Slovakia: Number of extremist crimes drops
The number of crimes connected with extremism and racial motivation has fallen in Slovakia in recent years. The Slovak Interior Ministry announced these findings on 20 March.
Last year Slovak Police discovered 66 such crimes, most frequently involving the banned promotion of various extremist and radical opinions. A total of 40 persons faced investigation and prosecution on these grounds, with police managing to solve half of the cases.
In 2011, detectives in Slovakia investigated 243 cases of extremist and racist crime. Police also reported that extremist crime is now being committed more online.
"The development of these crimes indicates the trend of manifestations of racial discrimination and other forms of intolerance gradually moving recently from the 'streets' to 'virtual space'. In many cases this criminal activity is perpetrated through social networking sites," the Slovak Interior Ministry warned.
These crimes involve various incidents of defamation of a nation or a population group or incitement to ethnic, national and racial hatred. Social networking sites reportedly also serve for trafficking in extremist paraphernalia.
The authorities believe that the influence of perpetrators' entourages, their family environments, and the Internet all contribute to these extremist displays, as does the allegedly inappropriate influence of the media. The ministry noted that right-wing radicals have changed their procedures now.
"These activities are beginning to be more sophisticated and are marked by long-term planning with the aim of raising the money that is unavoidably necessary if their aims are to be achieved, which recently have mainly been politically motivated," the ministry said. Authorities also mentioned contacts between these groups and organizations abroad, such as the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS) in the Czech Republic.
The report on the development of extremism in Slovakia also included the People's Party "Our Slovakia" (LSNS), which is not seated in Parliament, among those entities holding extremist opinions; Marian Kotleba, who was elected the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region in 2013, works in that party. Both Kotleba and the party are infamous for their anti-Romani propaganda.
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