The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Slovakia.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the violent attack perpetrated against Ms. Alena Krempaská, a member of the Human Rights Institute (Institut ludskych prav - ILP) .
According to the information received, in the evening of September 5, 2016, while she was leaving the ILP office in Bratislava, Ms. Alena Krempaská was attacked by two unidentified men. She was pushed on the floor, beaten and insulted, and was told by her assailants that the attack aimed at sanctioning her “links with the social-democratic party”. It has to be noted, however, that the ILP is an independent NGO, and has no partnership whatsoever with any political party.
Ms. Krempaská sustained a severe injury on the head, and spent one night at the hospital.
A few hours before the attack, she had been verbally threatened together with other ILP activists during a protest organised by ILP, to counter a rally organised by right-wing parliamentary parties  in front of the Prime Minister’s house, where around 200 persons had gathered. This right-wing rally aimed at denouncing alleged connections between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior with M. Ladislav Bašternák, a businessman facing charges of tax fraud.
On that occasion, 40 activists of the ILP, including Ms. Krempaská and ILP Executive Director Mr. Peter Weisenbacher,had decided to organise a counter protest in the same area, to denounce the opportunistic appropriation of the corruption issue by the right-wing parties, and to call for investigations into attacks routinely carried out by far-right supporters against peaceful protesters.
During the rally, the former chair of the Slovak Parliament and Member of the European Parliament Richard Sulík (SaS), together with the leader of OľaNO, Igor Matovič, groundlessly accused ILP members, including Ms. Krempaská and Mr. Weisenbacher, of “financial fraud”, and invited the crowd to intimidate them by shouting at them.
Following the above-mentioned physical attack, Ms. Krempaská filed a complaint with the Bratislava Police Station, which handed out the investigation to the Country Directorate of Bratislava City.
The Observatory strongly condemns the violent attack perpetrated against Ms. Krempaská, which seems to only aim at sanctioning her legitimate human rights activities, and calls the authorities to take effective measures to protect her integrity as well as the integrity of all human rights defenders in the country.
The Observatory calls the authorities to carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the attack sustained by Ms. Alena Krempaská, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law.
Please write to the authorities in Slovakia, urging them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Alena Krempaská, as well as of all members of ILP and generally all human rights defenders in the country;
ii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Ms. Alena Krempaská and all ILP members as well as against all human rights defenders in Slovakia, so that they are able to carry out their work without hindrances;
iii. Undertake a thorough, impartial and transparent criminal investigation into the assault perpetrated against Ms. Alena Krempaská, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the sanctions provided by the law;
iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially Article 1 and Article 12.2; andMore generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Greece.
President of the Republic of Slovakia, M. Andrej Kiska, Tel: 004212 57 888 155, Fax: 004212 57 888 103, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Prime Minister of Slovakia, M. Robert Fico, Tel: +421 2 5729 5111, Fax: +421 2 5249 7595, Email: email@example.com;
Minister of Interior of Slovakia, M. Robert Kaliňák, Tel: + 421 9610 11111, Fax: + 421 2 5094 4397, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Minister of Justice of Slovakia, Mme Lucia Žitňanská, Tel: +421 2 888 91111, Email: email@example.com;
Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, His Excellency Mr. Fedor Rosocha, Tel: +41 22 747 74 00, Fax: +41 22 747 74 34, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Tel: +33 388365717, Fax: +33 388365444, Email: email@example.com;
Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the European Union, Tel: +32 27436811, Fax: +32 274368-88/89, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Slovakia in your respective country.