Slovakia: Four Romani girls and their mother die in house fire, police investigate racist comments about the news on their own Facebook page
Five people, four of them children, died in the early morning hours of Friday when their home in eastern Slovakia caught fire. The Czech News Agency was informed of the incident by the firefighter service.
The tragedy happened in the village of Richnava near the town of Krompachy and the reason the fire started is not yet clear. The fire broke out in a four-room one-story building, the roof of which fell in during the blaze.
Slovak Interior Ministry experts were sent to the scene to ascertain the causes of the blaze. Police said a 28-year-old adult and four children between the ages of five and nine perished in the conflagration.
Media reports say the deceased were a mother and her daughters. Slovak President Andrej Kiska and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) have expressed their condolences to the bereaved.
The victims of the blaze are Romani, and comments began to quickly appear beneath the online media articles about the tragedy that were anti-Romani and racist. Such behavior even appeared in discussions on the official Facebook profile of the Slovak Police.
The Slovak Police have intervened forcefully against the racist comments and those writing them. "All of the racist commentaries have been delivered to a specific department and the authors of them can anticipate a summons soon. Their access to the page has been blocked so they no longer have any way to 'erase' their tracks," the Slovak Police stated.
"The biggest 'hero' among them, a 'Patrik Idunk', managed to erase his commentary in time, but we have captured the entire discussion, so he does not have to fear that we might forget about him," the administrator of the police's Facebook profile said. Tragic fires in Romani settlements are common in Slovakia.
For example, last December two people lost their lives during a house fire in the Romani settlement of Jarovnice near the eastern Slovak town of Sabinov. In 2015, during a similar tragedy in the village of Sačurov near Vranov nad Topľou, also in eastern Slovakia, three Romani children died.
- Romani people adopted as children from Slovakia to Sweden 20 years ago revisit their native settlement
- Slovakia: Victims of police raid on Romani settlement on trial for perjury
- Sixty years ago the "law on the permanent settlement of itinerant persons" was adopted in Czechoslovakia
- Slovakia has 41 Romani mayors - 39 male and two female - a record high
- Students in Slovak town object to protest seeking to exploit still-unclarified tragedy
- Slovak Foreign Minister expresses gratitude to the EU for peace and security, warns against hateful ideologies
- Czechoslovak Legionnaires on the Italian front - Romani fighters and their sad fates
- Portugal: Christian radio station awarded prize for working to reduce inter-ethnic tension in Slovakia
- Slovakia: Two-day meeting of V4 presidents was to cover Romani community issues, among other matters
- Czechoslovakia launched the forced resettlement of Romani people 53 years ago
- ROMEA to Czech President: Romani life in communist Czechoslovakia included forced assimilation, forced sterilization of women, segregated education
- Slovak PM on Romani settlements: Incentivize employment, no tolerance for disorder
- Slovakia now has an MP from the Romani minority, Štefan Vavrek
- Slovakia: Girl from impoverished Romani family wins race running in flats
- Slovakia: Chair of neo-Nazi party indicted for using Nazi symbols on checks
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community: Žilina is a textbook example of hate crime
- Slovakia: Romani youth in critical condition after brutal racist attack, police say they see no racist motive and make racist remarks themselves
- Romani man dies after Czech Police kneel on his neck, they say drugs caused his death. Romani activists see parallels to George Floyd
- More Roma citizens of Romania attempting to cross from Mexico into the USA to seek asylum this year
- Football hooligans and neo-Nazis blame all Roma for violent crime and march through Czech town, riot police deployed
- Czech extremists move from inciting anti-Romani hatred to railing against "COVID terror" ahead of fall elections
- Czech appeals court exceptionally reduces sentence for social media user who approved of Christchurch massacre, notes current law is imbalanced
- Slovak MP who is also a Romani community member accused of sexually abusing a teenaged girl, claims he is innocent
- Vojtěch Lavička on the Ostrava incident: Knowing how to communicate can prevent dangerous conflicts
- František Kostlán: Both the Jews and the Roma were victims of the Holocaust
- Czech lower house committee chooses attorney now facing disciplinary action for making light of racist crime to join public broadcasting board
- Czech court hands down sentencing in pool brawl case, one Romani man acquitted for having attempted to stop the altercation
- 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