Malta’s Hate Crime and Speech Unit provided nine people with free legal assistance since it was established, Ministry Home Affairs revealed.
Following a parliamentary question posed by Therese Commodini Cachia, the ministry reported that the unit dealt with a total of 63 victims of hate speech and hate crime. From this figure, 39 people received emotional support and eight were referred to therapy.
Since it’s opening in 2018, 251 reports were filed with the Hate Speech and Crimes Unit. It found that 161 did not meet its criteria to constitute incitement of violence or lacked evidence.
The Hate Crime and Hate Speech unit was set up in October 2019 to provide legal and psychological support for victims of hate crime.
Malta has some of the highest amounts of online hate speech in the EU, with a 2018 Eurobarometer reporting more than half (55%) of Maltese saying that hate speech was the illegal content they were most likely to encounter accidentally online.
What do you make of these figures?