Attack on Slovak Roma sends two to hospital

Daniel, a young Roma, was celebrating his birthday with friends at a pub in the center of the Slovak town of Žilina. When they left, a group of men assaulted them in the street, shouting "Gypsies, we will kill you!"

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Attack on Slovak Roma sends two to hospital - NewsMavens
Historic town center Žilina, Akton, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Two of the young Roma men suffered significant injuries from the beating.  One of them was taken to the hospital right after the attack, and the second one a few hours later when he started to become disoriented. 

One of the men is in critical condition because of a brain hemorrhage, although his prognosis is improving.

The Slovak town of Žilina does not have a good reputation when it comes to the Roma minority. One year ago, town officials were found to discriminate against Roma children who could not afford to commute to school. But the matter is not restricted to one town. The incidents are representative of a nationwide issue that will not be solved on its own: racism against the Roma in Slovakia is real, and requires intervention.

Details from the story:

  • On Friday, activists and artists from Žilina protested the racist attack. They ran through the streets where Roma men tried to escape the aggressors.
  • One bystander who tried to stop the attackers from beating one of the Roma men ended up in the hospital with a double ankle fracture.
  • Three of the attackers were detained and face 4 to 10 years in prison.
  • In the beginning, Slovak police were investigating the incident as a street fight, a few days later, they handed it over to the National criminal agency which investigates hate crimes.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at