The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (VRAX) unanimously denounced statements against minorities found in online discussions.
This impulse stems from the enormous increase in hateful comments in response to the shooting of a Syrian refugee at the Slovak-Hungarian border in early-May. These comments were collected and presented to the committee by the Islamic Foundation in Slovakia, VRAX informed in a press release.
Customs officials close to Veľký Meder flagged down four cars full of migrants that entered Slovakia from Hungary in May 2016. One of the vehicles refused to stop, prompting the authorities to open fire at its tyres, during which the woman was hit.
Moreover, the Slovak Catholic Charity and NGO Human Rights League informed the committee of repeated physical assaults on a young refugee from Somalia including one witnessed by her young son. Over the last year, we have registered a significant rise in hate speech against refugees, foreigners and other minorities which have boiled over into physical attacks against the most vulnerable persons, said Zuzana Števulová, head of the Human Rights League.
“Such a situation is not acceptable and requires not only the activities of the police, prosecution and civil society, but also major political indicators and conviction from the highest authorities of the country,” said Števulová in the press release.
VRAX vice-president Irena Biháriová added that criminal sanctions cannot provide the only and universal solution to the problem in spite of more active support of the use of legal instruments for the fight against this phenomenon.
VRAX asks to investigate and punish perpetrators and for plans to settle in detail the topic of online hateful statements through a special working group. The committee delegated Biháriová to discuss matters with the Interior Minister and the general prosecutor to enhance cooperation in preventing and combating extremism and radicalism, the press release reported.