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For a Decent Slovakia to resume protests despite state “intimidation” attempts

Bratislava, Slovakia – ‘For a Decent Slovakia’ (Za slusne Slovensko) plans to resume protests and gatherings following the report of the investigation of the movement’s representatives by the National Criminal Agency’s anti-corruption unit, the Slovak Spectator reported.

A criminal complaint had been filed against the organisers of the civic initiative, claiming that they were planning a coup and that the movement was financed by Hungarian-American financier George Soros. The anti-corruption division of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) quickly launched an investigation into the matter and questioned a number of organisers of the movement, prompting outrage and outcry over those attempts to “intimidate” civil society activists.

Local media and experts highlight that former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who has made similar allegations against the initiative in the past, is likely behind that move. “We already know that the organisers of those demonstrations after the murder of Jan Kuciak came from the organisations funded by George Soros”, he said during an interview. Robert Fico was forced to resign in the wake of reporter Jan Kuciak’s murder and the mass protests that swept the country in the following weeks.

“These are all lies, stupidity and nonsense”, Juraj Seliga, one of the main organisers, said as quoted by the TASR news agency. ‘For a Decent Slovakia’ said that these proceedings, as well as the possibility that the initiative might have been monitored and put under surveillance by state security forces, is “unacceptable”. “Twenty nine years after the Velvet Revolution, the state is trying to intimidate activists”, they deplored.

The investigation launched into ‘For a Decent Slovakia’ has also been criticized by many foreign NGO’s. “We call on Robert Fico and other politicians to not doubt and stigmatize the legitimacy of civic activism, but to protect and support its irreplaceable role in society”, the Slovak branch of Amnesty International wrote in a statement.

‘For a Decent Slovakia’ organisers announced that the street protests and gathering will resume this week. “We’re going to discuss the idea that in November 1989 we started something and that this change is still going on and we have to finish it”, M. Seliga said.

The new wave of protests will start on Friday, November 16 in the SNP Square in Bratislava, Karolina Farska, one of the organisers, announced. Other protests and gatherings are also due to take place in Kosice, Prievidza, Poprad, Banska Bystrica, as well as in Brussels.

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