The Execution Department has published a new thematic factsheet on Hate Crime and Hate Speech. Hate crime is a criminal act motivated by bias or prejudice towards a person or group of persons while hate speech concerns various forms of expression directed against a person or group of persons on the grounds of the personal characteristics or status of the person or group of persons. The Court has noted in its judgments that discriminatory treatment can in principle amount to degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention where it attains a level of severity such as to constitute an affront to human dignity. When investigating violent incidents, State authorities have the duty to take all reasonable steps to unmask possible discriminatory motives.
The factsheet provides various examples of general and individual measures reported by States in the context of the execution of the European Court’s judgments, concerning the combat against racially motivated hate crimes which may emanate from security forces, private individuals or groups targeting Roma and migrants, hate crime and hate speech targeting LGBTI persons and religiously motivated hate crime and hate speech.