A STAND against racist and xenophobic hate speech online and elsewhere has taken place across 11 countries, with four arrests in Spain alone.

Law enforcement authorities raided multiple locations simultaneously across Europe on Thursday, April 7, targeting some 176 individuals.

Many were allegedly guilty of offences such as dissemination of racist and xenophobic hate speech, calls to violence, and incitement to commit offences. 

Spanish authorities targeted five individuals and arrested four of them for disseminating hate speech online. 

ARRESTED: Video courtesy of Europol

In Austria, authorities carried out 12 house searches, questioned eight individuals and seized electronic devices, mobile phones, weapons and propaganda material.

The day included a coordinated focus targeting online hate speech throughout Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. 

Europol Offices 2

This resulted in 58 articles being reported to the relevant service providers for a review against their terms and conditions concerning online hate.

The operation was also meant to act as a deterrent preventing hate crime, racism and xenophobia from spreading both online and offline. 

A Europol statement reads: “Assumed anonymity does not hinder law enforcement from taking measures against unlawful acts; this day of action on hate crime sends a clear signal to individuals spreading violent hatred on the internet that their actions will be detected and attributed.”

READ MORE: Spain given €1 million by Europol to fight international organised crime

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