Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Slovakia; his supporters clash with Slovak human right activists

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Slovakia for a two-day visit with nourishing economic cooperation on his agenda. However, the arrival of the Chinese president, who is scheduled to meet Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, among others in the Slovak capital, was far from what Bratislava has seen during recent visits of other state officials.

Supporters of Chinese President Hu Jintao clash with Slovak human right activists.Supporters of Chinese President Hu Jintao clash with Slovak human right activists. (Source: TASR)

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Slovakia for a two-day visit with nourishing economic cooperation on his agenda. However, the arrival of the Chinese president, who is scheduled to meet Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, among others in the Slovak capital, was far from what Bratislava has seen during recent visits of other state officials.

Before the arrival of the Chinese president, a stormy fight exploded between Slovak human right activists who were protesting against human right violations in China and supporters of the Chinese official who were thought to be part of the president’s security detail.

According to a video released by the Sme daily, the supporters of the Chinese president attacked people assembled in the public square. Those persons were tearing protest signs from the hands of demonstrators and it appeared that the police were approving of this or were not reacting at all, daily Sme wrote.

Six Slovak human right activists were arrested along with three Chinese supporters of President Hu Jintao. Sme also reported that the deputy rector of Comenius University, Peter Osuský, was beaten up along with a Chinese member of the Falun Gong movement.

Sme described the actions of the police as being as if they did not see the attacks on the Slovak activists.

“The ratio of the arrested Slovaks and Chinese also proves that the police – instead of protecting Slovak citizens – devoted their attention to the Chinese colleagues in suits with communication devices in their ears,” the daily wrote.

The activists’ declared goal was to push Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic to discuss China’s human right records with the Chinese president.

It is the first visit of a Chinese president to Slovakia since the country gained independence in 1993 while Slovakia is the only EU country which hosts Hu Jintao during his European tour from June 18 to 19.

The visit is also to mark the 60th anniversary of the forming of the Peoples Republic of China and the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic contacts between China and Slovakia, which used to be Czechoslovakia at that time, newswire TASR wrote.

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and Hu Jintao are scheduled to discuss current bilateral and multilateral issues as well as relations between the EU and China.

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