PRAGUE – Train and railway station patrols set up by a far-right parliamentary party are illegal in Slovakia as of Sunday.
The People's Party Our Slovakia launched the unarmed patrols in April following a violent incident on a passenger train, claiming the state was unable to keep people safe. After efforts by the state railway company to ban the patrols had failed, lawmakers voted in October to outlaw them.
The far-right populists entered Slovakia's parliament in March 2016 with 14 lawmakers in the 150-strong chamber. Their leader, Marian Kotleba, is known for his support of the wartime Nazi puppet Slovak State.
Kotleba's party is popular with young voters, according to a study released in December by the Bratislava-based Institute for Public Affairs.