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The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) provides official information about 3,614 hate crimes reported in the Netherlands in 2013, 83 of which resulted in criminal cases.

It should be understood that there is no separate codification of hate crimes in the Netherlands. As in the United States, they are considered only as aggravating circumstances in the commission of other crimes under the country's criminal code.

According to the OSCE / ODIHR, there were 5,721 hate crime cases in 2014, while criminal proceedings were initiated in 133 cases. According to non-governmental organisations, 60 such crimes were committed, which seems to be an understated figure, since this it most likely does not take into account non-violent crimes. Despite the fact that there is no unified statistics, there is some fragmentary data. In particular, according to the Israel Information and Documentation Centre, in 2014 there were 171 anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

In 2015, OSCE / ODIHR reported 5,288 hate crime cases in the Netherlands. Data on criminal cases is absent. Experts from non-governmental organizations give a figure of 289 incidents, which is likely, again, a statistic of only violent crimes.

In the same year, 126 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in the country (6 attacks, 24 verbal insults, 16 cases of insults in educational institutions, and 12 insults on the Internet).

The hotline for reporting Islamophobia recorded a total of 158 cases of violence against Muslims in the Netherlands in 2015. In 90 percent of these cases, women wearing headscarves were targeted. 29 percent of those incidents involved physical violence. According to Dutch expert on radical nationalism and Islamophobia, Ineke van der Valk, 39 percent of the 475 mosques in the Netherlands have experienced discriminatory aggression, for example arsons. Sixty-eight percent of the mosque organizations that filled in a survey stated they experienced some kind of aggressions, mainly the smashing of windows. Eighty-five percent of these incidents were reported to the police, but 51% didn’t feel they were helped or taken serious by the police. According to a member of Contactorgaan Muslim en Overheid, Yassin Elforkani, most of anti-Muslim incidents are carried out by individuals. For example, in Almere, a man drove into a group of girls on his bike, kicked them and called them ‘f*** Muslims’. In Rotterdam, a girl was spat at and mosques sprayed with graffiti.

In October 2015, the Netherlands witnessed a new wave of violence after Geert Wilders called on supporters to ‘resist’ the setting up of refugee centres. Far right groups mobs organized several violent protests to “disrupt” meetings organized to discuss the location of temporary refugee centres. Halbe Zijlstra, who leads the VVD parliamentary party, received a letter with a bullet and two cars belonging to a local Groen Links representatives were set on fire. In reaction to these incidents, the leaders of all the main Dutch political parties, including Wilders, have issued a joint appeal for an end to threats and intimidation in the debate over refugees.

In 2014, 5 hate crimes against LGBT people were recorded, including physical assaults causing serious injuries. The hate crime statistics are not available for 2015, except for the five gay asylum seekers in Amsterdam who have been moved to a new location after they were spat on and attacked by other people in their refugee centre.

According to the OSCR, 4376 cases of hate crimes have been reported to the police (data for 2017 is unavailable)[1], of which 1723 were categorized under “racism and xenophobia”; 335 as “anti-Semitism”; 352 as “bias against other religion”; 1320 as “bias against sexual minorities”; and others are unspecified. The police figures include hate speech incidents, data reported by local anti-discrimination services, and online hate speech incidents, which could not be separated.

A worrisome trend seems to emerge in Amsterdam. According to mayor Jozias van Aartsen, the number of incidents targeting minorities in the city is on the rise.[2] In 2017, the discrimination hotline for the Amsterdam region received more and increasingly violent reports.[3] The hotline received a total of 392 reports about discrimination based on origin, skin color or ethnicity, an increase of 25 percent compared to 2016.

Four anti-Semitic in 2017 involved physical violence. In one case, two Israelis were stabbed in an elevator on July 18 in a suburb of Amsterdam. A witness later testified that the assault was anti-Semitic. Two 18-year-old men were sentenced to prison for the assault. The victims were not in the Netherlands during the trial and therefore the witness’ testimony was not substantiated. Another incident, dated 26 June, involved a Jew of Syrian descent who was assaulted on Amsterdam’s Dam Square for wearing a Star of David pendant.[4]

On 7 December 2017, a man attacked a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam while waving a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The synagogue incident occurred on 31 December 2017 at Chabad Central Amsterdam, when unidentified individuals hurled bricks at one of the building’s windows in what a police spokesman told the weekly was an incident “with all the signs of a deliberate attack against a Jewish institution.”[5]

In 2018, 3,299 hate crimes were officially recorded in the Netherlands. Of these, 312 (i.e. less than 10%) went to investigation and 91 cases went to trial. Police data include cases of hate speech, data provided by local anti-discrimination services, and cases of online hate speech that cannot be disaggregated. Police-reported hate crimes are identified by bias motive, as follows:

  • Based on racial hatred - 1,442 episodes.
  • Motivated by hatred towards sexual minorities - 847 cases.
  • Hate motivations for religions other than Judaism and Islam - 151.
  • On Islamophobic motives - 137.
  • Based on gender-based hatred - 28.
  • Based on hatred of people with disabilities - 16.

In 2019, the picture was slightly different. There were only 2016 hate crimes, of which 343 were investigated. No data on court convictions were available. Of those:

  • Racially motivated hate crimes were 654.
  • Anti-LGBT motives - 574.
  • .
  • Antisemitic motives - 257.
  • .
  • For other religious hatred - 100.

In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a slight increase in reported hate crimes. Only 2,133 episodes were reported, of which 409 were investigated. Most cases reported to police included physical assaults (699), threats (638) and property damage (602). Of those:

  • Racially motivated - 737 cases.
  • Motivated by LGBT hatred - 629 cases.
  • Motivated by anti-Semitism - 119 cases.
  • On the grounds of religious hatred other than Judaism - 72 cases.

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