Thousands gather in Prague to pay tribute to murdered gay bar patrons

Photo of a rally in Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic, to commemorate the victims of a shooting outside a gay bar in Bratislava, Slovakia earlier this month. – Photo: Czeslaw Walek, via Instagram.

Thousands of people gathered in Prague on Wednesday to honor two Slovak gay men who were gunned down outside a gay bar in Bratislava, Slovakia earlier this month.

The rally in Prague’s Wenceslas Square took place on the same day as the funeral of victims Matúš Horváth, 23, and Juraj Vankulič, 26, who were killed outside the Teplaren bar in Bratislava on October 12 by a gunman. 19 years old who would have been “radicalized” by right-wing, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant propaganda. A third victim, identified as Radoslava T., 28, suffered a leg injury.

Police said they stepped up their presence at the rally after arresting a man who threatened to use a gun on people gathered in the square.

Attendees held banners that read “We want to live without fear,” expressing solidarity with the victims of the shooting and demanding better protection for LGBTQ people and their families.

“A terrorist intentionally killed LGBTQ people,” Czeslaw Walek, one of the organizers, said in a statement. “It was only by accident that he didn’t kill more.”

The alleged murderer, identified by homeland security today while Juraj Krajcik, 19, the son of a former parliamentary candidate from the far-right nationalist Vlast party, allegedly tweeted the hashtags “#bratislava #hatecrime #gaybar”, and tweeted with the hashtag “#bratislava”: “feeling not regrets, isn’t it funny?

Police said they found Krajcik’s body around 8 a.m. Thursday morning. He would have died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

According to The Associated PressKrajcik tweeted a photo of himself standing in front of the Teplaren bar in August and posted posts over the following months that appeared to hint at plans for violence at the bar. He also reportedly posted a racist manifesto attacking the LGBTQ and Jewish communities before the killings.

In the 65-page manifesto, the author – who claimed to be of Slovak descent and signed the manifesto as “JK” – blamed the Jewish people “for the uncontrolled increase in non-white immigration to ‘Europe and the United States’, as well as COVID -19 vaccinations, which he called a ‘form of complete social control’, homeland security today reported. Krajcik called for anti-Jewish violence and “the total eradication of all Jews, down to the last man, woman and child.”

The manifesto also promoted violence against various targets who are symbols of the “occupied Zionist government”, such as city residents, police, politicians, military bases, courthouses, bankers, artists, the media, immigrants, health professionals, employers who hire ethnic minorities. , biracials and members of the LGBTQ community, in order to destabilize society.

The author of the manifesto also claimed to have been inspired by Brenton Tarrant, the shooter of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand; John Earnest, who attacked a synagogue in Poway, California; several other mass shooters; and Payton Gendron, the suspect in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket earlier this year, which he says gave him “new inspiration.”

Prosecutor Daniel Lipšic said police believed Krajcik had returned home after the shooting and were investigating the shooter’s parents for not alerting police. The weapon used in the attack was reportedly recovered from Krajcik’s home.

“One wonders what information the parents had, it is extremely serious that they did not report the matter,” Lipšic said, according to Reuters.

Police said they were initially investigating the shooting as a hate crime, but later classified it as an act of terrorism motivated by hatred of the LGBTQ community. They also said the suspect was likely planning to target others, including Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger.

Heger then condemned the attack, as well as the ideologies that allegedly led the shooter to carry out the attack.

“I strongly condemn the murder of two young people shot dead last night in Bratislava by a radicalized teenager,” Heger said. tweeted. “No form of white supremacy, racism and #extremism against communities, incl. #LGBT, can be tolerated. We will fight disinformation channels that spread hate and protect minorities.

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