Malta Gay Rights Movement has warned that hate crime reports against LGBT+ people aren’t given the seriousness they merit by police.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, the LGBT+ organisation said it had filed “countless” reports over the last two years, but did not receive any information or feedback from authorities.
“We have accompanied several people to the police station. Our employee filed a report against a person behind a Facebook page who was targeting him,” a spokesperson explained.
“In December, we reported a well-known TV personality who physically attacked a trans person and the witnesses have not even been spoken to,” they added.
Despite filing reports, the group said they were left in the dark when it comes to action.
In 2019, MGRM also accompanied a person who filed a police report against an establishment in Paceville, where a gay couple was asked to leave after sharing a kiss.
“Again nothing happened and the little action that was taken took too long,” they said.
This comes as no surprise when a survey found that half of LGBT+ participants said they felt unsafe in Paceville, with some saying they were barred from entering clubs and experienced rampant harassment.
The group mentioned other notable cases, such as several attacks on transgender women Angela Coleiro and Terry Muscat and a video of Raquel Richard where she was told: “people like her should be raped”.
“Whether or not action is taken is not known. We receive zero information from the police, and the people involved have had no information on any proceedings.”
MGRM said it also alerted the Minister for Home Affairs of people at Armed Forces of Malta who “regularly participate” in pages and groups that openly oppose immigration and homophobic discourse.
“Again, no feedback or replies”,” it lamented.
LGBT+ people in Malta had the lowest reported rates of threat and violence in the European Union, according to a recent survey. In fact, just two cases of harassment were reported in the first half of 2020.
However, it hardly paints an accurate picture when the same data found that just 13% of victims of physical and sexual assault reported to the police.
Research also found that COVID-19 had a spiralling impact on the community, with local groups like MGRM reporting an increase of people feeling unsafe during lockdown, with others were unable to afford rent.
Despite these concerning developments, Malta still ranks the best for LGBT+ people out of 49 European countries, with an overall score of 89%, ahead of Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway and France.
What do you think of this? Comment below