Athena Institute

Magyar

Hate crimes in Hungary: 2011

2012-03-20
The Athena Institute updated its Hate Crime Record database that now includes all reported cases committed in 2011. Earlier, the Institute published cases that had been committed since the end of 2008 and was reported by credible sources. A comparison of data makes it obvious that basic tendencies and the general picture did not change in the past few years: in Hungary the overwhelming majority of hate crimes are committed with racist motivation mostly targeting Roma Hungarians.

In addition to tracking extremist groups in Hungary and analyzing major incidents in a European scale , the Athena Institute monitors hate crimes, because their effects go beyond direct victims: in a symbolic - political - sense these attacks are always committed against the whole community and reduce the sense of security in these broader circles. Only the Athena Institute carries out systemic data collection in this field in Hungary while this effort also enables comparative analysis.

According to our findings, basic tendencies and the whole picture did not change much during last years: in Hungary an overwhelming majority of hate crimes are committed with racist motivation, however one fourth were motivated by anti-Semitism. Consequently, most crimes were committed against members of the Hungarian Roma community while the Jewish community was also targeted in a significant number of the cases. Data also shows that serious hate crimes continued to be committed by organized extremist groups (Roma serial killings, Gyöngyöspata, Budapest Pride). This also implies that the phenomenon can be contained if organized perpetrates are sanctioned properly by Hungarian authorities and especially the justice system.


Detailed data

The statistical summary below was developed on the basis of the detailed Hate Crime Record maintained by the Athena Institute. Due to limitations deriving from methodology, collected data do not reflect reality perfectly, but it properly reflects the general tendencies and main features of the phenomenon.


In Hungary during 2009 reported and verified hate crimes

  • were motivated by racism in 61 percent of the cases, anti-Semitism in 22 percent, homophobia in 8 percent and anti-Christian hatred in 3 percent of the cases,
  • 75 percent of the cases did not cause personal injury, 9 cases resulted in personal injury and 4 victims died,
  • 36 percent of the crimes were committed in Budapest, 6 percent in a county seat and 58 percent in other rural settlements,
  • 47 percent of the cases were committed against individuals, 53 percent were committed against property or vandalism.


In Hungary during 2010, reported and verified hate-crimes

  • were motivated by racism in 55 percent of the cases, anti-Semitism in 26 percent, homophobia in 16 percent and anti-Christian hatred in 3 percent of the cases,
  • 74 percent of the cases did not cause personal injury, 23 percent caused personal injury and 3 percent were fatal,
  • 27 percent of the crimes were committed in Budapest, 27 percent in a county seat and 46 percent in other rural settlements,
  • 55 percent of the cases were committed against individuals, 32 percent were committed against property or vandalism, 13 percent caused both personal injury and damage in property.


In Hungary during 2011, reported and verified hate-crimes

  • were motivated by racism in 55 percent of the cases, anti-Semitism in 24 percent, racism and anti-Semitism together in 10 percent and homophobia in 10 percent,
  • 83 percent of the cases did not cause personal injury, while 14 percent caused personal injury,
  • 31 percent of the cases were committed in Budapest, 7 percent in a county seat and 55 percent in other rural settlements,
  • 72 percent of the cases were committed against individuals and 28 percent were committed against property or vandalism.


The database includes all confirmed cases committed with a clearly identified hate motive in Hungary since 2009 and were reported by authentic sources. While compiling the database Athena Institute analysts have reviewed tens of thousands of press accounts, government and NGO reports and other documents. Accordingly, the Hate Crime Record is not comprehensive and includes only reported cases - but in general, it provides clear guidance concerning bias-motivated tensions manifest in Hungary.

The Hate Crimes Record database may be reached via the Institute's website both in Hungarian and English language. Key statistics as well as the applied method may also be found there.