Slovakia: Ultra-right tries to exploit tragedy, raise tensions between non-Roma and Roma
Last Saturday's brutal murder in the eastern Slovak town of Dobšiná, of which a 22-year-old Romani man is suspected, is the reason why representatives of the Fascist party of Marian Kotleba, People's Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) assembled there yesterday. The suspect has been taken into custody.
If convicted, the young man faces up to 20 years in prison. The entire event transpired in front of a restaurant in the town in the Rožňava district.
The young man is charged with having assaulted a non-Roma customer in front of the restaurant with a wooden plank, causing him injuries of which he eventually died. Some media outlets are reporting that the two were friends, others that the victim was chosen absolutely randomly by the attacker.
The suspect will be in custody throughout his entire trial. Representatives of Kotleba's party have attempted to exploit the tragedy for their own visibility and appeared in the town on Sunday.
The extremists have been doing their best to exacerbate the tense situation between local ethnic Slovaks and Roma. "Local Roma are afraid. Rumors are spreading that they will be moving away," a close relative of a local Romani resident told news server Romea.cz.
Video footage from the ultra-right "commemoration ceremony" for the death was published by the extremists on their YouTube channel, where speakers talked about "asocial gypsies" and "parasites" and used images of Romani children. At the same time they published an invitation to another petition-signing and protest event scheduled for Sunday, 24 March.
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