STA, 1 November 2019 - A group of unidentified persons stormed Tiffany Club, a popular venue for LGBT events at the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre in Ljubljana, early on Friday morning, in what circumstances suggest was an attack motivated by hate.
The perpetrators, smashing in the club's entrance door and windows and threatening the personnel, fled the scene when the police arrived. The news of the attack was published on the club's Facebook page.
According to the police, the attack resulted in a few thousands euro in material damage.
The attack, during which the perpetrators vandalised the club's interior as well, was carried out after the venue closed in the early morning hours.
The personnel were unharmed, having barricaded themselves in while the attackers were trying to get to them, smashing on the walls and doors and hurling homophobic insults at them.
The police said they were treating the attack as an anti-LGBT hate crime.
The Tiffany Club shares the building with the lesbian Monokel Club, where a community response event will be held this evening, raising awareness about the importance of resistance and fight against such crimes.
The non-profit cultural organisation ŠKUC condemned the incident, expressing concern over the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes and calling for the issue to be tackled.
The incident was also condemned by the Legebitra NGO and Equal Opportunities Ombudsman Miha Lobnik.
According to Lobnik, the attack on the Club, which is one of the rare LGBT venues and safe spaces in Slovenia, can be considered an attack on the entire LGBT community. He also stressed the importance of a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence against any minority.
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec wrote on Twitter that the attack was "a cowardly, pathetic act". He also pointed out that such violent actions were unfortunately not uncommon in Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Legebitra warned that the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes was in part the result of normalising hate speech in politics and society in general.
A little over a month ago a security guard at another Ljubljana club, K4, was fired after insulting a guest with Nazi greetings at a gay event, and in early October a prominent gay activist was assaulted in Murska Sobota and sustained serious injuries in what he believes was a homophobic attack.