Organisers of the first Gay Pride Parade in Slovakia strongly disagree with the statements of Deputy Prime Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Dušan Čaplovič, who said on May 26 that topics of high social sensitivity like homosexuals’ rights require tolerance on both sides, the SITA newswire wrote.
The spokeswoman for the event, Romana Schlesinger, said that in the wake of statements by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, who advised that citizens should hire private security services for public rallies instead of fulfilling the duties dictated by his post, Čaplovič’s statement is seen by the organisers as the second scandalous remark by a government representative.
Schlesinger said that if it were not outrageous enough that a top state representative in the area of human rights and minorities failed to move at his own initiative to defend the event, it appears now that he is calling for tolerance toward violent neo-Nazi groups. She told SITA that last Saturday neo-fascist protesters, posing as protectors of the “traditional family” had thrown stones and tear gas canisters at those gathered for the planned event, saying that they certainly did not come to philosophise on issues of social sensitivity, as Čaplovič would have people believe.
Amnesty International (AI) sent a letter to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák on May 26 in which it expressed its concerns about the alleged failure of the Slovak police to protect those who took part in the Rainbow Pride Bratislava 2010 parade from extremists, Ľudmila Ďurajová from AI told the TASR newswire.
According to AI, it would have been possible to prevent various incidents that occurred during the parade if the police had been better prepared. Therefore, AI is calling on the Slovak authorities to investigate carefully and impartially the physical attacks that took place and to prosecute the culprits.
Sources: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
27. May 2010 at 14:00