Slovak Police investigate suspected racially-motivated assault against dark-skinned French student
A 20-year-old dark-skinned French student was assaulted over the weekend of 11-12 February in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. A 31-year-old Slovak man has been charged with grievous bodily harm and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
The man charged is suspected of committing his attack with racial motivation. Czech Television reports the incident happened in a bar at night.
The assailant allegedly injured the student's face using a broken drinking glass and threatened to kill him. "People around him did their best to prevent him from continuing his assault, but he vulgarly abused the victim. The motivation for the attack is said to have been the victim's skin color," Slovak Police Presidium spokesperson Denisa Baloghová said.
According to the Slovak newspaper Denník N, the victim is a student visiting Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica as part of the Erasmus student exchange program. The case is being investigated by an elite police unit that focuses on the most serious crimes.
"This is the first report of criminal extremism in which the prosecutor has remanded a suspect into custody since the new legislation took effect here," said Andrea Predajňová, spokesperson for the Slovak Prosecutor-General. An amendment has applied in Slovakia since January 2017 that is meant to aid investigations of extremism by making them more effective.
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