ADL Applauds New Italian Initiative to Combat Hate Crimes

New York, NY, June 17, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded Italy for its plan to establish a new state police office to monitor, analyze and counteract hate crimes. The initiative comes in response to recent acts of religious and racial discrimination in Italy.

"We strongly support Italy's effort to improve the safety of its citizens and its willingness to recognize the seriousness of hate crimes," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This important initiative demonstrates a strong commitment from the Italian government to identify and respond to crimes motivated by hatred. It will go a long way not only toward countering hate crime inItaly, but also reassure victims that their government can and will respond."

The new police office, to be based in Padua,Italy will act as a monitoring center to protect against religious, racial and sexual discrimination, and incorporate efforts to prevent hate crimes.

In a letter to Antonio Manganelli, Chief of the Italian National Police, the League wrote: "We appreciate your understanding that the documentation of hate crime does not show a country to be excessively dangerous or racist. Data collection and analysis provide the necessary basis for a range of political, policy, education, prevention and response measures to more effectively address hate violence and identify targeted groups."

ADL encouraged Italy to make the hate crime data public, consistent with the commitments it made to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.