Slovakia. President Zuzana Czaputova among protesters against hatred against LGBTI people

More than 20,000 people participated in the march against hatred against LGBTI people in Bratislava on Friday evening after the murder of two young people from the community on Wednesday evening. Politicians, including President Zuzana Czaputova, participated in the march and in the rally.

On Friday, a march against hatred against LGBTI people took place in Bratislava. Over 20,000 people took part in the demonstration, including politicians led by President Zuzana Czaputova.

President of Slovakia Zuzana CzaputovaJAKUB GAVLAK / PAP / EPA

Czaputova said she was sorry that society had failed to protect the victims and that some LGBTI people did not feel comfortable with Slovakia safely. – You belong to us, you are valuable to our society – assured the president.

In emotional speeches, the owner of the bar in front of whom the shooting took place was called not to close it. They warned against hatred towards minorities and accused politicians of creating an atmosphere conducive to aggression. It was urged to pay attention to the words spoken, as they may have tragic consequences.

A march against hatred against LGBTI people took place in BratislavaJAKUB GAVLAK / PAP / EPA

Murder of two people at an LGBTI bar

On Wednesday evening in Bratislava, 19-year-old Juraj K. shot two young people (26 and 23) in front of a venue where LGBTI people were meeting. The perpetrator used a 45 mm caliber pistol with a laser sight, the police informed. According to media reports, the gun belonged to the killer’s father, policemen use the term “relative”. According to the investigators, Juraj K. acted alone and had no partners. Before he was arrested, he committed suicide.

He left a suicide note at home.

In Bratislava, a 19-year-old shot two people outside a venue where LGBTI people were meetingJAKUB GAVLAK / PAP / EPA

Hate crime

At a press conference of the police and the prosecutor’s office, it was found that the committed act could be reclassified from hate murder to terrorism. If prosecutors change their qualifications, possible positive assessments, e.g. on the Internet, will be subject to a sanction of up to 10 years imprisonment.

The head of the special prosecutor’s office dealing with the most serious crimes and crimes, Daniel Lipszyc, said the murder was undoubtedly a “hate crime” against people who have a different sexual orientation. According to the police, the investigation so far does not indicate that the attacker knew his victims.

Investigators noted that the proceedings concerned, inter alia, entries posted by Juraj K. on the Internet, where he left a manifesto aimed at Jews and the LGBTI community. He urged violence against them. One of the posts contains a photo of the apartment of the Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger. Among other things, this trace persuades investigators to reclassify the act as terrorism.

Main photo source: JAKUB GAVLAK / PAP / EPA