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Racism Van: Go Home!

In late July, the British Home Office launched a controversial pilot scheme to tackle illegal immigration. For one week, six government-sponsored campaign vans circled North London with an uncompromising message: “Illegal in the U.K.? Go home or face arrest”, including a text number to report suspicious activities. However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) effectively put […]

A More Tolerant Poland

A More Tolerant Poland

For many Poles, co-hosting Euro 2012 was a chance to showcase their country on the international stage. After all, it would be the biggest international event staged in Poland since the collapse of communism: Millions of euros were pumped into improving the stadiums and Poland’s often maligned transportation infrastructure and, despite initial fears, all these […]

Racism Persists In Croatia

Racism Persists In Croatia

Mersiha stood in front of a modernist apartment block  on Varsavska street in the centre of downtown Zagreb and nervously rang the bell at the entrance for the umpteenth time. She called the same mobile number over and over. She looked up at the light in the fourth floor window, in what might be her […]

Your Friend and Helper?

Vienna’s police have a dismal record of racism, and the courts aren’t doing much to change it. Yet, there are signs of change.

An Abridged History of Violence: Notable Cases of Abuse by the Austrian Police

May 1999 Markus Omofuma The 25-year-old Nigerian suffocates after being bound and gagged by Austrian immigration police on a deportation flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, a procedure that investigations later reveal was common. The three police officers responsible receive suspended sentences for causing death through negligence. They are allowed to continue in service. April/May 2000 Richard […]

Foreign Spouse

Foreign Spouse

Alan had a comfortable life working as a manager for a packing company in Mexico City, earning the equivalent of €3,500 a month. As a young engineer, he was building a successful career doing what he loved most. Then, one night at a trendy club in an exclusive neighbourhood, he met a striking young woman […]

Justice Served?

Justice Served?

Toni walks down a long hall in the Vienna courthouse (Landesgericht für Strafsachen), his regard fixed ahead of him, his gait relaxed, a slight tremble in his hand. At the end of the hall his two assailants from the night of his beating stand waiting to enter the courtroom. As he enters with a solemn […]

Let’s All Play Bye Bye Mosque

A blatantly anti-Muslim online computer game launched by the far-right Freedom Party FPÖ in the Austrian Federal State of Styria has triggered outrage and led to widespread censure by the country’s leaders. The game with the provocative title “Moschee Baba” (“Bye bye Mosque”) was uploaded Sept.1 as part of the FPÖ election campaign in Styria, […]

The Plight of the Roma

The Roma have been persecuted across Europe for centuries. Now they face a form of discrimination unseen in Europe since World War II: group evictions and expulsions from several European democracies of men, women, and children on the grounds that they pose a threat to public order. Last week, France began to carry out plans […]

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