Rise in far-right hate crimes in Austria

Austrian authorities say hate crimes by the extreme right spiked 28 percent last year.

In its 2010 report on criminality, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday that it recorded 580 hate crimes by far rightists, including “xenophobic/racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic as well as other acts.” The report says that compares to 453 such crimes in 2009. It says 48.6 percent of such crimes were successfully investigated, compared to 44.2 percent in 2009.

Islamophobia has grown in recent years in Austria, in addition to stubborn anti-Semitic sentiment on the part of some citizens. The rightist Freedom Party, which includes fringe neo-Nazi supporters, has exploited such anti-Muslim feelings to gain popularity.

Associated Press, 27 September 2011