The shooting one week ago today in the Devinska Nova Ves borough of Bratislava produced a lot of speculation that it was racially motivated against the Roma.
This idea was dispelled at the end of last week by daily SME, which was first to announce that the 6 victims of the family that suffered most were in fact not Roma at all. Only the victim Jozef Putik (48), who was shot while trying to flee from the killer and then finished off in front of the block of flats after being chased by the killer, was in fact of Roma ethnicity, while the mother of his son, 12 year old Jozko Slezak, was not Roma, and neither were the other 4 members of her family.
This was reiterated also by Prime Minister Iveta Radicova on TV Markiza yesterday, 5 September, who said the attack was not motivated by racism as several media have indicated. Radicova then went on to say: “Various rumours started to be spread and I’m sorry about that”. She underlined that the family that was killed by the gunman was not of Roma nationality and that the other victims had not been chosen by the colour of their skin either. “This wasn’t an act motivated by racism,” she emphasised.
In the same political discussion programme called Na telo, head of SMER-SD Robert Fico would not comment on the matter. “I wouldn’t like to comment on this issue until we have a report on the table from the investigation” said Fico.