Monday, May 20, 2024

‘Radicalized’ teen kills two outside gay bar

In what could be further example of Europe’s shift to the Right, a “radicalized teenager” shot dead two people outside a gay bar in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said.

A gunman killed two people and wounded another near the Teplaren bar in the city centre on Wednesday evening, police said. The suspected killer was found dead on Thursday morning, officers said.

“I strongly condemn a murder of two young people shot dead in Bratislava last night by a radicalised teenager,” Heger posted on Twitter.

“No form of white supremacy, racism and extremism against communities, incl. LGBTI, can be tolerated,” he added.

Local police said they have not yet determined the motive behind the shooting and asked the public for patience as they investigated it as a potential hate crime.

However, Slovak media already reported the suspect had posted messages with the phrases “hate crime” and “gay bar” hashtagged on Twitter. The Dennik N news website said the attacker had also posted online a manifesto against the LGBTQ and Jewish communities prior to the attack.

The Duhovy PRIDE Bratislava (Rainbow PRIDE) group said it was shocked by the attack, while Slovak President Zuzana Caputova offered her support to the LGBTQ community.

“I want to say to the LGBT community, it is not you who don’t belong here, it is not you who should be afraid to walk in the streets. It is hate that does not belong in Slovakia,” she told reporters after visiting the scene of the attack. where people have since laid floral tributes and rainbow flags.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights on the European continent, said her thoughts were with the families of the victims.

“These abhorrent murders are a threat to our societies built on respect and tolerance. The EU is committed to helping fight hate crime and speech in all form. We must protect the LGBTIQ community,” she said.

According to the Anti-discrimination Act adopted in 2004, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is against the law in Slovakia. On October 14, around 20,000 people gathered to march against hate in Bratislava.

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