Thousand attend vigil after right-wing fanatic Juraj Krajčík, 19, targeted two victims on Wednesday this week, then killed himself. A far right group called White Terror has declared him a 'saint'.
After the victims, yet to be named, were killed outside Bratislava’s Teplaren Cafe close to the city centre on Wednesday evening, Slovakia’s first woman President, Zuzana Caputova, raised a rainbow flag outside her office, and joined a vigil held yesterday to commemorate the victims.
Another woman was injured, and is now in a stable condition in hospital.
After a brief manhunt, police found the body of the 19-year-old gunman, who is believed to have shot himself, on Thursday morning.
He was identified as Juraj Krajčík, the son of a former far-right politician.
Just before the killings, he had posted an anti-LGBT and anti-Semitic manifesto on Twitter, warning that he would carry them out. He later also claimed responsibility.
Horrifyingly, a group calling itself White Terror declared Krajčík “a saint”.
It posted this message:
On October 12, 2022, Saint Juraj Krajčík—Tarrant’s 6th Disciple and Terrorgram’s first Saint—killed 2 faggots and injured 1 at an LGBT coffee shop in Bratislava, Slovakia …
Organisers estimated that 20,000 people took part in the vigil, mourning the men’s deaths and demanding action on LGBT rights.
Caputova, speaking at the event, said:
I’m sorry that our society was not able to protect your loved ones. You belong here, you are valuable for our society.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger, above, was also at the vigil, organised by the Inakosť (Otherness) Institute, an LGBT advocacy group.
Slovakia’s National Crime Agency has classified the shootings as premeditated murder, motivated by hatred of a sexual minority.
It has sparked calls for more protection of LGBT people in Slovakia, a relatively conservative, predominately Catholic EU country.
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Slovakia, but households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
While Slovakia grants same-sex couples limited legal rights, namely in the area of inheritance, the country does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions as of 2022. Slovakia, unlike its neighbour, the Czech Republic, holds more conservative views on issues dealing with LGBT rights.
The BBC’s Rob Cameron, in the neighbouring Czech Republic, said some Slovaks were angry at what they see as hypocrisy from politicians.
While the Prime Minister held a rainbow flag at the rally, in June an MP from his party called—unsuccessfully—for a ban of the flag on public buildings.
European Parliament Vice-President Michal Simecka, who was also at Friday’s event, said he wanted the European legislature to discuss the murders at a session next week. It’s objective:
To express our sympathy, but also to call on the Slovak authorities to take clear steps to put an end to the language of hatred towards LGBTI people.
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