Slovak media and NGOs welcome conviction of right-wing extremist
Marian Kotleba, the head of the ultra-right opposition party "Followers of Kotleba - People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS) has been convicted after many years of promoting an ideology involving the suppression of human rights and freedoms and it is high time the courts begin prosecuting such extremism, according to several newspapers and NGOs in Slovakia responding to Monday's verdict by a first-instance court sentencing Kotleba for organizing an event during which he gave donations in the amount of EUR 1488 to three families using novelty checks. The court agreed with the prosecution's case that Kotleba had intentionally used the numbers 14 and 88, which according to detectives are known and used as extremist symbols.
"This verdict confirms not just what we have been saying, but what other organizations and activists have been saying for years: Marian Kotleba is a neo-Nazi," said the head of the Human Rights Institute (Inštitút ľudských práv - IĽP) Peter Weisenbacher. The Post Bellum SK organization also expressed its delight at the news that extremism is finally being prosecuted in Slovakia.
The IĽP called on the Prosecutor-General to file a new motion to dissolve Kotleba's party; the Slovak Supreme Court rejected a previous motion in the spring of 2019. A new Prosecutor-General is slated to be appointed by the national legislature by the end of this year.
According to the former Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, the public should not cast doubt on court decisions in general. "If we want to build faith in state institutions and the justice system in Slovakia, then we must learn it is necessary to respect court decisions irrespective of whether they correspond to public opinion," he said; his new party HLAS – sociálna demokracia (Voice-Social Democracy) is the second most popular in the country according to opinion polls.
The daily newspaper Sme wrote that Kotleba has long promoted an ideology aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, calling the verdict a message for all the politicians who see him as a possible partner. "The court was quite clear: Kotleba broke the laws of this country in the name of an ideology that is incompatible with democracy," the paper wrote.
The newspaper Denník N wrote that: "Numbers without symbolic meaning are just facts. Numbers with generally-known symbolic meaning in context are code, 1488 is an example of exactly that."
According to Denník N, Kotleba has been testing the limits of his freedom ever since he became the leader of the "Slovak Solidarity-National Party" (Slovenské pospolitosti-Národní strany). That party was dissolved in 2006 by the Supreme Court.
Kotleba is appealing the first-instance verdict, which sentenced him to four years and four months in prison. If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict he will lose his seat in the national legislature.
- Slovak politician gets 4 months and 4 years for establishing a movement to suppress human rights, he appeals
- Slovak Prosecutor says party head clearly used neo-Nazi symbolism so his followers would know his views
- Slovak President commemorates WWII-era National Uprising to which Roma also contributed
- Slovak Prime Minister says the Holocaust and its Romani victims must be remembered so that its "bloody history" will never be repeated
- Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová on the Holocaust and its Romani victims: Romani people are a full-fledged component of our society
- VIDEO: European Roma Holocaust Memorial ceremony at Auschwitz was virtual this year, Slovak and Austrian Presidents spoke
- Slovak trial of fascist party chair becoming protracted, he alleges the judge is biased
- Slovak court finally rules on brutal assault by neo-Nazis seven years ago in Nitra, they appeal
- Slovak Prosecutor: Fascist pandemic is just as dangerous as COVID-19, trial of extreme politician begins tomorrow
- Czech and Slovak extremists do their best to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking the EU and public broadcast media
- Slovak elections: Opposition OLaNO wins, no growth in votes for fascist party
- Video footage surfaces of Slovak politician bragging about throwing Romani people into a river when he was younger
- PHOTO ESSAY Yet another protest against fascist party in Slovakia, Roma turned out as well
- Slovak MEP of Romani origin rebukes fellow MEPs who are Holocaust deniers
- Slovak fascist party second-strongest in polls, yet another protest forces its rally to relocate
- Slovakia: Opponents of fascist party prevent it from assembling, play Romani music
- Slovakia: Romani people protest against Fascists in the east
- Slovakia ahead of elections: Romani candidate suing fascists for defamation
- UK: Anti-fascists, Roma, students thwart planned meeting of Slovak fascists in London
- Slovakia: Ultra-right calls for "asocials" to be sent to labor camps, police investigating
- Czech court sentences brutal, racially-motivated assailant who attacked Romani man in front of children to 7.5 years in prison
- Czech footballer appeals UEFA ban, insists he never said anything racist
- Czech court gives suspended sentence to attacker who threatened to kill Romani women and their children with an ax
- Czech court reopens case against accused neo-Nazis that has lasted more than a decade
- Belgium: Man who posted racist death threat about Black TV host sentenced to prison time and a fine
- Germany: Trial begins of 12 suspected members of ultra-right terrorist group
- Czech court orders director of housing corporation to apologize to Romani community member for abusive remarks
- Czech bodybuilder's fine upheld for approving of Romani man's murder, he says he will appeal again
- The disinformation pandemic: Who are the Czech "anti-maskers", and could they seize power?
- Czech court sentences man who praised deadly terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques to six years in prison, the longest such sentence yet
- Czech court finally rules football fans' actions during attack on Black man should be considered misdemeanors, not felonies
- Czech Prosecutor General appeals case to Supreme Court, says antisemitic death threats are a crime, not a misdemeanor