During the first six months of this year, the Victim Support Agency received 34 complaints in connection with hatred crimes.
The reports included crime relating to political believes, racial hatred and even due to sexual orientation.
The agency’s chief executive Brian Farrugia appealed those who face hatred crimes to seek assistance.
This week countries will be commemorating the European Day for Victims of Hatred Crimes.
22 of the cases reported this year included hatred comments on the social media, five were related to political believes, three on ethnic origins or citizenship, and four due to gender identity or sexual orientation.
Dr Alex Herrera from the victims support agency, told TVM that hatred speech or writings breach the law which may also lead to a prison sentence. “There is a crime in itself, Article 82A of the criminal code, which may lead to a prison sentence, or when the speech has a certain hate material”.
Mr Brian Farrugia stated that the agency does not only receive reports and investigate them in collaboration with the Police, but it also offers support to the victims and their relatives. “Hatred crimes greatly affect an individual; they create fear, anxiety, anger and psychologically affect a person. Therefore, we appeal to individuals to report such crimes in order to support these victims”.
Anyone who wish to report hatred speech may phone on 2568 9700 or on Victim Support Agency’s Facebook page.
The agency’s chief executive said that each case is treated with great care by a multi-disciplinary team which investigates each case and provides support to victims and relatives.