27 years after the abolition of communism, Slovenia is again facing violation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly

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Tadej Strehovec. (Photo: Demokracija)

Reverend Father Tadej Strehovec, PhD, is being sued for actively supporting the prayers outside of the Ljubljana gynecology clinic, where abortions are performed. His support derives from the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. In the indictment, the district state prosecutor called his work “the promotion or incitement of hatred, violence or intolerance”.

Because of the anger over the people praying outside of an abortion clinic in Ljubljana in spring 2016 as a part of the international 40daysforlife campaign, abortion advocates and abortion activists wished to prevent further prayers by signing a petition. The petition was addressed to the then government and the police. However, they only confirmed that a peaceful assembly was taking place according to all regulations (a special license was obtained that was never violated by the participants) and that such activity was constitutionally guaranteed to the citizens of Slovenia.

The reason for the indictment was the publication of the names of the signatories of this petition on the website 24kul.si, which was only after the publication of the list of names in the weekly magazine Mladina. In the indictment, the district state prosecutor, without any evidence, described this act as “a threat to public order and peace”.

The signatories of the petition are public persons from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and various non-governmental organizations, all of them advocates of the LGBT ideology, euthanasia, redefinition of the family and marriage, and severe critics of the Judeo-Christian values. They also receive some millions of euros of taxpayer money and money from various Soros Foundations.

Father Tadej Strehovec says: “By publishing the petition and its signatories, we wanted to publicly strengthen the view that such actions are inappropriate and go against the fundamental constitutional rights of, in this case, the Catholics.”

According to the former judge of the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Prof. Dr. Boštjan M. Zupančič, the trial against the Franciscan professor Dr. Tadej Strehovec, is a show trial, and its intention is to install fear and stop the exercise of freedom of speech and freedom of public gathering. Zupančič says that “there was no violation of either human or constitutional rights or the right to dignity, honor, etc. of the signatories” and further on that “the prominent post-communist mantra of abortion lobbyists ‘the woman’s right to her own body’ is in terms of law irrelevant.”

A crowd of hundreds of people gathers at every hearing before the Ljubljana District court in support to a distinguished lecturer of moral theology at the Theological Faculty in Ljubljana and a popular Slovenian priest. The defendant gives a speech at these gatherings and several other speeches were given so far, including a speech by David Tasić, a former political prisoner, Dr. Anton Stres, the bishop of Ljubljana, Valentina Pikelj, the head of the Children of God institution, who was the organizer of prayers in favor of unborn children, and Katarina Nzobandora, the founder of the I Live! Institute, among others.

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