Spanish police said Wednesday they arrested two individuals on hate-crime charges after an alleged assault on a pregnant woman wearing a niqab.
According to the police statement released Wednesday, on Monday night the woman and her spouse were walking with their children in a central area of Barcelona.
The woman was in an "advanced state of pregnancy" and wearing a niqab -- a veil covering the face.
Police say two people approached the family and started insulting them for the way the woman was dressed. Both individuals had ties to extreme right-wing sports groups, investigators said in the statement.
In response to the insults, the husband began to reproach the individuals for their offensive comments, witnesses told police.
The men were said to have started pushing the husband and when they started a heavier assault, the woman intervened. Directly after, one of the aggressors kicked the woman in the side of her pregnant belly, witnesses said.
Quickly, bystanders jumped in to stop the attack and called the police, according to the statement.
When officers arrived at the scene, after talking to the suspected assailants and the witnesses, they decided to arrest both individuals on charges of hate crimes, discrimination and for causing bodily harm.
Last year Barcelona saw the highest number of recorded hate crimes in Spain. In 2015, 215 incidents of hate crimes were reported in Barcelona, followed by Madrid with 159 incidences, according to an official government report.
These numbers represent hate crimes ranging from xenophobia to homophobia.
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