Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury urges people to 'call out' hate crime

Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury has urged people to call out hate crime and report incidents to the police.

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He spoke out after attending a rally outside the Scottish Parliament organised by the Muslim Council of Scotland to call for an end to Islamophobia.

He said: “While freedom of expression must be protected, this should not be exercised in a way that incites hatred or acts of violence against others. It is unacceptable that anybody should be a victim of discrimination, prejudice or abuse based upon a protected characteristic.

“I felt it important to attend the rally to firmly show that I believe we should actively oppose, and try to prevent, this kind of hate crime. Minority communities should be confident about reporting incidents of hate and abuse to the authorities and be assured of the support they deserve.

“I believe this starts with authorities and communities openly acknowledging the existence of hate crime and being dedicated to prevent and punish it."

Mr Choudhury urged the Scottish Government to bring forward its new hate crimes strategy as a matter of urgency.

“The Scottish Government also needs to speak out against injustices against minority communities around the world. Similarly, acknowledgement of the lived experiences of minority communities and the effects of hate upon them should be taught and prioritised within the school curriculum and institutions such as Police Scotland.

Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury (left) addresses the rally outside Holyrood.

“I hope that diverse communities can come together to call out hate speech and hate crimes against their fellow citizens, supporting one another so that our ever-interconnected world can flourish through respect, tolerance and togetherness.

“If you witness a hate crime, whether in-person or online, please report this to Police Scotland or a third-party reporting centre.”

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