Banning of Pospolitosť ruled unlawful

SLOVENSKÁ Pospolitosť, the far-right organisation which vocally presents its negative opinions of the Roma minority living in Slovakia was hampered earlier this year when the Slovak Interior Ministry disbanded it as a civic organisation only shortly after it had also been banned as a political party. But Slovakia’s Supreme Court, in a ruling recently delivered to the Interior Ministry, states that the disbandment was unlawful and overturned the ministry’s decision. Hence, Pospolitosť is once again a legally registered civic organisation.

SLOVENSKÁ Pospolitosť, the far-right organisation which vocally presents its negative opinions of the Roma minority living in Slovakia was hampered earlier this year when the Slovak Interior Ministry disbanded it as a civic organisation only shortly after it had also been banned as a political party. But Slovakia’s Supreme Court, in a ruling recently delivered to the Interior Ministry, states that the disbandment was unlawful and overturned the ministry’s decision. Hence, Pospolitosť is once again a legally registered civic organisation.

The court ruled that the ministry’s decision-making process was insufficient and that several procedural mistakes were made in the process. The ministry was first required to send a written notice to Slovenská Pospolitosť listing the activities that were considered unlawful. The Sme daily wrote that only if Pospolitosť did not respond or did not stop its unlawful activities would the ministry be entitled to dissolve it as an organisation.

The ministry did instruct Pospolitosť to stop its unlawful actions but then disbanded the organisation only six days afterwards, before Pospolitosť had received the letter, Sme wrote.

The Interior Ministry made its decision to ban the civic association on November 12, 2008, arguing that the organisation instigated hatred for national, racial, religious and political reasons while seeking to reach its aims with methods at odds with Slovakia's constitution and laws.

The order disbanding the organisation was issued only two days before a meeting between Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Hungarian counterpart Ferenc Gyurcsány, organised to discuss the tense relations between the countries.

The Interior Ministry has said it will try again to ban Pospolitosť by following all the required procedural steps.


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