Slovakia: Candidate offering remuneration to Roma for sterilization
Vladimír Gürtler, an attorney and the leader of the regional "Seven Brave Ones" (Sedm statečných) party who is running for a seat on the Košice City Council representing the Luník IX precinct, is behind a controversial election campaign now underway there. Many Romani people live at the Luník IX housing estate in the eastern Slovakian metropolis, which is often termed a "ghetto" by the media.
One of his campaign posters features Gürtler in a white shirt and white hat and a promise that he will give Romani people plane tickets to Brussels, while on another he promises that Romani women be offered EUR 10 000 for undergoing sterilization. In his campaign video the attorney says human rights experts live off of money intended to aid Romani people and alleges that the funds are being spent in Bratislava on various projects.
Gürtler objects to being called a racist and claims to want to help the Romani residents of Luník IX. "If we don't help them, then we, the majority population of Slovakia, will have serious problems in time," he said.
Police have begun investigating the campaign. Police spokesperson Alexander Szabó has said that a detective has initiated a criminal proceedings in the case.
The question of the sterilization of Romani women is a sensitive one in Slovakia. The country has lost several cases before the European Court of Human Rights regarding illegal sterilizations of Romani women.
Experts estimate that more than 400 000 Romani people live in Slovakia, which has a total population of five million. Romani people have been negatively targeted by electoral campaigns in the past there.
In the runup to the elections to Parliament in 2012, for example, the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) played the anti-Romani card. The party did not win any seats.
- Slovakia: Romani parties nominate hundreds of candidates for local elections
- Slovakia: Renowned Hollywood composer supports Romani EP candidate
- Hungary's Jobbik party agitates in Slovakia, sparking protests
- Slovakia: Growing support for Fascists puts the legislature in reach
- Slovakia: Villages burned by Nazis during WWII elect right-wing extremist today
- Slovakia: Politicians can't avoid Fascist rioter turned provincial governor
- Slovakia: Car belonging to Fascist regional governor's media manager set on fire
- International protest as Fascist regional governor takes office in Slovakia
- Slovakia: Voter preference for backers of Kotleba doubles
- Slovakia loses another forced sterilization case in Strasbourg
- Open Letter: Conveners of Holocaust commemoration are too quiet after politician disgraced it
- Romani candidate has actual chance of becoming an MEP after party chair in Slovakia withdraws and backs him
- Czech Senator compares environmental, gender equality, multiculturalism advocacy to racism and totalitarianism at Holocaust site
- Italy: Almost 1 000 Roma and Sinti march in Milan on Romani Resistance Day
- Commentary: What can the European elections improve? The Czech Republic's global image
- Czech doctor prioritizes registration of Romani patients and receives hateful threats from non-Roma
- Pope stands up for Romani people attacked by (neo)Fascists in Rome who threatened rape
- Slovak President-elect says a single court decision cannot solve the problem of extremism and Fascism
- Spain: Two Romani men and two Romani women elected to national legislature, an historic success
- Czech Republic: Romani family harassed by xenophobic neighbors with vulgar abuse and threats
- Romania loses at the European Court of Human Rights, must compensate Roma family for police brutality
- Report from Prague's anti-EU demonstration: The little guys on all sides