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Letter to the Editor: Skinhead attack prompts woman to leave Slovakia

Dear Editor,

I am a new reader of The Slovak Spectator, and in the pages of your newspaper I am getting to know a lot about Slovak society.

Concerning the recent skinhead problem, I would like to draw the Slovak government's serious attention to this issue. It was not until Mr.Sun's case [Shizhong Sun, First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy in Bratislava, was attacked with two companions by a gang of skinheads on a Bratislava bus on July 24. He received a broken nose, cheekbone and rib - ed. note] that the seriousness of this social problem was unveiled.

I am a Chinese girl who has been here for a very short time, and now I never dare to wander around the city at night or alone because of so many warnings from my friends. In the beginning, I got to know a few Slovak people, and I found them very nice. I thought that this was a lovely city, and that I didn't need to be so careful.

Then tragedy happened. It was the first time that I and my 66 year-old aunt had gone out alone at night.We went swimming until 10:00 pm, and then we waited for a tram to take us home. Suddenly, a skinhead appeared in front of us and gave us each a punch.

We were so scared that right then we decided not to go out any more. We want to leave the country as soon as possible. I really hope that the goverment can look into this problem and stop skinhead attacks from happening.

So many foreigners suffer racial violence in Slovakia, but nobody reports these incidents to the police. The police have lost their credibility, and the public no longer has any faith in them. This is a very serious problem which needs to be highlighted.

Skinheads are so easy to recognise that I am surprised the police do not keep a closer eye on them and minimise the number of tragedies that occur, especially in areas frequented by tourists. A greater police presence is required to guarantee the safety of both the Slovak public and that of visitors to the country.

Kathy
Bratislava

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