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18 March 2024

President Čaputová pays tribute to victims of December shooting

Zuzana Čaputová was in Prague on Monday just a few days before the Slovak presidential elections. On what is one of her last trips to the Czech Republic as the Slovak head of state, the president, who is not running for a second term, visited CU’s Faculty of Arts to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting rampage in December. Last December 21, fourteen people –students and staff members – lost their lives after a gunman opened fire.

In front of the Faculty of Arts, President Zuzana Čaputová was flanked by student and university representatives, “I wish once again to express my sincere condolences to the bereaved and also to meet with those affected by this tragedy… I very much wish for both our nations that we will be able to replace hatred with respect,” the president stressed after placing a wreath with the Slovak tricolour in front of the building.

On site, President Čaputová met with the Rector of Charles University Milena Králíčková and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of Charles University Eva Lehečková and also spoke briefly with the students of Charles University, asking about their studies in the face of what had happened. “She asked us how we felt. She also wanted to know how the injured are doing,” Barbora Haulíková, the chair of the faculty of Arts Student Council, told Forum magazine.

Attendees at the event on Monday gave the Slovak president a heartfelt applause for her visit. President Čaputová will continue as Slovakia’s head of state only until June this year. The first round of presidential elections will take place in Slovakia this Saturday.

A fortnight ago, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Czech counterpart Petr Pavel also paid tribute to the victims at the faculty. In February, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, accompanied by the head of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, also met at the faculty to honour the fallen.

TEXT: Helena Zdráhalová

PHOTOS: Michal Novotný

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