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In advance of a vote in the Senate on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act (S.937) and Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act (S.2043), Joanne Lin, National Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and NO HATE ACT are critical to ensure the United States justice system has the people and resources needed to provide justice and accountability for anti-Asian hate crimes. No one should live in fear of violence and harassment simply for who they are.

“We have seen the horrifying consequences of racist and demonizing language in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as Asian Americans have been assaulted, beaten, bullied, and harassed since the onset of the pandemic. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act addresses the surge in violence against Asian Americans, by assigning a point person in the Justice Department to expeditiously review COVID-19 hate crimes reported to law enforcement.  The bill also provides guidance on reporting of hate crimes, in multiple languages, and expands public education campaigns, and collection of data and public reporting. “Some of the most high-profile hate crimes we have witnessed in the last few years, such as the 2016 murder of Khalid Jabara in Tulsa and the 2017 murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, can go unreported in federal hate crime statistics. Their lives mattered and the crimes committed against them must matter to our authorities and the public, too. The NO HATE ACT would require the Justice Department to conduct research on hate crime reporting and data collection, making clear that this data does matter.

“Amnesty International USA urges senators to vote yes on the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the NO HATE ACT on behalf of our communities throughout the country who have a right to justice and accountability for hate crimes.”

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