France regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. France's hate crime laws are a combination of general and specific penalty-enhancement provisions. Hate crime data are collected by the Ministry of Justice, the National Institution for Human Rights, the police and the Gendarmerie. Hate crime data are regularly published by the National Institution for Human Rights. France conducts regular surveys of hate crime victimization.
The Ministry of Justice continued to implement its National Action Plan against Racism and anti-Semitism, which involves the following: reforming the statistical system to enable a better understanding of racist and anti-Semitic hate crimes; better alignment of hate crime statistics across the Ministries of Justice and the Interior; setting up a web-based platform to report racism and anti-Semitism on the Internet; implementing an agreement with the non-governmental organization LICRA to support victims of discrimination; creating anti-discrimination focus points in magistrates’ offices and establishing specialist prosecutors. In addition, the Department of Justice and Freedoms co-operated with the Ministry of the Interior to harmonize their analysis of and information about hate crime, and to make it accessible to the public. An inter-ministerial circular was signed and highlights the importance of the web-based platform, while encouraging co-ordination among investigation agencies.
The French government also carried out a number of specific actions in relation to responding to hate crime based on bias against LGBT people. This included the following: the release of an interim report on the government action programme against violence and discrimination committed on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; the issuing of a circular setting out the appropriate criminal justice response to such cases; and the implementation of multidisciplinary training by the National School of Magistrates. In addition, the Minister for Justice issued an instruction for prosecutors’ offices that highlighted the following issues: the need to provide a firm and appropriate response to criminal violence and discrimination committed on the basis of bias against LGBT people; the need to enhance information services for victims; the importance of strengthening the relationship between the judiciary and specialized associations; the need to set up alert mechanisms for reporting and to ensure a timely response to offenses; and the importance of maintaining regular contact with the Rights Defender.
On 5 November, the Central Office of the Judicial Police of the National Gendarmerie was given the authority to coordinate hate crime investigations.
Incidents reported by civil society, international organizations and the Holy See
European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses / Jehovah’s Witnesses – France reported a series of physical assaults against two Jehovah’s Witnesses, including one sexual assault against a woman and physical assaults against a man that also involved racist insults. World Without Nazism reported one physical assault against several Chinese students in which a glass bottle was used as a weapon, causing serious injuries.read more ›
World Without Nazism reported one incident in which tear gas was sprayed into a Roma home and one arson attack against a Roma settlement.read more ›
The Jewish Community Security Service reported one attempted murder; 49 physical assaults, including one assault resulting in serious injury against a rabbi and his son; one assault against a Jewish family, in which an iron bar was used as a weapon; and one threat against the same school in Toulouse where a shooting took place in 2012. The organization also reported one arson attack; 52 incidents of damage to property, including synagogues, and one case where the wall of a Jewish school was urinated on; and 119 incidents of graffiti. World Without Nazism reported three incidents of physical assault causing serious injuries, including one against a Jewish family that resulted in the hospitalization of two girls and one against a rabbi and his son; six physical assaults; one attempted physical assault with a knife against a Jewish girl; one attempted bombing; one attempted arson; and one incident of threats. They also reported two incidents of the desecration of synagogues; three incidents of graffiti; and one incident in which shots were fired at a Jewish community building.read more ›
The Association Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) reported 38 physical assaults, including 11 causing injuries and four in which weapons were used. Racism Islamophobia Watch reported one physical assault resulting in serious injury against a Muslim woman, during which the woman’s headscarf was also pulled off her head and ripped; three incidents of the desecration of mosques, including one where a pig’s head was left outside; and one incident of damage to a home. World Without Nazism reported one physical assault against a pregnant Muslim woman wearing a headscarf, causing serious injury; a further three physical assaults, including one against a Muslim girl who was wearing a headscarf; one attempted physical assault; 17 incidents of the desecration of mosques, including three incidents where pork, and, in one case, a pig’s head, were left outside; two arson attacks, including one against a mosque; and one incident of graffiti on several buildings.read more ›
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians reported 18 incidents of the desecration to places of worship – two of which included burglary– three incidents of arson, two incidents of damage to property and one incident of graffiti. The European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses / Jehovah’s Witnesses – France reported one physical assault causing serious injury; a further 25 physical assaults, two of which involved the use of weapons; six threats; one attempted arson attack on a place of worship; five incidents of damage to property; 29 incidents of the desecration of places of worship; and four incidents of graffiti on places of worship. World Without Nazism reported one physical assault on a Catholic priest, 12 incidents of the desecration of places of worship, and two incidents of the desecration of places of worship.read more ›
Transgender Europe reported the murder of a transgender woman, in which a hammer was used. World Without Nazism reported a physical assault by a group on three employees of a gay bar, resulting in injuries.read more ›
The Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson‑in‑Office on combating anti-Semitism conducted a country visit to France. Following the visit, the Personal Representative presented his recommendations, which included enhancing data collection on hate crimes, police training on hate crimes, security assistance to Jewish communities and taking steps to combat cyberhate.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published findings from a survey on experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism conducted in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey showed that many respondents have been victims of anti-Semitic violence and harassment, and feared becoming hate crime victims in the future. The survey also mapped the extent of unreported anti-Semitic hate crime. FRA recommended that EU Member States consider taking a number of steps to improve the reporting, recording, investigating and prosecuting of hate crimes.
Holy See information
The Holy See reported four cases of grave desecrations. One of these cases, which was also reported by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, involved damage to a church building. Another case of damage to a church and two further cases of vandalism were also reported by the Holy See. French authorities notified ODIHR that they cannot provide information about individual cases.
ODIHR observes that France has met OSCE commitment on hate crime data collection and reporting. ODIHR further observes that data on certain OSCE-mandated bias observations have not been reported and that France did not report sentencing data for 2013.