TASR (Slovakia): SDKU MPs Call on Kalinak to Explain Police Intervention at Protests

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Bratislava, June 19 (TASR) - According to Martin Pado and Pavol Kubovic from SDKU-DS, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) should take part in the extraordinary session of the Defence and Security Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday and talk about the police intervention against demonstrators during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao in Bratislava on Thursday.

"Together with my colleagues, we asked the defence and security committee's chairman, Rodolf Pucik (Slovak National Party/SNS), to summon an extraordinary session of the committee," said Pado at a briefing on Friday. "If more than a third of the committee's members ask me, I have to convene the session within seven days, as the law requires. And I'll do so," he assured, adding that it is not clear, however, whether the session will take place on Tuesday or some other day next week.

SDKU-DS representatives so far don't want to assess whether the police intervention in front of the Presidential Palace was inadequate. "We only can say so when we have all the necessary information," said Pado.

Pado expressed his concerns about the information published in the media, according to which police treated the Slovak demonstrators like assailants, while they were being attacked by Chinese people during the incident.

"For me it's unacceptable that it could happen in the future that Slovaks in Bratislava will be beaten by Chinese in front of the Presidential Palace," said Pado. "The Minister (Kalinak) shouldn't hide, he should stand up in front of the cameras and explain why the police initially considered the Slovaks the attackers and only later re-classified them as witnesses and injured persons," he added.

According to Kubovic, Slovak politicians should stick to a custom that they will point to the human rights issues every time when holding talks with Chinese partners.

Independent MP Vladimir Palko sent Kalinak 20 questions concerning the incident. "Are a black suit with external walkie-talkies standard equipment for every Chinese tourist in Europe? Did the Chinese communist regime intervene in Slovakia yesterday (Thursday)?" Palko asks.

Dozens of Slovak activists rallied Thursday outside Presidential Palace, where head of state Ivan Gasparovic was meeting Hu Jintao, in order protest the disrespect for human rights in his country. When it was announced that the demonstration was not allowed, the police pushed the demonstrators out of the square to the neighbouring street. Police and medical emergency service had to step in afterwards, as the activists clashed with Chinese supporters of Hu Jintao. A few demonstrators were arrested.

Medical intervention was required as a woman chanting 'Falun Gong is good' was knocked to the ground by Chinese demonstrators and suffered head injuries. Chinese demonstrators, who were preventing the present journalists from taking pictures and overlaying banners with slogans about human rights with their own ones, were headed by men wearing dark suits and name tags and who are believed to be part of the entourage of the Chinese head of state.


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