Hate crime

A hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime)[1] is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) of a certain social group or racial demographic.

Examples of such groups can include, and are almost exclusively limited to ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.[2][3][4] Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called "bias incidents".

"Hate crime" generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by bias against one or more of the social groups listed above, or by bias against their derivatives. Incidents may involve physical assault, homicide, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse (which includes slurs) or insults, mate crime or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).[5]

A hate crime law is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence.[6] Hate crime laws are distinct from laws against hate speech: hate crime laws enhance the penalties associated with conduct which is already criminal under other laws, while hate speech laws criminalize a category of speech.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the violence against people of Asian origin significantly increased on the background of accusation of spreading the virus.[7][8][9] In May 2020, the Polish-based “NEVER AGAIN” Association published its report titled “The Virus of Hate: The Brown Book of Epidemic”, that documented numerous acts of racism, xenophobia and discrimination that occurred in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, as well as cases of spreading hate speech and conspiracy theories about the epidemic by the extreme right.[10]

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