THE LEADER of the fascist group Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness), Marián Kotleba, was arrested with 11 of his supporters on August 29 at a ceremony to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) in Banská Bystrica.
According to the president of Slovakia's police corps, Ján Packa, Kotleba was detained because he attempted to interrupt the ceremony.
Kotleba and his supporters attempted to get into the SNP complex shortly after the ceremony began. Group members wore blue T-shirts with inscriptions saying "Slovenská Pospolitosť" and "On Guard", a greeting used by the Nazi Hlinka Guard during the Second World War in Slovakia.
Slovakia's Constitutional Court outlawed Slovenská Pospolitosť on March 1, 2006 due to its political activities, which the court judged to be against the Constitution.
The group is known for wearing uniforms that resemble those worn by the fascist militia during the 1939-1945 Nazi-puppet Slovak state. The group also chants fascist slogans at its rallies, and distributes racist literature.
Several juveniles were among those detained on August 29, police said.
Prime Minister Robert Fico, who attended the ceremony in Banská Bystrica, called Slovenská Pospolitosť "half-mad people who are damaging Slovakia's reputation". He added that strong measures would be taken against such groups.
- Martina Jurinová