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Anti-Semitic hate crimes rise in 2009: report

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07:54 CEST+02:00
The number of anti-Semitic crimes reported in Sweden rose 57 percent last year, mainly in the southern region of Skåne, the national crime prevention council said on Thursday.

Last year, 250 anti-Semitic crimes were reported, primarily in Skåne, the report said, adding the overall number of hate crimes reported in Sweden had remained unchanged.

"In 2009, 5,800 hate crimes were reported. Crimes against foreigners or with racist motives continue to dominate and the reporting of anti-Semitic crimes has increased," the council said in a statement.

Presenting its latest hate crime statistics report, the council added that it did not know if there had been an actual increase in the number of anti-Semitic crimes or merely in their reporting.

Crimes and threats against the small Jewish community in the southern city

of Malmö recently received much media and political attention.

Education Minister and Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund met with Jewish community leaders earlier this year after it was reported some Jews decided to leave the city

because they felt unsafe.

Malmö Mayor Ilmar Reepalu was criticised in the media for failing to stop the crimes or even fuelling the anti-Semitic sentiment in the city.

Of the hate crimes reported in Sweden in 2009, 71 percent were against foreigners or motivated by race, 18 percent were related to sexual orientation, 10 percent had religious motives (Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, or anti-religious crimes) and one percent were against transexuals.

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