$50,000 damages awarded to black man beaten by skinheads

CBC News, Canada/August 4, 2006

The Quebec Human Rights Commission on Friday awarded $50,000 in damages to a black man who was beaten and stabbed by two neo-Nazi skinheads.

Evans Marseille was drinking in an east-end Montreal bar in June 2002 when a group of men started taunting him with Nazi salutes.

When he went outside to use the phone they followed and attacked him.

Daniel Lavardière stabbed him in the abdomen while Remi Chabot punched him in the face before bystanders could intervene. Both men were convicted on criminal charges.

Marseille says he is satisfied with the commission's ruling, though he feels it's unlikely he will be able to collect the money from his assailants.

But he hopes that if people see that hate crimes will be punished they might think twice before attacking someone.

Fo Niemi of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations calls the ruling a victory for human rights.

"This is the first human rights decision on neo-Nazi skinheads in Quebec against who a substantial amount of damages being claimed," Niemi said.

The Quebec commission ordered the two men to pay $40,000 in moral damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.

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