Slovak Parliament condemns growing displays of extremism
The Slovak Parliament approved a resolution yesterday expressing concerns over the growing displays of extremism, hatred and intolerance in Slovakia. The legislature has done so in response to the fatal May attack on a Filipino man in the center of Bratislava who succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
"Extremism and xenophobia are trying to occupy an ever-bigger part of the public space, whether that be on social networks, in the streets, or unfortunately in politics. If we do not stand up to this today, these kinds of actions will keep happening, and that will have horrible consequences for our society and state," the declaration reads.
According to the Slovak legislature, displays of extremism, hatred and intolerance have recently culminated in more than one case of violence against victims who were either foreign nationals, senior citizens, vulnerable people or women. The text of the resolution was supported by almost all MPs present, including representatives of the ultra-right "Kotleba-Lidová strana Naše Slovensko" (People's Party Our Slovakia - LSNS).
In the debate on the resolution, several lawmakers engaged in verbal exchanges with Slovak MP MIlan Mazurek (LSNS), who claimed to condemn violence, but also asked rhetorically what had been so exceptional about the above-mentioned attack on the Filipino man that Parliament had to condemn extremism in its aftermath. Mazurek also said several attacks had been committed by "Gypsies" against other inhabitants in Slovakia but had not, according to him, earned much attention.
Opposition MPs responded by reminding the legislature that Mazurek was part of the group who shouted vulgar language and threw objects at members of an Arab family in Bratislava in 2015. In the incident last month, the Filipino man attempted to protect women who were colleagues of his from being bothered by the Slovak man, who then kicked the Filipino in the head.
Footage from security cameras captured the attacker then photographing the motionless body of the Filipino and placing his foot on him. The incident sparked a reaction of rejection from politicians and the public, as well as criticism over the approach taken by the prosecutor, who did not remand the attacker into custody until after the case was publicized.
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