Thousands protest against homophobia in Slovakia after LGBTQ+ bar shooting

President Zuzana Caputova raised the rainbow flag next to the national flag at the Presidential Palace, exclaiming: “Let’s not remain silent in the face of hatred”.

Huge crowds marching at the anti-homophobia protest in Slovakia.
Image: Twitter: @ZuzanaCaputova

Thousands have taken to the streets of Slovakia to protest against homophobia in the country. This comes after two people were tragically killed, and another injured, as a result of a shooting outside a queer bar in Bratislava last week.

Among those assembling in the streets of the capital city were Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova, Primer Minister Eduard Heger and the Mayor of Bratislava Matúš Vallo. Caputova also raised the rainbow flag next to the national flag at the Presidential Palace, exclaiming: “Let’s not remain silent in the face of hatred”.

“This week we lost two LGBTQI+ youths to hatred and intolerance. Hate crimes are an attack on the whole society, of which the LGBTQI+ community is a valuable member,” the first-ever female President of Slovakia stated at the protest.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims of the horrific Bratislava attack and the whole LGBTQ community… Words can become weapons. Hate kills. As politicians, we must evaluate every word we say before it is too late,” she added.

On the evening of Wednesday, October 12, Juraj Krajcik opened fire outside a well-known queer venue, Tepláreň, in Bratislava. Two men under the age of 30 died as a result of the attack, and another woman, who is an employee of the venue, was taken to hospital for her injuries. 

After a brief manhunt, the body of the 19 year-old gunman was found hours after the fatal shooting, with reports stating that he had a series of homophobic and anti-Semitic posts on his social media. Krajcik is said to be the son of a former prominent far-right politician, and he allegedly used his father’s weapon to carry out the attack.

Slovakia’s National Crime Agency has described the incident as premeditated murder, motivated by hatred of a sexual minority.

Speaking to The Slovak Spectator, venue owner Roman Samotný commented: “It hurts terribly, because the people who died were also our friends and loved ones. It’s a huge loss. A huge loss of people, and a loss of home. Tepláreň was home for us. It was where we felt safe. We were like a family.”

He continued by stating: “It was not an accident. The killer came there to execute people. He’s been planning this for a long time, if the Twitter posts are true. He came simply to murder LGBT+ people. He probably wanted as many of them as possible to be there. He just came to kill.” 

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.