BRATISLAVA—In the first day of Chinese top leader Hu Jintao’s visit in Slovakia, police arrested nine people for violating public order on Thursday, June 18.
About one hour before Hu’s arrival, human rights activists started to gather on the square in front of the Slovak presidential palace, already filled with hundreds of Chinese supporters waiting for the arrival of Hu Jintao.
When the activists tried to unfold their banners, Hu’s supporters started to verbally and physically assault them. The most active ones tried to take the banners out of their hands. When successful, they tore them to pieces or ran away with the catch. As a consequence, one Chinese man was arrested for attempted theft when he tried to steal an activist’s banner.
Mrs. Xu, who held the banner promoting Falun Gong, the spiritual discipline banned in China, had to be treated by the emergency ambulance service. “The Chinese President supporters attacked me and threw me to the ground. I got injured and my forehead was bleeding. I also feel pain in my neck and wrist,” Mrs. Su told the Epoch Times reporter.
Slovak media and the participants of the protests criticized the passivity of the police, who didn’t protect Slovak citizens against the attacks of the Chinese “Welcoming committee” members.
Slovakia is the only EU country the Chinese leader visited on his European trip, taking the Chinese minister of foreign affairs and Chinese businessmen with him. Both Hu and the president of Slovakia praised the mutual relations between the countries, while Hu did not forget to mention “non-meddling in the other country’s internal affairs” as the basis of the good cooperation.
The meetings revolved around the economic cooperation between Slovakia and China, as well as the world financial crisis. Both leaders delivered only a short speech at the joint press conference. Not allowing any questions, reporters couldn’t learn whether human rights were mentioned in the meeting.
On Friday, Hu Jintao will meet with Chairman of Slovak Parliament Pavol Paska and Premier Robert Fico. In the afternoon, the visit to the historical Devin Castle is scheduled.