A hate crime is a criminal offence where the offender has the aim of hurting the victim because of personal elements such as his/her race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
The offence is committed because the offender has a bias motive. This specific motive makes hate crimes different to other crimes. This type of crime can “be an act of intimidation, threats, property damage, assault, murder or any other criminal offence.” A person’s intolerance and bigotry could also be the trigger of violent actions. Maltese law does not defined the term ‘hate crime’. However, Section 83B of the Criminal Code says that the punishment for any offence shall be increased when the offence is wholly or partially aggravated or motivated by hatred against a person or a group due to his/her or their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, ethnic origin, religion or belief or political or other opinion.
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