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Are there legal definitions of racist incident and racist violence?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Crime Legislation & Implementation
11/01/2012 - 11:22
Short Answer

Not as such.

Qualitative Info

The police does not have a definition of what constitutes a racist crime per se. It has a code describing the elements which an incident must have in order to be recorded in its mechanism for recording racial incidents. According to the police action plan of 2004, which was the basis for setting up the police’s recording mechanism, an incident will be defined as racially motivated if it is perceived to be racially motivated by the victim, by a member of the Cyprus Police, by a person who was present and who witnessed the incident or by a person acting on behalf of the victim. According to information supplied by the police to the RAXEN NFP in 2008, the aforesaid recording mechanism did not record complaints of racist incidents, but only offences with a racist motive. This represents a departure from the original policy of recording racist incidents, as it was originally conceived in 2004. In February 2008 the mandate of the Police Bureau for Combating Discrimination was extended following the Equality body’s recommendation, to cover and record not only racial offenses but also racial incidents (as defined inter alia by the victim). An Equality body self-initiated investigation in 2009 (Report ref. ΑΚR/ΑΥΤ 2/2008, dated 26.01.2009) revealed that the unit does not have the mechanism in place to record racial incidents; only a small number of racial offenses were recorded. These do not necessarily become the subject of prosecution, as the Attorney General's office is reluctant to pursue a case whose success is not guaranteed.


Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance, Inter-ethnic, Intra-ethnic, Nationalism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Anti-racism, Daily life
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