In Malmo, record number of hate crimes complaints but no convictions

(JTA) — A record number of complaints about hate crimes in the Swedish city of Malmo has not resulted in any convictions for such offenses in more than two years.

The Swedish court system did not convict anyone of hate crimes in 2010 and 2011 despite 480 complaints, the local daily Sydsvenskan reported Monday.

In total, only 16 cases formed the basis for an indictment, none of them for anti-Semitic behavior.

Malmo Jewish community leaders say a few dozen anti-Semitic attacks occur annually in the city. Approximately 700 Jews live in Malmo amid tens of thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries.

Last October, an explosive charge was detonated in front of the Malmo Jewish Community Center in October and the building’s door was broken. Police have no suspects in connection with the attack.

Malmo Jews say most anti-Semitic attacks are perpetrated by Muslims; Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has denied the assertion.

Reepalu advised Jews who want to be safe in the city to reject Zionism, which he listed along with anti-Semitism as an unacceptable phenomenon. The mayor also has said that the Jewish community had been “infiltrated” by anti-Muslim agents. 

Hannah Rosenthal, the former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, last year accused Reepalu of not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism.

According to Sydsvenskan, a total of 4,590 hate crimes were reported to the police in Sweden in 2012. Hate crimes are not a punishable category in the Swedish penal code but are considered an aggravating circumstance that can lead to tougher sentencing.

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