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The murder of a journalist has mobilized protests in Slovakia for months, even the head of government resigned. But the system is more persistent than its opponents.

Slovakia: Still remember Ján

The murder of a journalist has mobilized protests in Slovakia for months, even the head of government resigned. But the system is more persistent than its opponents.

Slovakia: Still remember Ján
Content
  • Page 1 — still remember Ján
  • Page 2 — great mistrust of ruling
  • Page 3 — "I'm afraid people will forget murder of my Bror"
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    Two chairs all in white stand in front of altar of village church in eastern Slovak Lipovce Gregorovce. Wreaths with initials "J" and "M" for Ján and Martina are attached to ir leanings. People in summer shirts are pushing mselves in crowded benches in early May. Everything is prepared for a nice feast. However, in front row, all in black, Jozef Kuciak, bror of groom, cries beside him parents, sister, mor of bride, also y wear black. A cellist plays a Bach Prelude. Then organ music sounds, guests rise up. Only two chairs remain empty. Because woman and man who wanted to marry today are dead.

    On 25 February police found bodies of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in ir house near Slovak capital Bratislava. A murderer had executed 27-year-old and his girlfriend four days before. The offender used a muffler for firearm, in cartridges re was little gunpowder. Thus, two spheres that took Kuciak's life were stuck in his heart. Anor found pathologists in Kusnirovas head.

    A professionally executed murder, since n small country is in turmoil. For Kuciak was a journalist and had reported on criminal machinations of mighty of country. The suspicion refore suggests that one of those powerful could have ordered murders. In his last, until n unpublished text, Kuciak had reported on links between Italian Mafia, which were to reach environment of longtime Prime Minister Robert Fico.

    For a "decent Slovakia"

    In many countries of Central and Eastern Europe se weeks are being demonstrated against corruption, state arbitrariness and increasingly authoritarian tendencies. But in no country are demonstrators as persistent as in Slovakia. And nowhere have y achieved so much: first Slovak minister of Culture resigned, n Minister of Interior had to go, after all, even premier. Lastly, President of police also resigned. Neverless, longer protests last, question arises: Can demonstrators also change something?

    In morning after Corpse Fund, Karolina Farska scrolled through her home page on Facebook. She skipped article about murder. "I thought this was fake news," says 19-year-old. "When I understood that this was real, I just thought: Oh my God, what can I do now?" Farska called friends with whom she had already organised demonstrations against corruption in country two years ago. "This time we not only wanted to show that we are dissatisfied," she says, pinching narrow eyes behind glasses even furr: "We want to make it clear that we do not want to live in such a country."

    Two weeks after murders, Karolina Farska stood on a stage in Bratislava and demanded 80,000 people a "decent slovakia". These were biggest protests since end of communism. Even in regions, people went to streets, where ruling Smer party had greatest support so far.

    Also this Friday at beginning of May, during recent demonstration, screw helpers on square of Slovak National Uprising in Bratislava, scaffolding for a stage toger. Nervously controls Karolina Farska on her cell phone time. The reddish hair curls around her round face, she wears jeans jacket and a summer dress. It is day before funeral ceremony in Gregorovce.

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