Spain sees convictions for homophobic hate crimes spike in 2022

CONVICTIONS in Spain for homophobic hate crimes rose 25% in 2022 compared to the year before. That’s according to a yearly report from the public prosecutor that was released last week, and reported by Spanish daily El Pais

The number of sentences handed down for such offences rose from 30 in 2021 to 37 in 2022, according to the prosecutor. The Prosecutor General, in fact, expressed his concern over the trend last Thursday in the presentation of the document. 

“The prosecutor’s report warns of the rise in offences motivated by LGBTQ-phobia, which hold the top spot for convictions for hate crimes and discrimination, followed by racism and xenophobia,” said Alvaro Garcia Ortiz.

There were just 169 homophobic attacks registered in Spain in the year 2015, according to Interior Ministry figures. But by 2021 this figure had risen to 466, falling slightly to 459 the following year. 

A prosecutor specialising in such cases told El Pais that the increase could be down to more victims reporting the attacks to the police. Or it could be because there are more such offences being committed. 

“I’m not ruling out that it is a combination of both circumstances,” Miguel Angel Aguilar told the paper. 

Campaigning groups for the LGBTQ+ communities point to the effect that far-right parties such as Vox have had on attitudes

“The far right puts us on the same level as the sick, as paedophiles, and they accuse us of influencing the sexual orientation of young children,” Fran Fernandez, the coordinator of a collective called Lambda, told El Pais

A study in Spain published earlier this year found that nearly 9% of people from the LGBTQ+ communities have suffered some kind of homophobic physical attack.

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