Amnesty accuses Austrian police of racism against immigrants, minorities

Immigrants and ethnic minorities living in Austria are more likely to be suspected of crimes than whites and are regularly denied their right to equal treatment by the country's police and judicial system, Amnesty International said Thursday. In a report released in Vienna, the human rights watchdog also said Austrian authorities do not effectively investigate and punish racially motivated police misconduct. "Amnesty International is concerned that the Austrian criminal justice as a whole, and the police in particular, are failing to provide the same level of service to foreign nationals and members of ethnic minorities as it routinely provides the Austrian citizens," the report said. Based on case studies and interviews with lawyers, community leaders, justice system officials and others, the report also found that ethnic minorities in the Alpine republic are subject to a range of negative stereotypes and that these prejudices can impact the behavior of law enforcement officials.