Racist harassment ‘commonplace’ in EU, rights agency study shows

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Black people in the European Union are being regularly targeted, the bloc’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) said Friday, urging governments to step up efforts against racism.

“Racist harassment, violence and discriminatory ethnic profiling are commonplace in Europe,” the Vienna-based FRA said in a statement.

The agency pointed to the results of its recent survey among black people in 12 EU countries, in which 30% said they had been harassed and 5% said they had been attacked.

In the survey that was published two years ago, nearly a quarter of the respondents said they were stopped by police in the previous five years, and 41% of those who were stopped felt that racial profiling was involved.

“No one should be targeted just because of the color of their skin. No one should be afraid of a police stop, just because they are black,” said director Michael O’Flaherty.

“We need to work together to eradicate racist practices once and for all in Europe,” he added.

The study comes in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd’s death has sparked a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality, with crowds gathering in more than 140 cities, including outside the White House in Washington.

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