently opened cases at Unia.
Anti-Semitism remains painfully persistent, particularly on the Internet
Today marks 73 years since the survivors were liberated from the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Sadly, anti-Semitism has far from disappeared. In 2016, at Unia we received no fewer than 109 reports of anti-Semitic offences – more than twice as many as in 2015.
Supermarket convicted of racism in dismissal
The store manager of the Intermarché in Klabbeek was guilty of racism when he dismissed a black employee. That was the ruling of the criminal court of Walloon Brabant. The manager dismissed the man because some customers ‘didn’t want to be served by a black person’. Unia was a civil claimant.