Slovakia More Successful in Combatting Extremism in 2017

Lucia Zitnanska (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 26 (TASR) – The year 2017 in Slovakia was also marked by the fight against the rise of extremism, with the state adopting a number of measures in an effort at more comprehensive repression.

A so-called anti-extremist penal code amendment has been in effect since the beginning of the year, aimed at enabling more effective investigations into such criminal activities. A number of crimes were reclassified, with the prosecution of extremism falling now into the exclusive purview of the Specialised Criminal Court and the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the staffing of which was reinforced by another five prosecutors. A specialised unit has been created within the National Criminal Agency to deal with extremism and experts in this field are being sought and trained.

“The activity of investigative bodies has seen a significant increase since these bodies started to specialise,” said Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska (Most-Hid).

At a meeting with the media held before Christmas, Zitnanska reported that criminal prosecutions over acts of extremism had a decreasing tendency from 112 cases in 2012 gradually to 20 cases in 2016, yet the amount of prosecutions spiked to 130 within the first nine months of 2017.

“I’m not happy with the fact that we have to deal with so many extremist crimes, but I think that the specialised institutions are getting off to a good start,” commented Zitnanska.