ODIHR Releases Hate Crime Report for 2015

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)‘s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released its hate crime report for 2015, consisting of data from 41 participating countries. 113 non-governmental organizations contributed to the data about hate crimes in these 41 countries, including the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, reporting hate crimes in Lithuania.

Found at the bottom of each country page, key observations are prepared by ODIHR based on the commitments on hate crime collection made by each participating country. The issues addressed by the observations range from those related to basic commitments, such as the need to periodically report information or data to ODIHR on hate crimes, to more specific commitments, such as providing data disaggregated by bias motivations, or encouraging victims to report in collaboration with civil society.

In the column of the 2015 report dedicated to Lithuania, ODIHR noted that the Police Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs provided information on 24 hate crimes recorded by police, of which 16 had racist or xenophobic motivation, and 8 were committed on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Of the 24 hate crimes recorded in 2015, 1 qualified as physical assault, and 23 as incitement to violence against individuals on the grounds mentioned above. Of the cases presented by the Police Department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, only 5 perpetrators were tried, and 4 were sentenced for their crimes.

LGL and international LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons) rights organization „ILGA-Europe“ provided ODIHR with reports of 2 hate crimes against LGBT* individuals.

ODIHR notes in the 2015 hate crime report that reliable statistics on hate crimes are not publicized in Lithuania. It is also pointed out in the report that the Lithuanian authorities responsible did not provide any data to ODIHR about hate crimes recorded in 2014.

Information is provided to ODIHR by governments, non-governmental and international organizations. Official report data is submitted directly from participating countries through a customized online questionnaire. ODIHR works closely with organizations providing information about hate crimes and helps them effectively submit their statistics.

ODIHR published a report on hate crimes each year. In 2006, ODIHR was commissioned by OSCE member states to collect statistical data and information on hate crime legislation, investigation, prosecution and conviction, as well as to share best practices.