Thousands of people gathered Friday in memory of the two men murdered on Wednesday at a gay bar in Bratislava, 20,000 according to rally organizers.
“I am sorry that our company was unable to protect your loved ones. I am sorry that some of you cannot feel safe in Slovakia,” Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said at the rally.
“I am sorry that as members of the LGBTQ community you still feel unwanted in Slovakia. You have your place here, you are precious for our society,” she added.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger also attended the rally organized at the initiative of the LGBTQ organization Inakost (Otherness) in a square in the city center. A rainbow flag was also unfurled in front of the presidential palace.
“Evil prevails when good people do nothing,” read one of the placards at the rally. “Love is not a sin. Murder is,” another read.
A waitress, injured in the shooting, remained hospitalized Friday in stable condition.
The shooting had erupted in the city center on Wednesday outside the Teplaren bar, popular with the Slovak LGBTQ community.
The shooter, a “radicalized teenager” according to Mr Heger, was found dead on Thursday in a park. another part of town. Judicial authorities said he probably took his own life.
Local media identified him as 19-year-old Juraj Krajcik, the son of a prominent member of the far-right Vlast party.
According to media reports and a local university, one of the victims was a Chinese language student who worked part-time at Teplaren. The other was his friend, a store employee.
Before taking the action, the shooter had published a manifesto of more than 60 pages on a social network, in which he describes his intolerance towards Jews and gay people, local media reported.
European Parliament Vice-President Michal Simecka, who also took part in Friday's rally, said he wanted those murders will be addressed in a plenary session next week.
“To express our sympathy, but also to call on the Slovak authorities to take clear action, to put an end to the language of hatred towards LGBTQ people,” said Michal Simecka.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128