Photo: Alena Krempaská speaking at a DiEM25 event, source: politicalcritique.org
UNITED would like to express solidarity with our friend and colleague Alena Krempaská of Inštitút ľudských práv – Human Rigths Institute in Bratislava, who was brutally attacked while leaving her office on Monday evening. All available evidence suggests that her attackers were neofascist thugs, whose violence was motivated by Alena’s recent high profile activities against far-right populism in Slovakia.
We call upon the Slovak authorities to thoroughly investigate the motives for her attack, to ensure that her attackers are swiftly brought to justice, and that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
UNITED considers this a hate crime: apart from the clearly misogynistic comments made by her assailants, the main motivation for this crime appears to have been her political beliefs and activism. We thus call upon the Slovak authorities to treat the crime as a hate crime under section 140 of the Criminal Code of Slovakia.
Furthermore, we call upon European states, the OSCE, FRA and other intergovernmental organisations to update and clarify their definitions of hate crime to include crimes motivated by the victims’ political views and social activism. In a climate of rising populism and increasing hostility towards civil society, it is vital that all stakeholders ensure that such politically-motivated violence and intimidation is rightly condemned.
In a democratic society, no one should be made to be afraid to speak out and participate in civil life. If they are, it can no longer be considered a democracy.