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Slovak MP charged with insulting Romani people and inciting hatred on the radio

7.12.2017 6:20
Slovak MP Milan Mazurek (2017). (PHOTO:
Slovak MP Milan Mazurek (2017). (PHOTO:

Milan Mazurek, a Slovak MP with the neo-Fascist "People's Party Our Slovakia" (Ľudové strany Naše Slovensko - ĽSNS), which is led by the former Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region, Marián Kotleba, has been charged because of remarks he made against Romani people during an interview last year for the Frontinus radio station in Žilina. The radio station, moreover, violated the ban on inciting hatred and was fined EUR 15 000 over the broadcast.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor charged Mazurek on Monday, 4 December with defamation of a nation, race and convictions and for incitement and intimidation of persons because of their affiliation with a certain race, nation, nationality, skin color or ethnic group. The MP is a member of the Human Rights Committee in Slovakia's unicameral legislature.

Mazurek spoke on the radio program about alleged "inadaptability", social advantages, violence and vandalism committed by ethnic Roma, insulted them, and mentioned that Islamic immigrants pose a threat. "We do not need to pour EUR 300 million for seven or eight years into a single community, to build playgrounds in the Gypsy settlements that they destroy, preschools that they destroy, we do not need to teach them to use computers or to dance, we need to give them work to do," he said during the interview.

"Houses alone in those Gypsy settlements are costing EUR 150 million for people who have never done anything for our nation, for our state budget, for our culture - exactly the opposite, they have decided to live this anti-social lifestyle and to suck our social system dry," the MP alleged. According to the Slovak Prosecutor, these remarks, in the context of the entire radio appearance, meet the definition of degrading speech against ethnic Romani people, are of a racist nature, and their content fulfills the intention of sparking hatred against the members of that ethnic group.

"The intention to call forth hatred against members of that ethnic group flows from that content," the prosecutor stated in the justification of the charges. Mazurek has previously cast doubt on whether the Holocaust ever happened, comparing it to a fairy tale.

"I am not defending any regime, but we just know the lies and fairy tales about the Third Reich and the six million [Jews murdered] and about soap made from Jews. The same lies are taught about Hitler," Mazurek posted to his personal Facebook account.

The prosecutor decided not to charge him for those remarks at the time. Other members of the neo-Fascist L'SNS have a problem with the law as well.

In July party leader Marián Kotleba was charged by police with displaying sympathy for a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms because, as the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region, he gave checks to socially vulnerable families worth EUR 1 488. The numbers "14" and "88" stand for the "14 words" of white supremacist David Lane, while "88" stands for "Heil Hitler" in contemporary neo-Nazi code (8 is the eighth letter of the alphabet).

Slovak MP Stanislav Mizík (ĽSNS) faces charges of warning about the alleged Jewish origins of several public figures who received state honors from Slovak President Andrej Kiska this year. Moreover, Prosecutor-General Jaromír Čižnár filed a motion to dissolve the ĽSNS with the Supreme Court in May 2017.

Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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